Campfire Foil Cooking
Campfire foil cooking is one of the easiest forms of campfire cooking. While some types of campfire cooking requires equipment such as dutch ovens, tripods or racks, this form of cooking can be done anywhere, on any fire and is cheap and easy. All you need is food to cook and some heavy duty aluminum foil.
What is it?
Campfire foil cooking is using aluminum foil as a package to cook your food, at the same time protecting your food from the fire and allowing it to steam and cook in its own juices, maintaining maximum flavor and keeping the food juicy and tender. Basically, you are wrapping food in foil packets which then cook on or near a fire. Unlike grilling, the food isn't directly grilled over the fire and smoke doesn't get into your food. So it won't create grill marks and caramelization on the food, if that is your goal. You can think of it more like stewing or steaming the food. It is like one-pot cooking for your campfire. It is an excellent option to cook vegetables but works well for just about everything.
How to do it?
- First of all, for campfire foil cooking you need some food you want to cook and you need aluminum foil.
- If possible, try to use heavy duty aluminum foil which is thicker and won't tear or burn as easily. If none is available, consider double or triple wrapping your food in regular foil to protect it.
- Lay out a large piece of foil and place the food you want to steam or stew in the center. This can be any combination of vegetables, meat, poultry, etc. Add any seasonings or herbs you want to help flavor the food. I find that aromatic herbs like thyme and bay along with aromatic root vegetables like onions work wonders. The juices steam inside, perfusing the rest of the food with fragrant aromas.
- It helps to add a bit of liquid. I usually drizzle with olive oil but a pat or two of butter, or even a splash of wine or stock would be great too.
- Season with salt and pepper
- When all your ingredients, seasonings and herbs are in the foil, wrap up the sides to create a bowl and then pinch or fold the foil together at the top. This will ensure that the liquid doesn't all drip out and remains in the packet to steam the food and infuse the most flavor.
- When your fire is ready, place the foil packet near the fire, close enough so that within a few minutes you can hear the liquid starting to steam and bubble inside. Do not put the foil directly into the fire as the foil will become brittle or even burn and can pop open and you'll loose all your food in the fire! So keep it close enough to cook, but not directly in the heat.
- With campfire foil cooking, cooking time will vary depending on the types of food, the heat of your fire and the size of your package. But because the boiling liquid in the package steams the food inside, the cooking is generally pretty quick. Experiment. You can always open the pack and use a fork to test the doneness of the food and wrap it back up if it needs more time. Generally, harder vegetables like carrots and potatoes need a bit more time to cook and soften.
Experiment and have fun coming up with new combinations of things to cook in a foil pack. Have fun at your next camping trip or cookout!
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