I think that the most basic campfire cooking is the tin foil dinner AKA the Hobo dinner AKA Foil packets (or enter whatever name you know them by). You know those tin foil packets you would make when you start camping? wrap your food up in tinfoil and throw it in the fire. Wait 20 minutes or so, use something to grab it out and boom you are eating food. Easy to make, easy to store, easy to eat, easy to clean up right?
I think I first started eating these as a young boy scout. The most common on them was hamburger, onion, potato, and carrots. Nothing too fancy, and it worked well. There are two great reasons why they are so common. First, they can be forgiving – as long as you don’t burn them – they generally turn out. Second, it can be as simple or as fancy as you want! For example, my oldest brother did steak and lobster one time (he used money he had saved himself). These things are also very easy to turn into a good meal for a vegan! Make them as simple or as fancy as you want. Follow these four basic steps and you are on your way!
Step one: Choose what veggies you will put in: carrots, potatoes, onion, peas, corn, beans, mushrooms, bok choy, peppers, zucchini, squash, tomatoes, asparagus, eggplant, and brussels sprouts, just to name a few. Have fun with it! Essentially, if you can grill it, you can cook it in a tin foil pouch. If you can steam it, you can cook it in a tin foil pouch. If you… you probably have the idea!
Step two: Season it. With what? Up to you! salt and pepper, dill, oregano, basil, salsa, curries, hot sauce, gravy. Again the list can go on and on. Big tip here: make sure you have enough liquid. It means it is less likely to burn and it will help steam the veggies. Too little liquid and well you know how I said they are pretty forgiving as long as you don’t burn them? Yea, it probably won’t forgive you. However, your veggies don’t have to be drowning.
Step three: Wrap it up in tinfoil. Here is a fairly simple instruction on how to wrap it. Two things to remember – one: shiny side in! Two: pinch it well or you won’t be having dinner that night – it will all fall into the fire. Sad sad face! 🙁
Step four: Cooking. Coals are the best to cook these. Sure you can through it right in the flames, but it is more likely to become undercooked or burnt. It generally takes about 10 minutes per side depending what you are cooking. It is going to go quicker if it is in the flames. Don’t play with it (more likely to poke holes in your tinfoil!)
There are a lot of fun things you can cook in tinfoil. Stay tuned for Level 1.5 (or taking tinfoil to the next level!)