One of the best things about a weekend camping trip is cooking your food in the hot coals of an outdoor fire. It's been a while since I have enjoyed this more primitive form of 'roughing it easy' but last weekend I re-kindled my love for cooking a foil pouch meal while on a boy scout camping trip.
Foil pouch cooking in the scouts is one of the most popular forms of outdoor cooking and it's also one of the most efficient methods for preparing a super-delicious meal in the outdoors. While I've always enjoyed having a foil pouch meal around the campfire, I never considered bringing this creative form of cooking indoors... that is until this evening.
When I came back from a day of working on my land, the thoughts of a foil pouch meal dominated my head as I thought about this past weekend. Looking at the wood heater in my kitchen, I opened the door to a huge orange glow of hot embers staring me in the face and thought about just cooking my supper right in the stove. I've cooked a lot on top of the stove but I've never thought about utilizing the chamber of the stove... until now.
As seen in the pictures to the right I went ahead and prepared my favorite ingredients for a chicken breast and veggie meal. I chopped up a small potato, a stalk of celery, some onion, and a little bit of broccoli.
I then put all of those veggies in a screw-lid Nalgene container, then added some Teriyaki sauce, some Balsamic vinegar, and a good shaking of lemon-pepper seasoning. I just pour and shake the seasonings onto the veggies until I think that's enough for me.
On a camping trip I like to marinate the veggies overnight in a cooler but tonight I just used them right away. I shook up the veggies in my Nalgene container as seen in the picture to the left.
Next, I placed a completely frozen chicken breast out of the freezer into the first layer of my aluminum foil wrap, then sprinkled the veggies all over and around the chicken as seen to the left.
With this done I then folded the foil over the top and folded it in an overlapping fashion to lock in all of the marinating juices. I then did the same to each end of the foil pouch on both ends. I like to double wrap my meals to help ensure that everything stays together so I repeated this step one more time.
Using my metal coal shovel I shifted the coals inside my wood heater and placed the foil pouch meal into a nice spot with an even layer of red hot oak coals on the bottom. I then used the shovel to deposit another even layer of glowing coals on the top of the foil pouch.
I then closed the stove door, dampered down the air flow to the lowest setting then went on to do other chores. My foil pouch meals usually cook completely in 40-45 minutes but you might need to experiment until you find the best cooking time for your meals.
Knowing how to cook a meal in a foil pouch can be a life saver during a power outage and an excellent opportunity to show the kids or the neighbors that you don't have to have electricity to live like a king, or better yet like a cowboy on the trail. This is some mighty fine eating, Pardner!
Living in the mountains of North Carolina I have spent almost 30 very
rewarding years working with at-risk kids in a wilderness camping program as a counselor, outdoor educator, and woodshop teacher. To learn more about what my blog is all about, just scroll down this sidebar to "About my blog..."
1. Woodcarving/Woodwork: Working wood has been a lifetime obsession for me and I enjoy sharing what I know. It is my belief that hands-on and experiential learning has a direct and profound effect on the development of a child's intellect, confidence, and character. Projects of mine (and my students) will be posted as they progress and I will occasionally include a video tutorial. All of my videos can be found here .
2. Bushcraft/Primitive Living Skills: Finding ways to live closer to the land has always fascinated me. Whether it's building a shelter, fire starting, animal tracking, or just making rustic furniture... you'll eventually see some of it here.
3. Long Distance backpacking, canoeing, & bicycling: Some of my long distance adventures include thru-hiking the 2,600 mile Pacific Crest Trail, Mexico to Canada and I solo paddled the 1,800 mile Yukon river across northwest Canada and Alaska to the Bering sea. More detailed accounts of these and many other adventures can be found here
4. Sustainable Living: I'm always looking for better ways to do more by using less. It's not so much an "environmental" thing to me as it is a quest for personal independence from material things and finding a path to more substantive living .
5. Scouting Activity: As a scoutmaster of 6 years (and currently assistant scoutmaster) I'm actively involved with the troop and "Order of the Arrow" where it is a joy to volunteer hundreds of hours each year because investing in the next generation insures a better tomorrow for everyone. In an era when most schools don't value hands-on learning, outdoor education, and the arts... scouting soars in meeting these critical experiences for boys.
6. Profiles: Behind everyone's success you can usually find a trail of some very significant mentors and teachers along the way. And sometimes you don't completely understand how someone affected your life for the better until many years later. You'll find some of those stories here.