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Hello everyone,


I wanted to show the boys on there first campout foil cooking. Now the Baloo instructions I got calls for cooking on carcoal, is there a way to do this on a campfire. Or is there a simple way of making this work. I seen our training group put foil out and spread the carcoal on the ground I really don't want to do this at a campsite where the children will be running around.


Any Ideas?







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Hi Chris,


Sure you can do the foil cooking on a campfire. Just realize it is a little more difficult to control the temperature in a campfire. Charcoal is used for a number of reasons, one being that you get a consistent amount of heat from each briquette of charcoal. On an open campfire, judging the amount of heat the campfire coals puts out is more difficult. If you do use a campfire, make sure you put your aluminum foil packs on coals and not areas where there are open flames. The open flame portion of the campfire is usually much hotter and your food will probably burn. The aluminum foil your trainers put on the ground just makes clean-up easier and keeps ground moisture from putting your fire out.


If you want a good web site to visit on the topic of aluminum foil cooking visit: http://www.reynoldskitchens.com/. They have some good ideas on using foil and some interesting recipes. Hamburger, potatoes, onions & cream of mushroom soup gets old after a while. So new recipe ideas come in handy. One of my favorites is Polish sausage & sauerkraut with biscuits on the side. Oooh the aroma of sauerkraut cooking over a campfire! Nothing like it! and some say yuck, but it brings back great memories of Grandmas house.


Yours Truly in Scouting,

Rick Pushies

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You really should not be doing a campfire anywhere but a fire ring or other designated fire place- and if you can do a campfire there, you should to be able to do charcoal there as well. (I think the bit with the foil was that they were either not using a designated fire ring or they wanted an easier clean-up.)


If you DO use a campfire, get a good bed of coals and cook on those. You can rake some coals over to the side and have a fire in one part of the pit and coals on the other. Regular soft wood coals do not last long, though, so we always add some charcoal to the mix to help them last longer.




A great starter foil recipe for beginners is 'Tin Foil Pizza'- in the foil, place a piece of pita bread. Spon on a bit of pizza sauce, then top with pepperoni (or pre-cooked meats), any veggies you like (onions, peppers, mushrooms, etc.), and mozzerella cheese. You can sprinkle on some parmesian as well if desired. Sprinkle lightly with oil (olive tastes best) and seal the package. (This works best if you build it on one half, fold the other half over, and seal the edges.) Poke the top with 1 or 2 small holes, lay in the coals for a few minutes to let it heat up and the cheese melt.


The nice thing about this recipe is that if you over-cook it a little, the pita takes the damage and everything else is OK. If it is undercooked, no biggie- everything on it can be eaten cold.




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As your BALOO training stated, cooking should be done on charcoal. This can be easily done either in a charcoal grill or in a designated campfire space. For cooking foil dinners I would recommend doing the charcoal in the campfire space, you have more room which you will need for the packets.


Use 1 or more charcoal chimney's on one side of the campfire to get (& keep) charcoal briquettes going. Spread your hot charcoal out a bit away from your chimney's & put on your foil packets. You can add hot charcoal as needed from the chimney's.


I will give your BALOO trainers the benefit of the doubt & say that they used foil simply as a teaching method because there was no campfire area handy. They SHOULD have stated that & made many discalimers. Now they have folks thinking that is the way to cook with charcoal - SHEESH!


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Two seasons of day camp ago, I used wood instead of charcoal for the Cub Grub cooking fires. Advantage: Cost. One of the Scout Reservations had harvested some serious cordage the previous fall. Seasoned oak is a good thing.


A great fire ring is a 55 gallon drum, cut lengthwise, possibly with one end removed. Two simple X fames made from angle iron (and bolts) or re-bar (and a spot weld) put the barrel above ground.


As far as the content of foil dinners goes, experiment. Easy to roast chicken, sausage, beef. A bit harder is pork, because of the high temps needed to kill chances of trichinosis. For the soups to insert as moisture for steam? Take your pick: I've done beef consomme, chicken broth, Liptons french onion (rehydrated), and even good old water (if I think I've enough goodies to make a good stock on its own).


I've experminted at home and with friends.


Have fun.

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