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Topic: Need Help with Foil Packet Cooking, Bacon related< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 10 2013, 9:11 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I am planning a dinner for a group camping trip and have decided to do some foil packet cooking, a traditional car camping staple but something I haven't done in a very long time, since boy scouts, and my memories of that are of crispy hamburger and raw potatoes.

I've been thinking that the group will be very pleased with Bacon, so my thought is to do a foil packet variation of something I've done at home on the range top, which is blue-cheese stuffed chicken breasts wrapped in Bacon. My thought is that I could preassemble those at home and wrap them up in the foil with some frozen Potatoes Obrian or similar product and some parboiled broccoli florets or asparagus tips and maybe a little ranch dressing. One concern I have is, should I used cooked or uncooked bacon? I figure uncooked Bacon might make the whole affair rather greasy but might on the other hand prevent stuff from sticking to the foil. If I add ranch dressing, would it likely burn or could I minimize that with liberal applications of butter, rendered bacon fat, or a thick coat of cooking spray? I'm guessing a pounded chicken breast should cook readily and sufficiently before it burns on the outside, but don't really know. I am planning on tossing the foil packs directly on charcoal that I will bring. We won't have portable grill of any type. I've considered bringing a portable folding grate, but would have to either throw it away afterwards or give it to one of the other group members as I will be solo backpacking in bear country following the group outing and don't want to leave anything smelling of food in my car.

Any insight, opinions, suggestions for modifications?
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 10 2013, 10:20 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Here's something I use when training scout leaders, secrets to foil cooking, use extra heavy foil, add liquid to foil pouch, if pouch leaks start over.  PM me your email address and I can send you a file with more information and recipes.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 11 2013, 6:47 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Attached image is too small to read and if screen is zoomed becomes too fuzzy to read. Can you repost as an attachment?
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 11 2013, 8:40 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Let's see if this is better:

We have all encountered the dreaded "silver  turtle" a time or two and  looked upon this event as a necessary   evil of outdoor cooking, somewhere between hot dogs and "Beanie­ Weenies". The purpose of this  document is to prove, once and for all, that cooking in tin foil is not all that bad if you follow a few simple rules.

1.    You must use EXTRA-HEAVY DUTY foil.  Regular foil is for making Christmas ornaments.  Heavy duty foil is for covering leftovers in the fridge until you throw them out.  Foil cooking requires EXTRA-HEAVY DUTY foil.  It comes in 18" wide rolls.

2. You would not cook with a pot or pan with a hole in it.  Likewise, you must jealously  protect your foil from holes or knife cuts, or your dinner  is ruined before you even start.

3. You must fold your foil pouch as follows to insure a good seal.  This type of cooking is really pressure cooking, so a good seal is a must.

4. Cut your veggies REALLY THIN.  (They will cook better, and people will actually eat them.)


THE FIRE


Instead of a  100ft.  World War I trench  fuat burns up 100 lbs. of charcoal we use the smarter; more efficient "Stand the pouches ori their end" method  This way, you can cook 10 meals with   2 lbs. Of charcoal.  Allow at least 30 minutes for your charcoal to make itself a cooking fire.


THE FOIL                                                                        
This is the way to fold your dinner  pouch:


Tear off 12" to 14" of foil.  Fold it in half accross the 18" distance.  Now, fold in the ends about  1/4" at least twice.  You will have a pouch that is open at the top.   After you have filled it with the ingredients, fold over the top just like you did the sides.   You may write your name near the top with a magic marker so you will know which one is yours.  

Place it directly on the coals, and place them side by side.  In about 10 minutes, it should start to swell up from the steam.  If it does not, or if it is smoking or in flames, take it off and re-do the foil or it will be burnt   just like the last one Do not tum it.  Cook 20 - 30 minutes.

Now that we have the basics down, here are a few menus: BOB'S FAMOUS FUNDEMENTAL HASH .
1/4 lb. Lean hamburger (get the good stuff)
1   Potato, sliced real thin
1 carrot sliced real thin (notice this real thin thing)
1/4 onion sliced real thin
2  dashes of salt (if you are on a salt free diet, then only 1 dash)
2  dashes of pepper
1  tablespoon bar-b-que sauce
1 or two chunks of chopped green pepper

Break the hamburger up into pieces so it won't be in a big lump.   No need to peel carrot, as all the vitamins are in the surface.  Mix everything up, and dump it in your pouch.  When done, tear off the top and eat out of the foil.

SETON LODGE CHICKEN & RICE

2 Chicken thighs
'1/4    cup Adolphus rice (15 minute kind)
1/3   cup water
1/4    onion
2  chunks chopped green pepper
3  mushrooms, chopped
 1/4 tsp salt

Peel skin off thighs (the chicken!)  Place rice, water, and salt into pouch.  Mix up vegetables, and toss into pouch.  (Another dash of salt), Stand thighs on top of everything. salt & pepper thighs.  (The chicken thighs)  Seal foil, and place directly on coals, cooking for no more than 30 minutes.  Hint:  run a sharp knife down each side of thigh bone thru the meat.  This helps it cook better.  If your pouch looks like it will explode, stick a toothpick into it near the top.  This will be the steam pressure relief valve.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 11 2013, 11:53 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I absolutely love Foil Packet Cooking.
This is one of the easiest ways to cook.
Plus, there's no dishes to clean afterwards!

I would like to weigh in on my opinions, concerning
packet cooking, and a few of the things that the last
replier posted.

I am not saying that they are wrong..... but there are
many ways to achieve the same thing.

1) If you don't have Extra Heavy Duty Foil, you can easily
use a double layer of regular foil.  Just realize that this will
be easier to poke a hole in.  Be careful with the packet.  
I would wrap in one layer and close it, then close a
second entire layer around the first.

2) I agree that folding works the best.  Make a small fold,
and fold this over 3 or 4 times to keep all your juices in.  
In addition to this, I like to create some "handles" on the
packets so they become easy to turn.  Think of two horns
extending from each packet so that you can move them
around as needed.

3) remember that this is NOT a set and forget type of cooking.  Just like you wouldn't throw your steak on the fire and leave it, so must you cook with packets.  Determine the hottest part of the fire and cooler areas.  Rotate your food correctly so that all sides are cooked, and utilize cooler sections for more delicate food.

--------------------------------------------------------------------

For your question:

I think that bacon poses a few distinct problems when
packet cooking.  It is going to be VERY difficult to gauge
when the bacon will be fully cooked.  You do NOT want
to open the packet to check your bacon, because its nearly
impossible to get a quality seal after you have opened it.

How would I modify your recipe?  Personally, I think that it sounds delicious.... (all except the blue cheese Yuck!)

Pounding your chicken breast is a great idea.  Chicken is pretty tough to cook in Packets, just because it has to cook for so long.  Pounding will fix this (I think).  

Inside I would put Cheese, Slightly Par-boiled broccoli, and Cooked Bacon Pieces.  I am not sure that I would cook the broccoli too much, since it still will be cooked in the packet.  

Now, your ideas of ranch dressing sounds delicious.  I would use a ranch dressing packet and put this on the outside of the chicken.  You can even "spice" this up yourself with some extra garlic and veggies like minced onions and such.  

For the bacon on the outside, this could be an experiment.  
Make one packet with a piece of bacon on the outside, to see if it works.  I am sure the bacon fat will make the entire packet delicious and flavorful.  But, I am unsure of the time that it will take to cook.

For an alternative to bacon outside, you can always retain some of the bacon fat, and mix this with the ranch dressing mix, and slather a ranch/bacon/moisturizing layer on the outside of the chicken.

I would also pierce the pounded chicken with a fork on the outside so that whatever you put on the outside permeates through the meat.

Good Luck on your culinary journey!
Let us know how it ends up.


p.s. I would be weary of the ranch dressing sticking to the packet, unless you were using bacon grease.  Also, if you are bound and determined to use REAL bacon (Yum) on the outside of your chicken, you could always cook up one side of the bacon about 3/4s done, so that it is still pliable.  Even if it is only one strip of bacon in each packet, this will provide enough fat and liquid and flavor for the chicken (I still would put some fully cooked in the middle with the cheese and broccoli).
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 13 2013, 12:07 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Start your foil pile with a leaf of cabbage and top with another leaf, It will bestowe flavor and keep easily things from burning
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 13 2013, 10:05 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(johnq62 @ Jul. 13 2013, 12:07 am)
QUOTE
Start your foil pile with a leaf of cabbage and top with another leaf, It will bestowe flavor and keep easily things from burning

That sounds very much like Banana Leaf cooking.
I have never thought of that before ....
Do you eat the cabbage after it cooks?  

This would be a great way to cook sausage
and make a sauerkraut at the same time.
I'm not a big fan of kraut, but if its just cabbage
stewed in drippings, this might be tasty.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 13 2013, 10:15 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(johnq62 @ Jul. 13 2013, 12:07 am)
QUOTE
Start your foil pile with a leaf of cabbage and top with another leaf, It will bestowe flavor and keep easily things from burning

watched a goat roast cooked using that method, with the addition of a thick layer of mud replacing the foil. The mud ball was then buried in the coals.  Turned out great.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 17 2013, 10:47 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks all for the replies and insight. I did a trial run with bacon wrapped smoked sausages, frozen obrien potatoes, sliced sweet peppers and onion, a dollop of cream of chicken soup and a little ranch dressing mix, but the whole affair came out burnt and too salty. I guess I left the pouches on the fire too long. I think I should have added some water. My new plan is bacon wrapped bratwurst broiled on skewers, with the brats parboiled in beer first before bacon-wrapping and grilling. Then a sweet-pepper slaw to accompany, though I'm still working a recipe for that. Recipes for sweet pepper slaw seem to be all over the map.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 17 2013, 10:51 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(johnq62 @ Jul. 13 2013, 12:07 am)
QUOTE
Start your foil pile with a leaf of cabbage and top with another leaf, It will bestowe flavor and keep easily things from burning

This is really intriguing. I am definitely going to try it out some time.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 18 2013, 12:54 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Cabbage leafs should give more then the amount of moisture needed, heat/time. Yes I'll eat the cabbage @ timex.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 18 2013, 9:06 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The chicken breasts you plan on making sound very much like similar ones we get at our grocery store(Hy-Vee) they are called chicken grillers and come in a variety of flavors. Basically they are stuffed chic breasts and are bacon wrapped. Some of the stuffings include mushrooms, peppers, etc along with some type of cheese. For instance they have a Hawaiian that is pineapple and smoked ham.
With those I just grill them over a medium heat fire for approx 15 mins each side. for what you are planning on doing with the foil I wold turn them more often say every 5-6 minutes.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 19 2013, 8:56 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Sounds like you scorched the cream of chicken soup.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 19 2013, 1:14 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

IMHO the key to foil cooking is to make sure there is liquid in the pouch and that is doesn't leak.  Once I place the pouch on the coals I don't touch it, generally takes about 30 minutes to cook chicken breast of ground beef meal.

I saw this on Alton Brown's good eats show

Into your foil pouch add:

1/2 packet of raman noodles
1/2 cup water (or broth)
1/2 cup assorted oriental vegetables
6 shrimp (16-20 size)
Season to taste with:
salt
pepper
soy sauce
siracha

seal pouch and  cook on coals for about 15 minutes


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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 22 2013, 1:37 am Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

I like the cabbage leaf idea.
The only other tip I can add is that for the liquid, I like to use ice cubes (or frozen broth cubes) just because it is much easier to assemble a packet with ice cubes than half a cup of liquid.


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