Oh dear God, everyone of your recipes makes my mouth water. But now I’ve tried this, we went “camping” and did this and it wus AWESOME! Thank you so much, it tasted like winter and fire and awesomeness, I love you <3
Awesome. I’m doing this with my friends. It’s a great alternative to having a barbecue. Even the weak malnourished vegetarians can join in and it’s great for the cold since there’s a fire. I might put whisky in a pouch.
Why serve over rice? Why not just precook the rice and add a scoop in with all the other ingredients? Also, what do you use to label the pouches? Just a simple Sharpie? I want to be sure to use something that will survive the fire.
hi just a little question how did you prepare and insert the ground beef just in balls or how? just curious to how you did the ground beef I was thinking of making them into meat balls or something but if you could tell me how you prepared them i would deeply appreciate it.
Your blog is fantastic. I stumbledupon here using the cooking channel, and this site has been an island of awesome in the sea of boring housewife cooking blogs that focus on nothing but cupcakes….Keep it up!
Love this! My dad makes hobo dinners. He takes foil, covers with a bed of onions, tops with a hamburger patty, sliced carrots and potatoes, seals the foil and sets them on the grill. When done we smother with ketchup and it’s amazing. I’m so happy that other people understand the greatness of a “hobo meal”!!!
Now, I saw the post about syrup, so I am not judging or criticizing, just a suggestion.
I noticed you had store bought spicy ranch in the picture. Instead of buying both regular and spicy ranch, I like to just add Sriracha to regular ranch when I want it to be spicy. This way I can buy regular ranch at a bulk price instead of both and you can make it as spicy as you want it to be.
To all those wondering if the meat needs to be pre-cooked: No. You can make meat balls or patties with the ground beef, they should do just fine. If you want to put chunks of steak (we get it on the cheap as stew meat) or chicken, make sure the pieces are 2″x2″ or less. We used to also put dollops of cream of whatever soup into our packets. Yum.
We had a cookout last night and it was amazing! You can probably skip the spicy ranch if you chop some jalapenos, ’cause it sure got hot. We also added some butter to the pouches and the vegetables were extra tasty! Thank you so much for the recipe! It amazed us all
I totally forgot about these until a few years ago. I originally learned about them while in Boy Scouts a damn long time ago. This is all right there in the BSA (Boy Scouts of America) handbook, too. The Girl Scouts know of it as well. Anyways, I began doing these again a few years ago, and I can offer these suggestions:
– Use “Bubba Burgers” for ground beef. I know you can find them in Walmart or Publix here in the Southeast US. They’re not cheep, but totally worth it. They’re awesome alone just as burgers, but they add an extra flavor “burst” in these wonderful “hobo pies”, a.k.a. “hobo packs” a.k.a. “foil packs” a.k.a. a ton of similar names.
Thaw Bubba Burgers in the fridge about 24-36 hours prior to making your packs (Their instructions on the box say that’s not necessary, but if you want to break one up, you’re gonna have to). Before you put a patty in the foil pack, break it up loosely with a fork. Cooks more evenly. To those who like your burgers medium: as you’re cooking and checking on them don’t be afraid to go well-done. It still retains a lot of flavor, and nobody goes to the hospital. Do not roll it into a ‘meatball’. Your veggies will cook faster and end up burned. Let the meat be shredded and distributed evenly throughout everything else in the pack.
– Avoid sauces. When using ground beef (and, really if you add sausage too..mmmm), there will be plenty of moisture from the fat of the beef. The ‘runnier’ it is, the more flavor you’re losing to the fire as it drips off. I’ve found it best to use dried/powered onion, garlic, and coarse-ground salt; as well as a spice concoction McCalls makes called “Broiled Steak Seasoning”. It’s been harder to find lately, but “Montreal Steak Seasoning” is an excellent second choice. Hell, it might even be the same thing.
– We’re working with flavor in these things, not healthy. Do about 10 E23 more sit-ups if you want flavor, but zero fat. Or become a real hobo and just burn it off naturally.
– If you’re adding ketchup, well, then in my humble opinion, you’ve lost the point. Even if using dried ingredients, generous portions of diced onion and bell pepper are key. I’ve never added a splash of vinegar, but it does sound intriguing. Maybe red distilled vinegar like one might find on their sub sammich?
– Speaking of bell peppers, when cutting up your red/yellow/green peppers, retain about 5-10 % of the seeds when you add them to the packs. These have the oils that bring the flavor. However, you might want to pick these out as you eat the pack.
– Follow your nose. When your packs begin to smell less like raw ingredients and you can smell it cooking in the exhaust of your fire (and your mouth really starts to water), give it about 1.5 more minutes, then turn them over. For how long? It’s going to do a lot of sizzling, and flair up. Give them about them same amount of time “up-side-down”. What comes in really handy for flipping these things is a metal spatula and metal tongs. Avoid ripping the foil. Take care not to drip oils on your crotch/best friend/girlfriend/dog’s penis.
If you peek inside the pack, and the beef looks a little gray (which is always hard to tell in the evening by fire light, and never use LED light…use incandescent light), give it a few more minutes. I have yet to have an “overcooked” pack…but if that did happen I’m sure it would still be fantastic.
Feel free to experiment, but also don’t under-cook. If you must, use a thermometer…Safe temp for ground beef is 160 F, but if you include the flat and broken up nature of your beef, then 145 seems about right. Again, follow your nose.
– I really haven’t tried beer in a pack. If there is sausage in there (too many jokes, won’t even attempt), I’m sure it will be successful. Or maybe a little white wine to add a fruity flavor? Try it out and let us know!
These things are so much fun to play with, and the ingredients are simple and inexpensive. As the original website suggested, tell the people on their way to your place as they call asking what might be needed to stop by the store and pick up something exotic. Wouldn’t be cool to take your guests’ orders, cook it up on the fire (charcoal, gas, broiler) and present a plate of their very own custom order, steaming hot and a complete explosion of flavor? Just be prepared to handle seconds…
Fun! But, I’d caution against using aluminum foil in a fire with food for health reasons (btw where’s a hobo going to get heavy duty aluminum foil?) A true hobo uses a good old iron skillet, imho. ;’) Take care.
I’ve made these a couple of times for my family, my parents fucking love these things!
For those asking whether you should cook the meat or not, don’t cook the sausage (throw them in raw). I use ground turkey instead of ground beef, but before putting them in the bag I roll them up and “gently” fry them to make meatballs (I use a recipe for Asian meatballs that involve curry paste and fish sauce). What is great about this recipe is that it is so versatile!
Heres a good idea add some polish sasuage or smoked sasuage from the store comes in a link like a giant hotdog lol also some onions would be rad dont forget either hamb. seasoning in bottle like spices and then add some italian seasoning this is just my version and last but not least two tablespoons od dales liquid seasoning ENJOY!!!!YUMM Have a Great Feast!!
Just made these for the first time with a group of friends. Everyone was blown away. I took all the left overs and put them in a slow cooker to make a stew tomorrow. First cooking comically recipe was a success!
I found your site through stumbleupon, the Pineapple Chicken burrito recipe was the one I first beheld. LOVE, love all your recipes and humor in presenting them…also, as I’m not one for cooking with specific quantities, ingredients, etc., I appreciate how flexible the recipes are. Can’t wait for your cookbook to come out! Congrats!
We make ours with Steak cut into strips, potatoes, carrots, onions, salt, pepper, worcestershire sauce, garlic powder and a few other things per individual request. Works great, is tasty and filling. We do it every time we go camping. Fun food in a fun atmosphere, with friends. You’re right! you need a big group to make it fun and memorable.
when i lived in colorado, i lived with 12 roommates in a two bedroom apartment… we would go to the save-a-lot dumpster, pick out all the non-rotted produce, and make enormous pots of hobo stew. same idea, but in a stew. it was great and we fed everyone for a day or two with vegetables and broth all simmered for about an hour.
hobo food is the best food.