Cooking with tinfoil is a convenient and effective way to cook on the campfire without the use of pots, pans, stoves, or cooking spits. With just a few small sheets of aluminum foil, you can cook fish, chicken, beef, corn, potatoes, and many other foods.
Aluminum foil cooking is also a good idea even if you have a Dutch over or pots and pans. For example, you can quickly and easily line your cookware with foil for a quick clean-up between foods. This is especially handy when cleaning water is sparse and you don’t want your peach cobbler to taste like chicken!
It’s best to use the heavy duty foil to avoid punctures or tears, but if you don’t have any on-hand, just double the thickness of standard foil. Cooking with tinfoil can be aggravating if you have tears in the foil or if you’ve folded it wrong. These holes allow the heat to escape and can add to the cooking time, and it can also allow the moisture to escape making the food drier and less tasty. Sealing the food in the foil is the key to success when cooking with tinfoil.
One of the best ways to cook food in sealed foil is to place them right on a hot bed of coals. This means that the fire has died down and the logs and sticks have been reduced to glowing embers. This provides a more uniform heat and is an effective way to cook with foil.
Below are 7 easy steps to fold the tinfoil so that you can seal it around your food. To get started, cut out a piece of foil that will be large enough to comfortably surround your meal. If you’re using thin gauge aluminum foil, you might want to double it up for extra thickness. Don’t be skimpy with the amount of foil, it’s better to have a nice sealed pouch with room to spare than it is to have a tight packet that has lost its seal. You may want to practice at home on a potato before you try it in the woods on your next camping trip.
Step 1: Once you have a piece ready, place your food in the center of the foil.
Step 2: Bring the sides of the foil up loosely over the food. The two ends of the foil should be sticking up 1-1.5” as pictured.
Step 3: Next, you’re going to fold the ends of the foil down approximately ½”and crease together. Fold the top down again on itself.
Step 4: Now you’re going to fold the top down flat against the top surface and flatten out the two ends of the foil by pressing them together.
Step 5: After the ends are flat from the above step, fold the corners over almost as-if you’re making the nose of a paper airplane.
Step 6: Fold the pointed ends over about ½”. Fold them over a second time.
Step 7: Your food is now ready to be cooked on the coals. If you went through the steps correctly, you’ve double-folded along the length and both ends of the pouch. This created a good seal and will keep the heat and moisture in the pouch.
Cooking with tinfoil can be used for many different foods. For a baked potato, take a fork and poke some holes in the potato. Add some butter and pepper and allow to cook buried in the coals for 30-40 minutes. Fish fillets can take anywhere from 5-10 minutes on each side to cook depending on the size. Corn on the cob can be done in only 10 minutes. Another idea is to get a roll of ready-made biscuit dough. These can take 5-10 minutes on the coals…make sure to turn them to heat evenly.