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Hobo Dinner Foil Packets

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These hobo dinner foil packets are a simple, easy meal for any time of year. Carrots, potatoes, and onions are topped with a hamburger patty, seasoned and grilled, baked, slow cooked, or cooked over a campfire for a simple, yet delicious meal.

Three hobo dinner foil packets with hamburger patty, carrots, potatoes and onions arranged on a sheet pan.

I love hobo foil dinners. They’re simple, delicious meals with virtually no clean-up.

I have fond memories of making hobo dinners on camping trips and in girl scouts when I was a girl. Back then, they were cooked over a campfire. Today, we do that on our own family camping trips, but I cook these at home on the grill, in the oven, or in our slow cooker much more often than that.

My kids really enjoy these because they get to make their own dinner with their favorite things in them. The best part is that they can be tailored to individual tastes and still make a hearty meal. Not feeling onion? You don’t have to add it, though I really love the flavor it adds to the packs.

What is a foil packet?

Foil packets are a simple way to create a delicious meal. If you ever camped with the girl scouts or boy scouts, you likely made some.

Foil packets are made with a square of aluminum foil that is filled with fresh vegetables and meat, closed up around the food, and cooked via campfire, oven, grill, or in this case even a slow cooker.

They don’t take long to make, and it’s great because each person can individualize their serving size and the contents to suit their appetite!

Easy Hobo Dinner Packets

Vegetables are cooked to tender perfection alongside seasoned hamburger patties. These packets can be individualized to meet people’s tastes and appetites.

Ingredients for the Best Hobo Dinner

  • Ground meat – Lean ground beef is a favorite here. But I’ve definitely used ground venison before as we usually have plenty of that on hand.
  • Carrots – I use baby carrots or I grab a couple of bags of our frozen carrots and thaw them for the packets.
  • Potatoes – My personal favorite is russets chopped into 1″ pieces. But, red potatoes, or baby potatoes that are halved work as well.
  • Onion – This is for flavor, sweet Vidalia works really here. Just quarter up some slices and add a quarter to each packet.
  • Seasonings – Salt, pepper, garlic powder all added to the top to bring out all the delicious flavor of the burger and the vegetables.
  • Butter – This adds flavor and helps everything get nice and tender.

How to Make Hobo Foil Packets

Creating a hobo dinner foil packet meal by placing carrots, potatoes, onions and a hamburger patty on top of foil.

This is a really easy recipe. Begin by pulling off four pieces of heavy-duty foil. Divide the prepared vegetables evenly onto the center of foil for each packet. Generously salt and pepper the vegetables.

Create four hamburger patties with your chosen meat. Place a patty on top of the veggies for each packet. Liberally season each patty with garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Place a pat of butter on top of each hamburger.

Fold foil over to seal foil packs and then cook using the desired method.

How to Cook Hobo Dinners

Hobo Foil Packet Meals On a Campfire

When we take a camping trip, we always cook these over a campfire. It’s a given meal, every single time.

To cook them over the fire, place the foil packets on hot coals at the edge of the fire. Allow them to cook for 45 minutes to an hour. Occasionally, you can carefully flip the packets over so they don’t burn on the underside. Just use some large tongs to flip them. They’re done when the hamburger patty is cooked to 160°F and the vegetables are fork tender.

How to Grill Hobo Dinner Foil Packets

Grilling foil packets is a great option for the summertime when it’s hot outside and you don’t want to heat up the house.

Preheat a grill to medium-high heat, around 450°F. Cook the packets for 20 minutes, carefully flip the packets over, and cook for an additional 20 minutes.

Cooking Hobo Dinners in an Oven

Cooler weather means we are indoors more and the oven is generally used on a daily basis.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the packets on a sheet pan and bake for one hour, flipping once.

How to Slow Cook Foil Packets

Yes, these can even be put in the slow cooker! This is great for days when you’re going to be busy and want dinner on the table when you get home because it’s a whole meal!

Assemble each packet as described, seal them up, and place each packet in the slow cooker. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Tender, yummy veggies, cooked burger and not as much heat as from an oven and you can have dinner on the table by 5 without even being home.

How to Make Ahead Foil Packets

Making a foil packet with carrots, potatoes, and hamburger.

You can make these foil packet dinners ahead of time for camping trips, dinner later, or whatever your needs are.

Simply assemble and seal each packet and place it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to cook them.

I do not recommend freezing these packets, but you could use frozen vegetables in place of fresh. However, let the vegetables thaw slightly before assembling the packets.

Hobo Dinner Recipe Variations

  • Green bell peppers, mushrooms, fresh green beans, parsnips, or your favorite vegetables can be added to these packets for even more flavor. The bell peppers and mushrooms are fantastic in this!
  • You can stuff the burger patties with a mixture of mozzarella and jack cheese for a nice, cheesy center that adds a lot of flavors.
  • You can substitute any ground meat in place of ground beef. As I mentioned, I often use ground venison. Even ground chicken, ground turkey, ground buffalo, etc can be used with excellent results. When I use ground venison, I add 2 teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce to the meat before making the patties.
Three hobo dinner foil packets with hamburger patty, carrots, potatoes and onions arranged on a sheet pan.
Yield: Serves 4

Hobo Dinner Foil Packets

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

These simple hobo packets come together easily with just 4 ingredients, some foil and a campfire, oven, grill, or even a slow cooker.

Ingredients

  • 1 Lb Ground Beef
  • 1 Lb Potatoes, Cubed into 1" Pieces
  • 8 Carrots, Peeled and Coined into 1" Slices
  • 1 Large Onion, Quartered
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 4 Tbsp Butter

Instructions

  1. Begin by cubing potatoes into 1" pieces, slicing carrots, quartering an onion, dividing the ground meat into 4 pieces, and creating 4 patties.
  2. Measure out 4 slices of heavy-duty aluminum foil.
  3. Divide the vegetables between the four slices of foil and generously salt and pepper.
  4. Place the hamburger patty on top of the vegetables. Sprinkle garlic powder, salt, and pepper on top of each patty. Then place a tablespoon of butter on top before sealing up each foil packet.


Campfire Instructions

Place sealed packets on the edge of campfire on hot coals, cooking 45 to 60 minutes carefully flipping occasionally until vegetables are fork tender and hamburger is cooked through.

Grill Instructions


Preheat grill to 450°F. Place packets directly on grill, grilling for 20 minutes on each side or until cooked through.

Oven Instructions


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place sealed foil packets on a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes. Flip the packets and bake an additional 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender and meat is cooked to 160°F.

Slow Cooker Instructions


Place sealed packets in a large crockpot. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.

    Notes

    You can individualize each packet depending upon the individual's tastes and appetite which make these appealing meals.

    Cooking times, of course, will vary depending on how large (or small) each packet is.

    If using ground venison or other wild game, adding 2 teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce to the ground meat before making the patties can help the flavor of the meat become milder.

    Nutrition Information:

    Yield:

    4

    Serving Size:

    1

    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 565Total Fat: 32gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 131mgSodium: 406mgCarbohydrates: 35gFiber: 6gSugar: 6gProtein: 35g

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    Kate

    Tuesday 20th of September 2022

    How long would you put in in the slow cooker on high?

    Danielle McCoy

    Wednesday 21st of September 2022

    Four hours on high.

    Cindy Jenkins

    Wednesday 22nd of April 2020

    Perfect! Our oven has been out of commission for a few weeks so I am getting mighty creative with the slow cooker. This recipe made for a wonderful dinner. Thank you!

    Danielle McCoy

    Thursday 23rd of April 2020

    So glad you enjoyed it!

    Olivia

    Tuesday 12th of November 2019

    Hello! Can i use canned veggies for this?

    Danielle McCoy

    Tuesday 12th of November 2019

    Hi Olivia,

    You could use canned veggies if you wanted to just warm them up and add them in at the last minute, but I wouldn't recommend putting them in the packets and cooking them all day as they would be extremely mushy and overcooked. The slow cooker will cook them up slowly over the day, if you wanted a quicker way to a packet instead of having to chop everything up, you could use frozen vegetables, but the water content would be higher and may not yield the same results.

    Caroline Kondo

    Friday 10th of August 2018

    Hi Danielle,

    Thank you for the recipe share.Do I put water in the slow cooker ?or it should be dry I am afraid of cracking it.

    Danielle McCoy

    Friday 10th of August 2018

    Hi Caroline, you don't need to add any water to the crockpot.

    Joy | Yummy Seconds

    Friday 8th of April 2016

    This looks tasty and easy to make. Found you through #WAYWOW Social Media Blast Linkup Just Pin It. Thanks for sharing. Stumbling to share.

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