Foil Dinner

This simple meal is a classic that's great for camping or at home on the grill. The best part is that it requires no pots, no pans, and no mess!

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Average Rating:
Participant Age: Under 7, 7 to 12, 12 and up
Approximate Cost: $10 to $100
Duration: 1 to 60 minutes
Difficulty:
Physical Challenge:
  • Aluminum foil
  • Butter
  • Campfire
  • Carrots
  • Cooking tripod (optional)
  • Corn, small cobs or frozen loose corn
  • Cutting boards (separate for veggies and meat)
  • Frozen Green Beans
  • Knife
  • Meat (hamburger patty, round steak or chicken)
  • Onions
  • Bell peppers
  • Plates to hold cut up ingredients
  • Potatoes
  • Salt and pepper or other seasonings
  • Tomatoes
  • Long-handled tongs or heat-proof gloves for removing the packets from the fire
Get your campfire ready

You can make foil packet dinners with a grill. 

If you are camping though, you'll want to get your campfire going at least an hour before cooking time. That's because you need a very hot bed of red coals to cook this meal.

Be sure to start with a lot of wood to generate enough coals.


Prepare vegetables and meat

Peel carrots and potatoes. Cut them up very small. 

Cut the meat in small pieces as well. If cutting chicken, do not mix that with other ingredients and carefully sterilize the cutting board with boiling water.

Cut up tomatoes, onions and peppers. Slice the butter.

Rip aluminum foil into large squares.


Let people choose what they want in their foil dinner

Giving everyone their own choice for this meal is part of the reason why it works great for family and group camping. 

At the end, if there are leftovers, you can put the remaining ingredients in stand-alone foil dinner packets. These can then be available for people who are still hungry, or the cooked ingredients can be easily used in a breakfast. Cooked potatoes for example make great hash browns or omelet ingredients.

Once each person has chosen their ingredients, put a few slices of butter and some salt into their packet.


Coach younger children not to overfill their packets

You don't want the foil to split half way through cooking and lose half your meal. Sometimes kids get so excited when choosing their ingredients, that the packet gets too full. If this happens, split the meal into two packets.


Encourage everyone to fold their foil dinners into a distinctive shape

Then people will know which dinner is their own custom choices. See how creative people can get with their foil dinner shapes!


Place the packets on a cooking tripod or in the coals of a campfire

A cooking tripod ensures the best cooking experience, but if you don't have one, be sure to get a nice bed of coals prepared before laying your packets on to cook.

Make sure you have some long-handled tongs for moving the packets in and out of the fire, or moving the coals to make a good cooking bed.

Periodically check the packets by poking a potato with a fork to see if it is soft enough.


Enjoy your supper!

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