Wednesday, February 24, 2010

How To...Make Tin Foil Dinners

Sarah is here again with a great tutorial. Check out her bio on the columnists page.

I confess I never had a tin foil dinner until I was married. I was not a boy/girl scout nor did my family camp...ever. In fact once we rented a motor home for an over night trip only to spend the night in a hotel.

(This is sadly true. I'm not sure how Mountain Man and I ever got together.)

Alas, I married to a husband whose combined love of the outdoors and saving money has shown me the benefits of camping. Tin foil dinners, marshmallows, and dutch ovens are the reason I camp, that and air mattresses.

Tin foil dinners are easy to make in the oven or in a camp fire. They're a lot like beef stew--just throw in whatever you have or want.

I usually go with:
Ground beef
Cream of Mushroom Soup
Salt and pepper

To make:

Tear off 12-15 inches of tin foil. Start with a patty of beef, sprinkle with salt and pepper, top with onions.
Then add whatever else you have in your cupboards. Be careful with cheese, as it can melt and make a mess. I like Parmesan because it gives the flavor without a lot of melted goo.
Make sure to double wrap your dinner.
If they are personalized, label them.

To cook in a campfire, make sure you keep them in the hot coals and not in the flames. Keep turning them until they are done. Every fire is different and there is no real exact cooking time. Just keep checking until the potatoes and carrots are done and the meat is no longer pink.

Cooking in the oven more specific. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes or until the potatoes are done.
Making tin foil dinners can be a fun family activity. It's like personal pizzas, except you don't have to make the dough. Enjoy!


Wendy said...

Every year at girl's camp (it seems) we were required to bring our own tin foil dinner for the first evening meal. And every year, no matter how long I waited, my meal was always raw. I'm sure that at 14, I just wasn't patient enough.

So here's the real confession. Now, I send my boys to their scout camps with a PRE-COOKED tin foil dinner. That way rawness or patience aren't ever issues. And one year - my oldest's tin foil was stuffed with chicken nuggets and fries (that I picked up right before he left). I thought it would be the hit of the night - but an older wiser mother sent a box of pizza for everyone.

Thanks for your wonderful blog!


Daughter of God said...

we do tinfoil dinners at least 10 times over the summers. We always go up the canyon and do them in the fire. We also do the meat with the soup. I also like to do half and half, have cream of chicken and half ceam of mushroom, sooo yummy. I've also done meatballs. very yummy. My favorite is chicken with the half and half with potatoes and lots and lots of green and red peppers, it's to die for really. The peppers don't get too soggie waiting for the chicken to get done, I don't know why.
Glad you tried it, keep experimenting. :]

Sharron said...

If you want to cut down on the cooking time,break or cut your meat up into bite size pieces and cut the veggies into smaller pieces. Mix it all together and the flavors blend as it cooks.

I also lay at least a couple of cabbage leaves on the top and bottom. It helps add moisture with out the extra fat in the cream soups and prevent burning if the dinners aren't turned often enough. Plenty of kids at camp who wrinkled their noses at the cabbage have been caught eating it when it was done!

I also love to try all kinds of the spice blends that are in the stores now.

StrivingSimply said...

We always called these silver turtles. I haven't had them in so long! I'm definitely going to have them once the weather eases up.

Shane and Brandi said...

We love doing these when we go camping. We do chicken a lot more than hamburger. My kids and husband love these.

Sarah said...

Thanks for all the tips. I am definitely a tin foil novice but I am excited to do some more experimenting if it ever gets warm again.

connie said...

With two teenage sons and a scout er husband I make alot of these too. I also am a pre cooked foil dinner maker. It is asked for over and over- meatloaf cut into cubes with lots of BBQ sauce all over them. Then a packet of prebaked, buttered, and seasoned potatoes. These get warmed up on the coals and are much loved.

Maran said...

My family loves polska kielbosa with potatoes, onions and carrots. The polska adds great flavor, plus it cooks quickly. As others have mentioned, we slice our veggies pretty thin so they cook faster.

DeAna said...

Wow, these look really really yummy and super easy!

Great idea for camping. Thanks for sharing!