Foil Packet Recipes for Camping or on the Grill

If you're cooking over a campfire or grilling in the backyard, foil packet recipes are worth a try. Check out our tips to help them turn out great.

If you or your kids were ever a part of scouting, you’ve probably eaten meat and veggies cooked over a campfire in a foil packet. Foil packet recipes have been called hobo dinners, but don’t let that moniker turn you off. You might be surprised how delicious these camping classics can be.

Whether you’re looking for more ideas for campfire cooking, or you want to do something different on the grill, foil packet recipes are worth a try. Check out our tips and tricks to help make them turn out great, and see what you think of the recipes we found.

Tips and Tricks for Foil Packet Recipes

No matter what recipe you try, or even if you don’t use a recipe at all, keep these tips and tricks in mind when cooking in foil packets. They’ll help ensure you unwrap a delicious dinner.

  • Use heavy duty foil. Regular foil isn’t strong enough to hold all of your ingredients. It may tear more easily, especially on the grill or campfire coals.
  • Fold the seams of your foil packet; don’t crumple them. Folded seams allow your packet to expand without bursting open and making a mess.
  • Make sure each piece of foil is large enough to hold all of your ingredients. Otherwise, the food won’t cook properly. You also run the risk of the foil tearing or the seams coming apart, even if you use heavy duty foil.
  • Cut meats like chicken, steak, and pork into bite-sized pieces. Shrimp, fish, and ground beef can be cooked as-is.
  • Harder vegetables, such as potatoes and carrots, take longer to cook than softer vegetables like broccoli, onion, peppers, and corn. Cut harder vegetables into smaller chunks or thinner slices.
  • Moisture is essential. Add butter, oil, sauces, or high water content vegetables to your foil packet to keep all of your ingredients from drying out as they cook.
  • Start cooking with the meat closest to the heat source — it takes longer to cook than veggies. Flip your packets to ensure they cook evenly.
  • If you’re making foil packets for camping, you can wrap everything up ahead of time. Just be sure to keep your packets cold to protect against foodborne illness.

Foil Packet Recipes: Make It Up As You Go Along

With these tips in mind, you don’t actually have to follow a recipe. Choose whatever meat and vegetables you prefer, and prepare them according to our guidance. You can try different combinations based on your family’s likes and dislikes.

Foil Packet Recipes: You don't actually have to follow a recipe. Try different combinations based on your family's likes and dislikes.

In fact, you don’t even have to make the same meal for everyone. Write names with a Sharpie on the outside of each packet to keep all the meals straight.

Then again, you may prefer to follow a recipe, especially for your first few forays into foil packet cooking. We found three that sound especially delicious.

Foil Packet Recipes: Butter Garlic Herb Steak

This recipe from The Recipe Critic is so simple; the most labor-intensive part is the compound butter. But don’t leave it out to save time. Not only is the moisture key, those herbs and spices will make the meat and vegetables taste even better.

Foil Packet Recipes: Italian Sausage and Veggies

In this recipe from Chelsea’s Messy Apron, Chelsea offers five different methods for making this meal, including foil packets in the oven and on the grill. There are so many varieties of sausage available in the grocery store, you can make this meal every week over the summer and never get bored.

Foil Packet Recipes: Shrimp Boil

This recipe from Damn Delicious also includes sausage, but it’s entirely different from the one above. This foil packet meal is reminiscent of a southern shrimp boil, with shrimp, andouille sausage, corn on the cob, and potatoes. Cajun seasoning is a must, so be sure to add it to your grocery list if it’s not already in your cupboard.

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