It is time for another installment of the Camping Gluten Free series from Becca of Going Free and myself about camping food cooked up gluten and diary free! This week it is my turn to share about foil dinners.
Foil dinners are a classic camping staple. Wrap some food up in foil, toss it on the fire, then eat a delicious meal, how hard can it be? BUT you can end up with undercooked potatoes or a burnt meal which is no fun in the woods. There are a few things you can do to minimize any problems with your meals:
- Use heavy duty foil and double up. Yes, it is a lot of foil, but you don’t want any ashes migrating to your chicken or any delicious juices from your dinner leaking onto the fire.
- Don’t want foil touching your food? No problem! Simply place a piece of baking parchment on the foil, add your food, the wrap the parchment around your food before sealing the foil. Easy-peasy!
- When placing your food on the foil, you will usually place the meat on the bottom as it takes the longest to cook.
- Par-cook any potatoes (unless very thinly sliced) you are adding to the packet.
- Cook your foil packet over a hot bed of coals, preferably on a grate, NOT in the fire itself. If placing foil packet directly on the coals, you want a bed of coals about 2″ thick. I often need to cook over fire, but use a grate and wait for the fire to die back a bit from the initial giant flames, placing the packets on the grate over the areas of the the most red-hot coals and lower flames. Flames should not be surrounding the packets.
- When cooking meat, be sure to include some high-moisture veggies like tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, summer squash, etc. This keeps the meat from drying out.
- Cooking times depend on how hot the fire is and the kind of food in the packet. I generally err on cooking longer, starting at 15 minutes on the first side, then 10 on the other before I open the packet to see how the food is cooking.
- When opening the packet, BE CAREFUL! Don’t let small children open the packets by themselves as the packets are full of HOT steam. Ouch!
- Whenever possible, pre-assemble you packets at home. (However, do not pre-assemble packets with eggs.) This is so nice for clean up. After sealing the packets, place in gallon sized-freezer bags with the contents labeled on the bag. You can also assemble and freeze the packets ahead of time (however, do not freeze packets with potatoes or eggs). If we are gone for a long weekend trip, I will have the packets for a couple days in frozen and in a bag before adding to the cooler. This helps keep the cooler cold, and the meat in the packets from getting to an unsafe temp.
Hash-Brown, Sausage and Egg Foil Packetone small potato per person2 gluten free sausage links per person (I usually use turkey, but any is fine)1 egg per personoilsalt & pepperGrate potatoes. Drizzle a bit of oil on potatoes and season with salt and pepper. Toss grated potatoes to coat. Place potatoes on the foil. Push into a flat square with the edges slightly raised to keep the egg in. Put one sausage on each end of the potatoes. Crack open an egg and place onto of the potatoes. Close the foil. Place over hot coals and cook for about 15-20 minutes.
1/4 pound ground beef per person1/2 small potato, thinly sliced per personone slice of onion per person (cut the onion into rings and use a whole slice that isn’t broken apart)salt and pepper to tasteShape ground beef into a patty and place in the center of the foil and season with salt and pepper. Place potatoes on top of the patty (overlapping slightly) then put the onion on top. Seal packet. Cook over hot coals for 25-30 minutes.
Pizza Chicken1 boneless skinless chicken breast per person or 2 boneless skinless chicken thighs3 tablespoons gluten and dairy free pizza or spaghetti sauce1/4 cup chopped zucchini1-2 tablespoon gluten and dairy free cheese substitute of choice, optionalPound the chicken to flatten (flattening will help the chicken cook more evenly and quickly) then place in the center of the foil. Top chicken evenly with pizza sauce and zucchini then sprinkle with cheese substitute if using. Seal packet. Place over hot coals and cook for about 30 minutes.
1 banana with peel still on per person1-2 tablespoons mini marshmallows per person1-2 tablespoons gluten and dairy free chocolate chips per personLay out your double layer of foil. Cut the long way into a banana (with peel still on!!) almost, but not completely through. Stuff with chocolate and mini marshmallows. Fold foil around your creation, sealing well. We fold and crimp the edges. Put on grate over fire. Roast for a few minutes, then flip. After a couple of more minutes, carefully remove foil packet from fire and check if marshmallows and chocolate are melted and banana cooked. If they are, scoop the resulting yummy-ness out with a spoon and eat!
Need other camping food or camp food ideas? I have more here.
Do you backpack, car camp or head to a camp-type facility with a kitchen? What are your favorite camping foods?
Camping Gluten Free – Gluten Free/Dairy Free
Camping never tasted so good!
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What was I cooking…
A year ago: Taco Corn Fritters
Two years ago: We now return you to your regular scheduled program…
Three years ago: No menu plan Monday today, just the 3-day walk training schedule
Four years ago: WCCO story on the gluten and dairy free diet.
Five years ago: Girl Scout Camp 2007
Six years ago: GFCF Girl Scout Fun!