Foil Packs: Hobo Dinner with Smoked Sausage

Prep time:25 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Total time: 55 minutes
Servings: 4
Cuisine: American
Recipe Info

A twist on classic Hobo Foil Packets using sausage instead of ground beef. We’ve got the classic carrots, onions, and thinly sliced potatoes. A truly comforting, filling, and hearty meal that’s great for a no-mess meal or campfire dinner!

1 pound smoked sausage, (beef, chicken or pork) cut into coins
3 cups small potatoes, thinly sliced
3-4 large carrots, thinly sliced
1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 T olive oil
1 t EACH: Italian seasoning, dried basil, dried parsley
1/2 t garlic powder
1 t paprika
1/4 t dried thyme
4 T butter, separated
Serve with: ketchup, fresh herbs (optional)

PREP: If you are using the oven, preheat it to 200C/400F. If grilling, prepare the grill by heating to medium-high heat (220-230C/425-450F.) Tear off four sheets of heavy-duty foil and lightly spritz with cooking spray. If you aren’t going to be cooking this meal in foil packs (See Note 1), line a large sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside.
PREP VEGGIES: Cut the sausage into coins. Thinly slice the potatoes (about 1/8th inch thick). Thinly slice the carrots and cut large carrot slices in half. Thinly slice the yellow onion. Add the sausage, potatoes, carrots, and onion to a large bowl.
SEASON: Drizzle in 2 T of oil and all of the seasonings (Italian seasoning, dried basil, dried parsley, garlic powder, paprika, dried thyme, and salt and pepper). Add salt and pepper to personal preference (I add 1/2 t salt and 1/4 t pepper). Toss everything together until well combined.
DIVIDE: Divide the mixture evenly among the four prepared sheets of foil. Cut the butter into 1 T pieces and cut each tablespoon piece into 4 smaller pieces. Add four pieces of butter to the foil packs (1 T per foil pack). Seal the foil packs tightly so no air escapes, but do not double wrap the foil (use only one sheet of foil per pack, or the cooking time will be off). To seal the foil packet, bring the short sides together in the middle and gently fold down to completely seal. Then, roll up the ends.
COOK: Grill for 20-30 minutes or until veggies are fork tender (flip the foil packs at the halfway point). To bake foil packs, place foil packs on a sheet pan and bake for 30-35 minutes or until veggies are fork tender. Campfire cooking: add to hot coals and cook for 20-30 minutes. Be aware they can take up to 40-45 minutes depending on the actual temperature of the coals, actual thickness of cut veggies, outside temperatures, how many foil packs are on the coals, etc. There is great variance in cooking these over coals.
GARNISH: Carefully open the foil pack, watching for steam to be released. If desired, garnish with fresh herbs (we like fresh thyme) and serve with ketchup drizzled over everything or on the side.

Note 1: Cooking methods: The actual heat on stove tops, ovens, grills, and campfires varies greatly. I have tested this recipe using all four methods and am sharing the timing I found to be perfect. Time can also vary depending on the size of veggies, so my best advice would be to check just one packet at a time. Remember, every time you open a packet to check, it releases steam and will take an extra couple of minutes in comparison to the other packets cooking.

– Stove top (no foil): Place the entire mixture into a large Dutch oven (or half of the mixture into a large skillet) over medium-high heat. Stir occasionally until the veggies are crisp tender (about 12-15 minutes), adding additional olive oil as needed. Lower the heat if anything is burning or browning too much.
– Oven (no foil): Line an extra-large sheet pan (15 x 21 inches) with parchment paper. Pour the entire mixture onto it and bake at 425 degrees F for about 30-35 minutes, turning the ingredients at the halfway mark.
– Oven (foil packs): Divide the mixture evenly onto four sheets of heavy-duty foil and wrap them so the foil is completely sealed. Place the foil-wrapped packets on a sheet pan and bake for 30-40 minutes. The time really depends on your preference — at 30-35 minutes everything should be crisp tender and cooked through. For very soft veggies, leave them in 38-40 minutes.
– Grill (foil packs): Divide the mixture evenly onto four sheets of heavy-duty foil and wrap them so the foil is completely sealed. Place on a pre-heated grill (medium-high heat; ~450 degrees) and grill for 20-25 minutes. Flip once halfway through the grilling process.
– Campfire (in foil packs): Divide the mixture evenly onto four sheets of heavy-duty foil and wrap them so the foil is completely sealed. Cook foil packs in the hot coals of a campfire until the potatoes are tender, around 20-40 minutes, flipping every 5 minutes, depending on the heat of the coals. We found these cooked in about 20 minutes with hot coals.

Hobo Packet Tips:
– Seal the foil packets tightly. Since these packets need to be flipped, make sure the seal is good and tight on these so liquid doesn’t seep out — they’ll burn and have much less flavor without that liquid.
– Use heavy-duty foil for the best results on the grill. There is no need to double-wrap these packets in multiple layers of foil (and if you do, they will take longer to cook).
– Time can vary depending on the actual size of veggies and actual heat of coals/oven/grill, so when checking for doneness, only check one packet at a time. Remember, every time you open a packet to check, it releases steam and will add an extra couple of minutes to the cooking time.
– Campfire cooking is the hardest time to estimate because of so many varying factors (heat of the coals, how many packets are cooking, the outside temperatures, etc.). I recommend checking one packet at 20 minutes but be prepared that they can take up to 40-45 minutes to finish. (If it’s taking longer than that, the coals are not hot enough.)
– Transfer the cooked meal to a plate or another layer of foil before eating; once cooked, the foil gets pretty charred and flimsy — it won’t hold up well to eating.

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