Make this easy chicken foil dinner before your next camping trip and your first meal will be ready to be grilled at the campsite or at home.
Meals for camping trips need to be easy and tidy for me to enjoy camping. I don’t want to be working too much to enjoy the experience (cooking and cleaning up is so much harder camping!). So preparing ahead is totally worth it to make sure we eat well with as little fuss as possible.
If you feel the same way then I think you’re going to love this chicken foil dinner our family tested out on this camping vacation. It was such a hit that it became a staple of our camping trips in our vintage trailer.
Make Chicken Foil Dinner Packets
I had made hamburger foil packets in the past which where okay and since I don’t like to deal with raw meat camping, I really wanted to see how a pre-made chicken foil packet would turn out. I added potatoes, onion, and corn since we had some from the garden, but green beans would be a nice alternative.
Assemble the packets:
- On four to eight heavy duty, oiled, pieces of foil pile chopped potatoes, onions, and a half ear of corn-on-the-cob (fresh or frozen).
- Rub the corn with melted butter and sprinkled with a Basic Spice Rub.
- Sprinkle the vegetables with more of the rub, too.
- Lay a boneless, skinless chicken thigh on top of the potatoes and dust it with more rub.
- Seal the edges all nice and tight, but still leaving a little room for steam.
- Refrigerate (or freeze – see tip below) until you need to pack for camp.
You could use small chicken breasts, too, but I thought they might take longer to cook because they are thicker, so I went with the thighs.
- Make the packets a few hours or days ahead, whatever works for your schedule. I actually made them a couple days before we left and threw them in the freezer. I wasn’t sure how the potatoes would come out after being frozen, but they were great!
- If freezing, put the pouches in ziplock baggies because a few leaked as they were defrosting in the ice box (luckily they didn’t get on anything!).
Cooking foil packets:
- Cook 5 inches from the fire, 15 minutes on one side and 15 minutes on the other.
No campsite is the same and we had to use the stationary grate at this one, so they were closer than 5 inches, as you can see above. We just turned them a little more often, moving them around because of hot spots. In the end, the packets took about 20-25 minutes on this trip – and they were still a little frozen when we put them on the fire.
They still turned out great, though I’ll be honest and say the bottoms of the corn and a few potatoes were a bit charred. If you can get 5 or so inches from the fire, they cook better. A cooking tripod with a grate like this would be a good way to adjust the distance from the fire.
Like I said, we all think this finished meal is TASTY.
Meal Planning Tip: I always make this our first night’s meal camping, it’s such a great way to start a trip. After you set up all you have to do is get the fire going and dinner will be in 1/2 hour without any “cooking.” Throw together a salad while they are cooking and dinner is done!
Brian and the kids called the first run through a success, asking right away for me to make them every time we go camping. Don’t you love the sound of success?
- 4 large pieces of heavy duty (or double-thick) aluminum foil
- 4 small potatoes, chopped
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2 ears corn, cut in half (frozen cobs are okay)
- butter, melted
- Basic Spice Rub (or spices of choice)
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (if using breasts, pound the thickest parts flat)
- To assemble: Lay out the pieces of foil and oil the centers of each.
- In the center of each piece of foil pile the potatoes and onions.
- Brush corn cobs with melted butter and place next to the potatoes. Sprinkle everything with the spice rub (or spices).
- Lay the chicken atop the potatoes and onions and sprinkle with more spice rub.
- Seal the edges all nice and tight, but leave a little room for steam. If taking camping, put the pouches in ziplock baggies in case of leakage (which did happen).
- Cook right away or freeze to take camping to be used the first 1-2 days.
- To cook: Cook thawed packets 5 inches from the fire/coals, 15 minutes on one side and 15 minutes on the other. If they are closer because of stationary grate at the campsites, just turned them a little more often and move them to avoid hot spots. In this case, they might cook closer to the 20 minute mark, so you'll have to be checking after this point (it's okay if they are still partially frozen, they seemed to cook the same amount of time over the hotter campsite fire).
More easy grilling recipes you may like:
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