3 Gourmet Tinfoil Dinners for Camping or Dinner at Home

Picture of Gabrielle Nau

Gabrielle Nau

Tin foil dinners can be as easy or as difficult as you would like. For my family, we usually make these or prepare them before a camping trip. We believe that just because you’re going camping (or in our case, glamping) you don’t have to compromise a gourmet meal! These tin foil dinners take a little bit of home preparation, but will be worth the extra thirty minutes.

These dinners have not only brought my family closer together on camping trips, but have been our favorite part of camping. There is something about a great meal and the outdoors that just compliment each other.  So if you are looking to cause some dinner envy among boy scouts, or just want the feeling of home away from home, these tin foil dinners may just be for you!

Shrimp Boil Foil Packs

This recipe is perfect for those who love Cajun seasoned meals, or are seafood boil fans! It is an easy, but tasty boil that can bring the spice of the Caribbean right to your bonfire. It combines the zest of Old Bay seasoning with the tang of juicy lemons.

To begin this recipe, you will need the following ingredients:

  • Shrimp
  • Corn on the cob
  • Andouille sausage
  • Baby red potatoes or baby yellow potatoes
  • Old Bay seasoning or homemade seasoning
  • Salt and pepper
  • Minced garlic
  • Lemons
  • Butter
  • Fresh parsley

After you have assembled all of your ingredients, you will want to begin by boiling the potatoes and corn. This will give them a head start since they take a little longer to cook than the rest of the items. Before boil them however, you will want to husk your corn, cut them in thirds or fourths, and then again in half vertically. You will then chop your potatoes into two-inch pieces, and then boil the corn and the potatoes for ten minutes. After you have completed that task, you will set them aside.

You will then combine shrimp, sausage, corn, and potatoes in a large bowl. In a small bowl, mix three tablespoons of butter, Old Bay seasoning, garlic, lemon juice, and salt and pepper. Pour this mixture over the shrimp, sausage, corn, and potatoes and stir to coat. It is better to have them marinate for an hour, but if you do not have the time that’s okay! 

When wrapping a tin foil dinner, you want to make it impossible for the food, or juices to escape. A method I suggest is the hershey kiss method.

To do this, you will place your food in the center of a 12×12 inch sheet of aluminum foil. Then you will grab all four corners of the foil, and gather them at the top. Be sure that your food isn’t spilling out of the sides! Once you’ve gathered all your sides, you are going to twist them together. This will create a teardrop, or hershey kiss shape. After you’ve completed that, double check that there aren’t any holes or spots where the food can slip out while cooking. Sometimes double wrapping is necessary.

Prepare Your Coals

Get a basic fire going and let it burn for 20-30 minutes before you try to place your meal on it. You want to make sure that the coals are exposed enough on your fire that you can safely place your meal down with tongs (if you have them) or place them down with your hands. You want to make sure that the coals are glowing before you place your meal on top. If it’s still light out, you may not be able to see the glow from the coals. A good indication to go by is to watch for the white ash that begins to accumulate at the top of the coals. When your coals are white or glowing hot, you are ready to begin cooking your meal.

Put the foil dinner over your coals for about 15-20 minutes, and you will be met with a beautiful shrimp boil!

Sriracha Honey Salmon Foil Pack

This recipe is a spicy sweet meal for those who enjoy a little kick. It comprises the subtle yet sweet flavor of pink salmon, and the caramelized flavor of honey. It finishes with a fiery kick of Sriracha.

To begin this meal, you will need the following ingredients:

  • Wild salmon (filets)
  • 1 ear of corn
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • 1 cup halved grape tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon sriracha
  • 1/2 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Sesame seeds and/or chopped chives for garnish

Combine all of your vegetables into a large bowl, and in a separate little bowl mix together honey, soy sauce, sriracha, vinegar, oil and garlic. Next, you will want to lay out your aluminum foil, and divide your veggies equally for your guest. You will then take your salmon and lay it down over your veggies. It is important to lay it down this way because you will pour your sauce over each piece of salmon evenly. Once you’ve done that, the salmon will absorb the flavor, and any extra sauce will be absorbed by the vegetables.

Wrap it Up

Place your salmon and veggies on top of your foi then grab one side, and fold it over.

Grab the other side, and fold it over as well.

After you have done that, you will grab one of the horizontal ends and fold it over.

You will do the same on the other side.

When you finish, you will place it into the fire. It should look a bit like this!

Once you’ve gathered the sides of the foil and wrapped your foil dinner well, place your dinner over the coals for 15 minutes. Take off and enjoy!

Hawaiian Barbecue Foil Pack

Bring the islands to your next camping trip! This recipe flirts with the tangy sweet flavor of the pineapple, along with the caramelized velvety-ness of barbecued chicken.

For this recipe you will need:

  • Boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup Sweet Baby Ray’s Barbecue sauce
  • 1 1/5 ounce can pineapple slices including juice
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon garlic
  • 1 red bell pepper cut into cubes
  • 2 medium zucchinis sliced
  • Green onions for garnish

First you are going to get your foil sheets out and place the veggies and chicken in the middle. Then you will place 2-3 pineapple slices in each pack. In a bowl, mix together the barbecue sauce, juice from the pineapple can, soy sauce, and garlic. Spread about two tablespoons of the sauce on the chicken and leave about ¼ cup of the sauce to the side. Wrap up your dinner just like the Salmon and place your chicken packets onto your coals for 11-15 minutes, flipping halfway through. Then take it off the fire and serve with the extra sauce and green onions. Enjoy!

To cook your tinfoil dinners at home, simply replace the coals and fire with the middle rack in a preheated 350° oven.

It is important to remember that these dinners will turn out different for everyone who tries them. Make sure that you check on the food while it is in the fire. Sometimes the dinners cook quickly, and sometimes they cook leisurely. Pay attention to how they smell, and bring metal tongs to check on the meals regularly.

These recipes have been fun for my family and I. We often spend time preparing the meals together, and even have them on days where we aren’t camping! They are meals that bring families together. Each recipe provides unique flavors that are difficult to find boring. The next time you go out camping, I encourage you to give your taste buds an adventure too!

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