The “Tin Foil Dinner” has been a standby for scout camps, family vacations, and girls camp since cooking in aluminum foil was deemed “acceptable” in the 1940’s. Make one this way, and you’ll be the envy of the great outdoors. Yours is perfectly done while everyone else is waiting for their foil packet to char over the fire.
Have you ever had a child come home with a list of items they will need for a camp or youth activity - that includes that term “Tin Foil Dinner”? Whenever I saw that, I found myself muttering (under my breath, of course) grrrrrreat. I used to view it as a cop-out when my kids were asked to bring the dreaded dinner in foil instead of paying for a meal. I thought it was such an inconvenience.
My husband was a scoutmaster for several years and he had some pretty crazy stories about the sad foil dinners he saw show up at scout camps. That’s what motivated me to think of a new way to get it done.
Look at it this way - the rest of the family has to eat also, right? Foil dinners can help you multi-task, and take care of two meals at once. I use part of a batch of our favorite stew for the foil dinners, and the rest for who is left eating at home.
I start by making a batch of Hunter’s Stew early in the day.
Once it is finished, I put the foil dinners together in a way that saves a lot of grief for everyone involved. I've also included a list of suggestions for other foil-packet type dinners. All you need to add is the wilderness, a starry sky, good company, and a blazing campfire.
For suggestions, directions, and detailed photos of how it's done - go to:
And... just a little FYI: In 1919, the U.S. Foil Company, parent of Reynolds Metals Company was founded in Louisville, Kentucky to produce lead and tin foil. Then in 1926, the company entered the aluminum business, rolling aluminum foil for packaging. That is when "packet" cooking began. Many of their frequently asked questions are answered HERE (such as "should I use the shiny or the dull side?")