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How to Use Aluminum Foil to Eat Well While Camping

Updated on July 23, 2011

Planning a Campsite Meal

Eating well while camping can be a challenge. Once you have the right containers, cookware and fire-starting skills, you need to plan what you are going to eat.

Choose Your Campsite Meals Well Ahead of Time

What you choose to eat will decide how well you eat. That seems too simple but it isn’t. You must choose items that you have the ability to easily make. These food items have to prepare well when cold or they must be very easy to cook. Think this over well before you go shopping.

Cook Meat on a Campfire with Aluminum Foil

One great cooking tool to have when camping is aluminum foil. Foil dramatically increases the number of successful meals you can easily make. Steak, chicken, pork and fish wrapped in foil will cook efficiently when set onto hot coals. As always, some know-how is involved. Extremely hot coals will cook the meat very quickly. Think of the coals just like you would a stove and “set the cooking temperature” by arranging the meat in the right area of coals.

Season Your Campsite Meal

The best part about cooking with aluminum foil is that you can add the seasonings along with the meat. Onions, pepper, garlic, butter, salt or any other flavoring should be put into the foil right at the beginning. This creates a great marinade as the vegetable and seasonings mix with the juices created by cooking meat. The foil keeps the juices inside, further “steaming” the ingredients.

Cooking Times for Aluminum Foil on a Campfire

How long to cook your meat is something that takes experience. Knowing how hot coals are relative to cooking time must be learned. If you are not sure, check the meat a few times while cooking. Checking too often will ruin the foil. Meats will take at least twenty minutes. If it is burned in only twenty minutes, you used coals that were much too hot. Coals of this temperature might even degrade the foil. Avoid super-hot coals. Hot to medium-hot coals will cook the meat in twenty to forty minutes. Size does matter. A large salmon will take longer than a small trout.

Using Aluminum Foil to Cook Vegetables on a Campfire

Vegetables can be cooked pretty much the same way. Potatoes, and thick bodied gourds will take an hour to cook. Cut them or poke holes in them to prevent them from popping, which can be dangerous to people sitting around the fire. For lighter vegetables like onions, peppers, zucchini and other, similar vegetables will cook in twenty to thirty minutes. Fruits will always cook faster.

Hassle-Free Campsite Meal

Cooking with aluminum foil may get you as close to a hassle-free hot meal as you can get while camping. The ingredients are mixed and seasoned at the start and then simply left to bake. Campers are free to enjoy the great outdoors while the food is cooking on its own. The meals created can be very high quality. Using this method has a good chance of making a campout much more enjoyable.

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    • Brad Beard profile imageAUTHOR

      Brad Beard 

      7 years ago from Tampa Bay, Florida

      Thanks Phil,

      You can try this on a grill too. The foil might not be as necessary when there's not contact with coals but you can try it for cooking the meat and veggies together.

    • Phil Plasma profile image

      Phil Plasma 

      7 years ago from Montreal, Quebec

      Excellent tip about the aluminum foil. I am not a camper but like the idea of it - someday maybe, and this hub will be of use. With that I've given you a vote-up and useful.

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