You spent five weeks planning, five days packing (and re-packing, "just in case"), hit the road at 5 A.M. and drove 500 miles with three bored kids saying "are we there yet?" every five minutes. And don't forget your dog, which apparently doesn't travel well.
But, you finally made it. The campground is perfect, your gear is unloaded, the camp is set up, and everyone is starving. Now, it would be a simple matter to fire up the grill and burn some burgers and hot dogs?but you had those when you stopped for gas at the Beef n' Weiner Barn three hours ago. Plus, your chef is just as tired as you. So what do you do?
Tin foil meals to the rescue!
More: 3 Tin Foil Meal Ideas
Sometimes called "pocket cooking" or "hobo meals," tin foil is the best tool when it comes to easy camping meals. All it takes is some quick prep and then it goes onto the grill. Or, if you're adept, onto your campfire coals. No more boring meals. No more being tied to the stove while everyone else is out having fun. And clean up is a snap. There's little, if any, pot washing, and if you eat right out of the packs, no dishes to do!
There are many great benefits to quick and easy foil pack camp cooking:
Make Ahead and Refrigerate
Aluminum foil is one of the most versatile cooking utensils ever devised; it can withstand both heat and cold. So go ahead and prep your foil packets in advance and refrigerate. Then take them straight from the cooler to the flame. At that point, your only job is to grab a camp chair and a refreshing beverage, then sit back and enjoy the scenery while keeping an eye on your meal.
A Variety of Cooking Options
Most foil pack recipes are simple, so they can be cooked equally well on a gas grill, a charcoal BBQ, or even in the campfire coals.
Cooking tip: Campfire coals can be extremely hot until they've burned way down, so you'll want to stay especially vigilant to make sure your food doesn't burn.
More: 5 Food Safety Tips
Customizable for Picky Eaters
Children are notorious for having highly selective taste buds. And some adults are the same way. One of the beauties of these easy camping meals is that you can make individual packs for everyone. The trick is timing, as not all foods cook in the same amount of time. Packs with hard vegetables like carrots or potatoes, for example, will take more time than squash.
Camp cooking in foil packs offers you the opportunity to be creative, despite the method's simplicity.
In addition to the typical hamburger-potato cube-carrot meal, other surprisingly fancy yet easy to make recipes you'll want to try include:
- Sausage and Eggs
- Chicken Casserole
- Apricot-Glazed Pork Chops
- Jalapeno Poppers
- Jerk Chicken Wings
- Lemon-Herb Chicken
- Asian-Style Ribs
- Zucchini and Tomatoes
- Potatoes with Bacon