Man Mondays: Tin Foil Dinners

Note: Be sure to enter our giveaway for a FREE total blog revamp/design!!

Last week, I reminisced a bit about my childhood. Well, that got me thinking about other meals I had in my wee little days. One of those meals was tin foil dinners. What’s that you say? You’ve never heard of those? Let me enlighten you a bit. Here is the definition I found in the Zactionary: “tin-foil dinners: a conglomerate of delicious foods stuffed inside a pocket of foil and placed on/near hot coals or briquettes until cooked.”

It’s really very simple, but it yields amazing results. This is why: What happens when you grill something? A lot of the tasty juices run off and drip into oblivion. What happens when all those tasty drippings are trapped inside a Christmas gift of foil? You get a juicy mix of meat and veggies that don’t lose an ounce of deliciousness.

I liked these so much on our family camping trips back in the day, that even when I wasn’t camping I would eat them. True story. In 6th grade I made one for myself and cooked it on a homemade, miniature fire in my backyard. I was a weird kid.

Disclaimer: the ingredient amounts and even the varieties can be adjusted according to your desires. As listed, you should be able to get about 4 individually wrapped dinners.


  • 1-1/2 lbs ground beef
  • 4 large carrots, chopped
  • 4 large potatoes, diced
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms (optional)
  • seasoning salt and pepper, to taste
  • tin foil
  1. So easy – Divide the meat into fourths, and put each portion into flat sheets (about 12 inch square) of foil. 
  2. Pile a desired amount of the remaining ingredients into your own individual meal.
  3. Be very generous with the salt when seasoning your uncooked pocket of awesome. Put more than you think you will need. Somehow, the salt kinda disappears during the cooking process, so be generous.
  4. When the foil dinner is built according to your desires, wrap it up in the foil much like you would wrap a present. When it’s nice and sealed all around, I typically wrap it again, upside-down. This ensures it’s sealed, but also keeps it from burning.
  5. Place your dinner very close to (or even directly on) a pile of hot coals/briquettes. Cook for approximately 10 minutes, flipping halfway through.
I usually like to enjoy my meal with a side of unadulterated manliness; however, if you are like my wife, go ahead and ruin it by drizzling ketchup all over your meal. Kinda like steak, it should be good enough on its own already. Unless your steak tastes awful… if so, go ahead and put as much steak sauce or ketchup you need to in order to hide the suckiness. Regardless, with or without ketchup, you’ll love this meal. *Zach walks away and grumbles something about getting off his soap box before he loses followers*

Linking up here.


  1. says

    Yum! I love tin-foil dinners. I do a mix of red potatoes, yellow squash, onions, garlic, seasonings and butter every summer.

    I’d love it if you would link this (and a couple other recipes if you’d like) up to Wonderful Food Wednesday at: I hope you can stop by.

    Jessica @ At Home Take 2

  2. says

    Thank you for reminding me of one of the best tips I learned from Girl Scouts. Why can’t I update those with a little flavor? Saw this on What’s Cooking Wed. and had to click.

    • says


      Honestly, I’ve never tried this in the oven. However, we have chicken tin foil dinner that we put in the oven for about 15-20 minutes at 425 degrees. I can imagine the same method would work just fine with your traditional foil dinners.


  3. says

    A sheet of newspaper in between the two sheets of tinfoil prevents burning of the food. The newspaper will be “carbonised” but the food won’t burn and stick. From an old, old scouter. You can also vary the ingredients. Let your imagination run wild. I like chicken, broccoli, onions, garlic, soy sauce and wasabi powder!

    • says

      It’s still raw. :) personally, I like to tear off bits of the raw ground beef and mix it in with the veggies instead of doing a patty. It will probably cook faster too! :)


    • says

      If you cook this in the oven it works at 350 degrees for 1 hr. Hope that helps. Raw hamburger is dangerous, you want to have it cooked Well Done.

  4. Valerie Valicento says

    I don’t have a grill, so if I make it in the oven, what temperature and for how long? This reminds me of my Girl Scout stew that I made at camp and I’ve been looking for the recipe forever.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *