This last month I went and spent a full week up in Wyoming visiting my dad. I went up to help with meals as well. So being 7 months pregnant and the heat; I was really wanting something easy. I remember a meal my mom did when we were kids; that was a huge hit and was super easy for cooking and clean up. Hobo Dinner! And so I knew I wanted to try that again while I was visiting my Dad.
Well, it had a better result than I was expecting! The best part is how easy it was to throw together, even easier clean up! And I could customize each packet for each person. So everyone was happy with dinner!
When was the last time you could easily customize each persons dinner to where everyone was happy with what they got, without taking extra effort on your part? That’s not a very common occurrence is it? But with a simple hobo dinner (often called Tin foil dinner) it is really easy to do!
Simple Hobo Dinner
Honestly I don’t know how it came to be known as hobo dinner. But that is what I grew up knowing it as. I guess the more politically correct term is tin foil dinner. But no matter which way you call it, it is simple and delicious!
After I got home from visiting my dad, I had requests from the kids to make it again. So I did. And the husband loved his personalized packet too! I will show you how I altered it for a health conscious man too!
First you need your ingredients! Gather them all together in a station order. This makes it easy when it comes to throwing the packets together.
For seasonings I used Famous Dave’s burger and Steak seasoning and McCormicks California Style Garlic Pepper. Honestly these are the 2 spices that get used the most in my house. They go great on almost every dish we make. Especially anything with meat and grilling! I’ve found the best deals on these spices on Amazon versus in store for the most part. So if you use my links you can get them at a great price on Amazon (oh how I love shopping on Amazon!) and I’ll get a few pennies as thanks to help support my obsession of these spices.
Then you need your meat. We usually use 93% lean hamburger. We get our Hamburger from Zaycon Foods, just like our chicken. We can get it in bulk at a discounted price. Plus it comes fresh from the farm without added hormones or additives. And never frozen! And it’s flavor is much better than what we find at our local grocery stores!
And then we also used our favorite Nitrate free beef sausage.
And then gather up the vegetables next. This is where you can get really creative. Our favorites include potatoes, corn, carrots and sometimes onions (but I have to skip those right now with this pregnancy, talk about heart burn!)
We also have been known to use Sweet Potatoes, jalapenos, bell peppers, and cabbage. Really just think of your favorite vegetables that you would love to grill up.
To prep the vegetables, peel what needs peeling. And sliced them all to thin diced pieces. You don’t want it too thick otherwise the vegetables will still be crunchy when the meat is ready.
Now to begin, spread out a sheet of tin foil. Don’t use just ordinary tin foil. You need heavy duty foil. The last thing you want is for the foil to rip and leak your food or juices while cooking. Now form your meat patty. Then Sprinkle/season with the Famous Dave’s and Garlic Pepper seasonings.
Then toss in the diced Potatoes. And season again with the spices. This way the potatoes will have a great flavor too.
Now throw in some slices of the sausage.
Why 2 meats? Well frankly this beef sausage gives the most amazing flavor to the hobo dinner! It flavors the hamburger and the potatoes. And when it cooks it also adds moisture to the mix. So even if you don’t like sausage (like me) I still throw in a few slices of the beef sausage for the flavor it adds to the entire packet. Then when it is done cooking I just let someone else eat my sausage pieces. (The kids usually fight over who gets Mommy’s sausage at the end).
Now finish topping the pile off with the other vegetables you want. I usually go with corn. The boys like carrots added.
The Husband prefers sweet potatoes in his hobo dinner. So I omit the regular potatoes, add in sweet potatoes and of course I have to top it off with the spiciest Jalapenos I can find. Nothing is too spicy for this man.
Next you simply fold up the packet. Take the sides and pull them even with each other and gently begin to fold down to the center. Use foil folds, not just rolling or scrunching the edges. You don’t want the juices to leak out. Then at the ends gently fold towards the center. Making sure that the food stays together in the center of the packet. And to ensure the juices don’t leak out while it is cooking.
Then label each packet with a marker. You don’t want to lose track of who’s hobo dinner belongs to who. Especially since it is so easy to customize each tin foil dinner for each individual’s tastes.
Now you have 2 ways to cook the hobo dinner. In the oven or on the grill. I have done both methods and both turn out splendid!
In the oven add your hobo dinner onto a baking sheet and put into a preheated oven at 400 degrees and cook for 45 minutes. If your oven cooks hotter than regular ovens (like my Dad’s oven does), turn it down to 375 and check the dinner after 30 minutes.
On the grill, again make sure the grill is preheated. Then cook for 30-40 minutes.
Turning once in the middle of the cooking time. Check the packet to ensure that the meat is fully cooked and the vegetables are soft.
Then remove and serve!
Let each person open their packet and dig in! You don’t even have to remove it from the packet. Just place it on a plate and dig in!
Or if you want a little more formal dinner, you can dump the contents onto a plate and toss the tin foil.
But at the end the only clean up you have will be to toss the tin foil and clean up the prep station from when you put all the ingredients out. (Which I usually do that as soon as I get the hobo dinner packets onto the grill).
At the end each person has their own individualized dinner to their tastes. And you are left with perfectly seasoned and amazingly moist meats an vegetables!
- 1 lb lean ground hamburger
- 2 Idaho Russet potatoes
- 1 can whole kernnel corn
- 2 carrots
- 1 Nitrate free beef sausage
- Famous Dave's Burger and Steak seasoning
- McCormicks Califorinia Style Garlic Pepper
- Spread out Heavy Duty Tin Foil
- Form Hamburger patty
- Top with thinly sliced potato wedges
- add corn, carrots and any other vegetables you want. Including jalapenos
- Add a few slices of the beef sausage
- Season with Famous Dave's Burger and McCormick's Garlic pepper seasonings
- Fold tinfoil around food
- Cook in oven at 400 for 45 minutes
- Or Grill on heated frill for 30-40 minutes until vegetables are soft and meat fully cooked.
- Serve hot and still in foil packet.
This also makes the best camping dinner! And so easy to throw together and cook on a fire! With very little clean up. But you will be eating like kings while you are camping!
Get your Zaycon Hamburger ordered now!
What would you add to your hobo dinner?
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