Everything I know about cooking around a campfire, I learned in Girl Scouts. Things never got too gourmet, but we did move beyond The Stick method of campfire meal preparation (not that there’s anything wrong with the stick, just that it’s usefulness is really limited to marshmallows and cased meats). When we weren’t participating in the dreaded “polar bear breakfast” — a bizarre form of Girl Scout camp torture in which you are required to jump into a pool full of freezing cold water at 7 a.m. in order to retrieve your ziplock-bag-protected cereal boxes and apples from the bottom of a pool — we did a lot of mess kit and pocket cooking.
Pocket cooking around a campfire is great if you’re not an avid camper, because no fancy equipment is required (some people call this style of campfire meal a “hobo pocket”). All you need is aluminum foil, and the rest is at your discretion. Hold onto your tie-dyed shirts and L.L. Bean boots, campers, because I present you with …
A Quick Former Girl Scout’s Guide to Pocket Cooking
1. Tear off a sheet of foil roughly 12” long, and fold up the sides, fashioning it into a “pocket.”
2. Line the bottom of the pocket with lemon slices, to help keep your food from sticking or burning.
3. Now roll in the sides of the foil more so there’s only a small opening at the top. The goal is to make your pocket leak-proof.
4. Load up your foil pocket. In the camp days of yore, this meant sliced potatoes, carrots and chicken breast, but you can really add whatever you want: squash, zucchini, onions, tomatoes, mushrooms, asparagus, spaghetti sauce, eggs, tempeh, tofu, steak. Just make sure you slice everything thin enough that it won’t take eons to cook. Add your herbs/condiments/marinades. Add a tiny bit (about ¼-cup) of water.
5. Close up your pocket and place directly on hot coals.
Cooking time will vary based on what you’re making and how awesome your fire is. Sing some campfire songs (in round, of course) while you wait.
Photo Via Dirk Beyer