If you’re going camping—or just firing up the grill in your own backyard—foil packets are a great way to cook your food over the flames. Plus, cleanup is easy as can be.
Becoming one with nature may require a sleeping bag, tent, insect repellent, and first aid kit, but it also requires food (because the goal is to survive, right?) And while inclinations may lead you to believe that camp food tastes disgusting and one-dimensional from an overused grill in the middle of a shared camping ground, you may not know about the joys of cooking meats, vegetables, and starches with foil packs.
Well, it’s pretty self-explanatory. The technique requires you to take a standard roll of aluminum foil, place the food in the center of a large sheet, seal the foil so that it’s snug over the food (almost like an envelope), and then grill or set over a fire (they work in the oven too if you don’t do the great outdoors). It’s a simple process with easy clean-up (hoorah!), allowing you to focus more on concocting drool-worthy recipes and less on whether or not they will end up in the trash. You may have heard these foil packets called hobo packs before too, but for obvious reasons, that is not a name we recommend using.
- It’s important to create some room between the food and the foil so that the heat can build up and cook your dinner. Think of it as a mini oven, but with steam inside.
- Pack some gloves or tongs so you can easily handle the pouch as you remove it from the fire. (See our guide to camp cooking gear for more helpful equipment.)
- Definitely invest in heavy-duty aluminum foil for integrity’s sake, especially if you’re cooking heavier items like meat and potatoes.
- Seal your foil packets in at least one layer of tightly closed Ziploc bags before you toss them in your cooler, to ensure no melted ice water trickles in.
Since cooking times vary and depend entirely on your ingredients, we’ve rounded up a variety of recipes for you to try during your next camping trip. But don’t make these too delicious or the bears will surely pay you and your group a visit. Deter them by making sure you clean your camp properly! And feel free to wash any of these meals down with a camp drink. But be sure to practice safe coronavirus camping this year too.
If you’re looking for a protein-packed, wholesome meal after a day of hiking, this is the dish for you. In fact, it will help you prep for that five mile journey tomorrow. Get the Grilled Herb Chicken and Potato Foil Packs recipe.
Teriyaki chicken with peppers, onions, and pineapples, all in one convenient pack? Yes, please. Just bring some cooked rice too, to heat up in a pot alongside. (Picky eaters can have their own packets with just chicken and sauce—another benefit of this cooking method.) Get the Grilled Chicken Pineapple Foil Packets recipe.
Anything with melted cheese is going to taste delicious, so you may as well put it on a vegetable and get your daily dose of vitamins. Get the Zucchini Parmesan Foil Packets recipe.