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Campfire Potato Packets

I mentioned in the Labor Day camping post that our campout menus are generally very simple.  There's grilled meat, cold veggie salad, fresh fruit, and always potato packets. potatos and onions cooked in a foil packet

The 'packet' method of cooking is a standby because it can use a variety of ingredients, virtually any method of cooking, and cleanup is easy.  You can cook fish in parchment paper packets, meat and veggies in aluminum foil for packet stew, and many more combinations of ingredients.

After years of refining our method, here's how my family makes campfire potato packets:

slicing potatos for packet cooking

Slice russet and/or sweet potatoes into 1/4 -1/8 inch rounds.  Try to get them as thin and uniform as possible.  If you are doing this at home, you could use a mandolin.

Cut onion into thin rounds too and chop a mess of fresh garlic.

potatoes layered

Lay out a two foot length of aluminum foil.  Dot it with butter or olive oil.  Stack potatoes, onions, and garlic alternately.  Sprinkle seasoned salt and pepper between the layers and on top.  Dot with butter on several times and on top.

folded foil potato packet

When the vegetables are three to four inches high, it's time to wrap up the packets.  Fold the long sides towards each other, crimping ends tightly.  Flip the packet onto another piece of foil and crimp again.  Depending on how stuffed the packets are and whether the foil is heavy duty, we often add a third layer of foil.

potato packets over fire

Place the packets on a wood fire.  Ideally, the packets will get low even heat for 40 - 50 minutes.  If there is room on the grill top, place them there, turning every 15 minutes.

campfire cooking

Sometimes the packets need to be placed into the fire ring so the grill is free for other things.  Keep them away from the hottest part of the fire and turn every 10 minutes.

You can generally tell when the potatoes are fully cooked by gently squeezing the packets.  You should feel no resistant uncooked rounds.

cooked potato packets

Open the packets gingerly because they are hot and steamy inside.  Dump the potatoes into your serving container, in this case the cookset's largest pot.

potato packet crispy bits

Don't forget to enjoy the cook's treasure - the crispiest bits stuck to the foil.  Yum!

Campfire Potato Packets

makes one packet to serve four

1 - 2 pounds (about 4 - 5 large) potatoes, sliced into thin rounds

1/2 onion, sliced into thin rounds

3-4 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons seasoned salt (Lawrey's or Old Bay are our favorites)

1/2 teaspoon pepper

2 tablespoons butter or olive oil

6 - 8 feet aluminum foil

1. Spread a 2-3 foot length of aluminum foil on work surface.

2. Dot foil with 1/2 tablespoon butter or olive oil.

3. Layer half of potatoes, onions, and garlic onto foil.

4. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon seasoned salt.

5. Dot with 1 tablespoon butter or olive oil.

6. Layer the rest of potatoes, onions, garlic, and seasonings.

7. Finish with the rest of the butter or olive oil.

8. Wrap the foil, crimping on all sides.  Flip onto additional foil and crimp on all sides again.  Repeat a third time if you wish.

What is your favorite camping recipe?