Thursday, April 24, 2014

Campout Tin Foil Dinners

Posted by Devin
Our family recently had a backyard campout complete with a tent, a campfire, and s'mores and we couldn't pass up the opportunity to eat our favorite "camping dinner." Have you ever heard of tin foil dinners? They are the very best meal for camping EVER. Number 1, they are delicious. Number 2, you prepare the whole thing at home before you head to the great outdoors, making dinner time super easy on your campout. (Ever tried to prepare a meal while camping? Boy do you start missing your kitchen sink and sterile countertops fast.) Number 3, they are simple to cook and require almost no equipment to take with you. Awesome, right?!!

Here's what you need to prepare your dinners:

Ground Beef (about 1/4 pound per dinner)
Potatoes (about 1/3 of a large potato per dinner)
Baby Carrots
Cream of Mushroom Soup
Salt and Pepper

All amounts used are subject to taste. If you like a lot of meat and aren't too keen on carrots, put more meat and less carrots into your dinner. You will be able to see by my pictures about how much of everything I used and ours turned out fantastic!

Step 1: Par-boil your potatoes and slice them. My potatoes were rather large so it took about 15 minutes to par-boil them.

(Tip: You know your potatoes are ready when you can stick your fork in them without too much difficulty. You don't want them crunchy, but you don't want them super cooked or mushy either.)

Step 2: Form your ground beef patties and season to taste. I sprinkled salt, pepper, and garlic powder on my patties.

Step 3: Slice your onions. I like to cut my slices in half as well.

Step 4: Assemble your dinners on a sheet of aluminum foil. First place your patty on the aluminum foil. Next add your potato slices, then your baby carrots, and your onion slices. Finally top with cream of mushroom soup and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Step 5: Wrap your dinner up in the foil.

Step 6: Wrap your dinner in another sheet of aluminum foil to double wrap it and make sure no food leaks out during cooking. If you want, label the dinners with a sharpie so you can tell whose is whose. (It's always fun to let everyone assemble their own dinners and label them.)

Step 7: Cook your dinner directly on hot coals from your camp fire. Depending on the heat of your coals, the cook time can vary. Our coals were pretty hot so it only took our dinners about 25 minutes to cook. Simply use tongs to grab one out of the fire and check to make sure the meat is cooked through and the vegetables are no longer crunchy to see if they are done.

Once they are finished cooking, simply unwrap your dinner, set it on a paper plate for stability, and eat! Thankfully the aluminum foil cools quickly so you don't have to worry too much about burnt fingers. (Good to Know: You can also cook these in your oven at home, if you are ever so inclined. 1 hour at 375 degrees will get the job done.) Happy camping, everyone!

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