These hamburger foil packets (aka “hobo dinner”) are the ultimate campfire comfort food. They are a wonderful summer dinner you can cook on the grill, open fire or even in the oven!
There was a time we all called these foil packet dinners… Hobo dinners? Probably not the most appropriate name for these easy and delicious meals anymore, but this doesn’t change the fact that wrapping your dinner in aluminum foil to be cooked over the fire or grill is the best way to cook while camping!
This foil packet dinner is…
- … super easy to prep
- … a wonderful campfire meal
- … kid-friendly and easy to customize
Ingredients you’ll need
This is just an overview of ingredients – great for quick reference at the grocery store! Skip to the recipe for quantities.
- Potatoes: I used larger new potatoes for this recipe. They tend to cook better in foil packets due to their thinner skin. Whichever you use, make sure to slice them fairly thin (around 1/4 of an inch thick) or they won’t cook through.
- Onions and mushrooms: Can replace these with other vegetables you like, for example slim asparagus stalks or sliced green beans. Can also skip in individual foil packets, eg for picky eaters.
- Beef: I do not recommend extra-lean ground beef for this recipe, it tends to dry out.
A note about the hamburger patties:
The hamburger patties can turn out kind of dry if you overcook these foil packets. I kept the main recipe as simple as possible with minimum ingredients. But if you’re very concerned about too-dry meat, you can top each patty with a slice of butter OR with 1-2 tablespoons condensed cream of chicken soup before sealing the foil packets.
How to make a foil packet dinner
This recipe is incredibly easy to prep! Make the patties, slice the vegetables, assemble the foil packets – and dinner is almost done!
- Make sure you slice the carrots and potatoes fairly thin (around 1/4 of an inch thick), or they won’t cook through at the same speed as the meat.
- Seal the foil packets well, or juices will leak out during cooking and your meal will come out dry.
- Do not under-season the foil packets, or they come out quite bland. You can salvage a too-bland hobo dinner by serving ketchup, seasoned sour cream and/or honey mustard on the side.
Make ahead tips
If you want to assemble this campfire dinner before heading on your trip (to cook as you arrive), you can do so – as long as you keep the ground beef chilled right up until prepping the patties. You’ll also need to keep the foil packets in a well-chilled cooler at all times for a maximum time of 4 hours before cooking them.
This is a great all-in-one camping dinner. We usually have a variety of dipping sauces like ketchup or seasoned sour cream on the side. And I always make sure there’s dessert after so even the biggest eater doesn’t have to go hungry 😉
Watch the recipe video
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For the hamburger patties
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper, or more to taste
For the vegetables
- 1 1/2 pound potatoes, sliced
- 4 large carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- olive oil, to taste
- salt & black pepper, to taste
- dried parsley, to taste
- garlic powder, to taste
- Combine ground beef, Worcestershire sauce and seasoning in a bowl. Mix well and shape into 6 evenly-sized patties.
- Divide potatoes and carrots between 6 large pieces of lightly oiled heavy-duty aluminum foil. Season with salt, pepper, dried parsley and garlic powder.
- Place hamburger patties on vegetables, then top with sliced onions and mushrooms. Season with more salt/pepper/parsley/garlic. Generously drizzle with olive oil, then seal foil packets.
- Grill packets over medium heat, OR cook on hot campfire coals, 15 to 20 minutes per side. Alternatively, bake packets on a baking sheet at 375°F for 45-60 minutes, or until beef patties are done.
The hamburger patties can turn out kind of dry if you overcook these foil packets. I kept the main recipe as simple as possible with minimum ingredients. But if you're very concerned about too-dry meat, you can top each patty with a slice of butter OR with 1-2 tablespoons condensed cream of chicken soup before sealing the foil packets.