If you grew up camping like I did, then you are no stranger to hobo foil packet dinners. The thing I don’t understand though is why they were only considered a camping food back then. Not only are these dinners simple and delicious, they can be cooked over the open fire, on the grill or in the oven! How’s that for versatility?
Over the years, we have tried numerous types of packets. In fact, one of our favorite family meals now is to lay out a variety of ingredients and let everyone make their own. This ensures that everyone…even the pickiest of eaters…is happy with their own individual meal. Once they are done eating, wrap that foil up and toss in the trash.
Recap…individual dinners made to each person’s taste, simple to cook various ways and easy to clean up…what are you waiting for? (*Read on for the special ingredient we use!)
Basically, the sky is the limit for the ingredients. However, I am going to list some ingredients that we have used.
- hamburger – pattied up or crumbled
- kielbasa – diced
- chicken – chunked
- shaved beef
- potatoes – quartered
- bell peppers – all colors
- anaheim peppers
- thick cut green beans
- cheese – we use shredded and, of course, different varieties
As stated earlier, one thing that makes the hobo foil packet dinners so much fun is to offer several ingredients. Choose from the list above or add some of your own favorites. Put each of the ingredients in small bowls for everyone to choose from. (*Still looking for that special ingredient?)
*Notice in this one, we used the shaved beef…delicious!
Assembling the Foil Packets ~
Do yourself a favor and invest in heavy duty foil. This makes the cooking process go much smoother. If you do not have heavy duty foil, then you will want to double up. When doubling up, I prefer to cut two pieces of foil the same size and criss cross them (in the shape of a cross) before adding my ingredients. This allows all sides of the packet to be closed up securely.
Spray the cut foil pieces with non-stick cooking spray before assembling. NOW….are you ready for that special ingredient I alluded to earlier??? Condensed soup is the ticket to a fantastic hobo foil packet dinner. The difference you will see with this addition is incredible! We have used several varieties in our dinners.
- Cream of Mushroom
- Cream of Chicken
- Cream of Celery
- Cream of Asparagus
- Cream of Mushroom with Roasted Garlic
- Cream of Chicken with Herbs
- Cream of Onion
Obviously, we prefer to use the cream style soups. I have heard there is also a cream of bacon and cream of shrimp. We have never used these (I don’t believe I have ever seen them in the stores in our area), but I believe they would be fantastic as well. Campbell’s Soup is our go to but obviously you can use the brand of your preference. From all of the soups listed, I would have to say Cream of Mushroom and Cream of Chicken are our top choices.
Next Step ~
Once you have made your soup choice, slather 1 to 2 tablespoons across the bottom of the prepared foil pieces. You are now ready to add your favorite ingredients. Start with your favorite meat and then pile on your choice of accompaniments. There is no specific amounts to use, just create your masterpiece with enough room to fold it up securely.
Before closing, sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion salt, dry onion soup mix or any seasoning you prefer and another dollop of the soup.
Be sure to completely cover all food when bringing the sides of the foil up and over. There are several methods of folding the foil, just be sure to wrap it up securely.
*Pro Tip* – Write the names on top of each packet with a sharpie to be sure of which packet belongs to who to extinguish any later arguments!
Cooking the Hobo Foil Packet Dinners ~
Our preference for cooking is on the grill or over the open fire. I absolutely love when Brad cooks them over the open fire. These take about an hour, depending on the size of your packets. (Somehow, ours always end up bigger than we intended!) You will just need to be sure the meat is cooked completely through. Grilling will take about 30 to 40 minutes.
Brad uses a cast irong camping tripod for so many different meals. I’ve included a link to one, but it is a great idea to check out several to meet your individual needs. As you can see, his also as a grate that attaches to it, which he uses often. Check out firepit tripods here…Brad uses his for so many campfire recipes!
As stated earlier though, you can also do these in the oven. With this method, place the packets on a baking sheet (just to catch any spillage that may leak out), and bake at 350℉ for 40 to 60 minutes. When opening the packets to check if done, be careful as the heat pours out at first opening.
Cajun Style Hobo Foil Packet Dinner ~
This one has quickly become a family favorite. This is one of the times we do one large family packet instead of offering choices. Most of the time we love to make our own spice blends, but we have decided why fix it if it isn’t broken…simply follow the recipe on the back of the McCormick Jazzy Tasty Seasoning packet. I’m telling you, it is AMAZING!
As always, I am including a link to order it for simplicity. Sometimes I struggle finding this one…maybe everyone has has figured out this little secret too! 😉
Get creative with this fun cooking idea. We have yet to serve hobo foil packet dinners where anyone was unhappy. In fact, most people usually call us later to get the finer details so they can make them at home for their family and friends.