It’s campfire time and if you’ve already got your s’mores down pat, then it’s time to learn how to make the main course: campfire foil packet dinners. Also referred to as just foil, campfire or hobo dinners, they’re super tasty. And, in this Backyard Life video, Outdoors with the Morgans Youtube hosts Mike and Melissa Morgan show you just how easy they are to make. They should know, as they serve them up regularly throughout the summer months.
To start, you’ll need a campfire whose wood has burned down to nice hot coals. Once the fire’s ready, it’s all hands clean and on deck to make your meal. Basically, there’s no one way to make campfire foil packet meals. Usually, they’re made with a variety of meats and veggies, which is what the Morgans are using so each person can customize their own meal. In this video, Melissa Morgan has set out ground beef, chopped onion, potatoes and carrots. She demonstrates by making herself a ground beef patty along with a little bit of each veggie. Then she places it all on a piece of tin foil. While Melissa prefers a beef patty, she says her daughter-in-law leaves her ground beef in crumbles and adds barbecue sauce.
From bacon or other veggies to sauces—BBQ or Italian dressing—or just salt and pepper, you can ultimately add anything you’d like. Melissa says, “You could almost add anything and it would taste good.” She says the family has used cheese before, but admits it can get kind of messy. If you do use cheese, she says, it’s best to put it on at the very last minute to keep it from burning or sticking to the foil.
Time to wrap it.
Once your food’s on the tin foil, it’s time to wrap the meal up. “It’s like you’re holding a very tight package that you don’t want to leak,” explains Melissa. Simply fold in the sides, then turn the ends over tightly a few times. The ends, she says, are the most important to keep grease from leaking out. After folding, she presses down on the foil. Then, she uses a Sharpie to mark her name on the foil before it goes into the fire. Finally, she prepares a few more for family members, making sure all the ingredients are tucked into the foil.
Melissa adds Montreal seasoning Hidden Valley Ranch mix to the ground beef she’s using. She uses the same in regular homemade burgers and says, “It’s delicious. You can’t go wrong.” She’s also using 80/20 ground meat, which creates some sizzling grease when the meat is cooked. Another reason to fold the ends to keep the grease from oozing out, she says.
To flip or not to flip?
A common question is whether you should flip meals on the fire? Melissa says there’s no need to flip them once they’ve been placed on the coals. If you do, grease is going to run out and cause the vegetables to cook faster than the meats. That said, some people might still prefer to flip them, she says. There are a lot of ways to make these meals, and they’re super simple to prepare and cook. The added bonus? It’s just fun being around the fire where everyone gets to participate. Kids can choose what they’d like in their meal and parents are right there to supervise. In the end, kids feel they’ve achieved something by helping make these dinners.
Red hot coals.
When you’re cooking, move the logs around on the fire so your meals are positioned directly on the hot coals. You can use kitchen tongs to do this. But, just make sure they’re not lined with silicone or any kind of rubber that will melt off. Melissa suggests using simple scissor tongs.
Once on the coals, the meals should take approximately 10 to 15 minutes to cook. Use tongs again to pull them out and determine if the meats are done. If the meat is darker and has juice coming out of it, that’s a sign it’s properly cooked. And, of course, it’ll smell awesome!
Eating campfire foil packet dinners.
Once they’ve been pulled from the fire, you can either put your meals on plates or eat them directly out of the foil. You can eat them as-is, or add more spices or sauces. Melissa likes to add a little more salt and pepper to hers.
And, there you have it! An easy dinner—and a nice way to spend an evening with family around the campfire!