Foil Pack Dinners

Many campers know that if you want a meal with little cleanup, you can cook it in a foil pack. The most typical foil pack ingredients are ground beef, potatoes, carrots, and onions. But don’t get stuck in a rut! Try some new combinations.

Most foil packs contain some type of meat (beef, chicken, ham, etc.), a starch (potatoes or rice), and fruits or vegetables (carrots, apples, peppers, pineapple). You can add a little moisture with some condensed soup, ketchup, gravy, BBQ sauce, or something similar. I stay away from cheese in the pack itself, but sometimes I sprinkle some on the finished product.

Don’t be afraid to try something different in your foil pack dinners. I’ve seen a recipe for an omelet in a foil pack which I am going to try soon.  Here are a couple of ideas for you:

After assembling your ingredients, follow the directions below to seal and cook your pack.

How to Make a Foil Pack (Hobo) Meal


  • Heavy duty aluminum foil
  • Charcoal fire – charcoal should be in a single layer


  1. Tear off a piece of foil about four times the size of the food you want to cook.
  2. Fold the foil in half.
  3. Place the food in the middle of the foil.
  4. Bring the opposite sides of the foil together.
  5. Fold the sides over, one half inch at a time, crimping the foil together as you go.
  6. Fold the open edges toward the center, crimping together.
  7. Place the foil packet on the charcoal
  8. Cook until packet puffs up with steam – usually about 30 to 45 minutes.
  9. Open carefully! You don’t want a steam burn.

When sealing up the foil, the idea is to form an airtight seal, so the steam can’t escape. If the steam gets out, you might scorch your food. You are essentially making a small pressure cooker.
If you are not using heavy duty foil, use two pieces of foil to make a double layer. You don’t want your dinner to end up in the fire.

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2 Responses to Foil Pack Dinners

  1. Regina Burress November 19, 2010 at 9:34 AM #

    This recipe is good. My scouts enjoy making this, they even cooked it at home for the family. Sometimes instead of beef they will try chicken.

  2. Nancy Pendleton September 21, 2011 at 6:00 PM #

    We did this with 40 people. I used frozen diced potatoes (walmart w/no oil or spices), a couple of bags of different frozen veggies, ground beef 85/15, cut up chicken, assorted spices (hot, italian, onion & garlic powder), and Italian dressing, ranch dressing, & BBQ sauce. Some boys mixed everything together, some just used meat, they all smelled yummy!

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