The hobo is a very simple yet filling meal that can be prepared when you're doing some car camping. There are two main parts to making a successful hobo: getting a fire going and making the thing itself. This node doesn't focus on how to build a fire. You should figure that out first. The hobo is cheap, tasty, and quite filling. Cleanup is simple too since everything's encased in aluminum foil.



  1. Get a nice big fire going, then let it burn down to very hot coals. These are what you cook on so make sure to have enough coals to fit everyone's food on.
  2. Wash and cut up the potatoes, carrots, and onions.
  3. Tear off a piece of aluminum foil about 2 feet square and lay it down flat.
  4. Tear off a few pieces of cabbage and lay them down in the center of the foil. This serves as a bed to hold all the other ingredients.
  5. Spread out as many chunks of the vegetables as you'd like inside the cabbage.
  6. Add the ground beef. I prefer several little balls of beef though a patty may work nicely as well. Remember that the smaller the chunks, the less time they'll need to cook.
  7. Season to taste.
  8. Wrap the sides of the foil up over the food in the middle. Make sure to enclose it tightly. What you've got now is an aluminum foil pouch with all the food on the inside and the cabbage on the bottom.
  9. Pick a nice hot place on the coals and set your hobo down there. That's right, put it right down on the coals. It'll be fine; trust me.
  10. After about 45 minutes, check one by removing it from the fire, opening it up, and seeing if the meat is well cooked. If not, seal it back up and let it cook a while longer. If so, enjoy!

Several of these can be cooking at one time. The only limit is the surface area of coal you've got to work with. Don't spread them too thinly.

Now then, what else can we wrap in aluminum foil?

A healthy home alternative to this is as follows.

1 chicken breast per person being fed
Chicken Broth

This is great to have when you don't really have the energy for a big production but don't have anywhere to go soon, or you're making lunch for the week ahead, and trying to stay relatively healthy.

First, lay down a sheet of aluminium foil for each chicken breast. You're also going to need a jelly roll pan, or a pyrex baking dish, to prevent leaks.

Shape the foil into a cup around the chicken breast. Next, add chunks of potato, carrot, onion, and whatever else is handy. Your only real limitation is what sounds good to you, and the ability to close up the foil packet when you're done.

Next, add about 3 tbs of chicken broth to each packet. Then season. Salt and pepper is good. I use Cavender's greek can get the same effect by adding some garlic salt and celery salt to the salt and pepper.

You will, of course, grind your pepper fresh. Or we'll send Lometa out to beat sense into you.

The thing to remember here is that when you close this up and bake it, because of the enclosed nature of the packets and the surrounding juices, the spices are going to completely suffuse the chicken and vegetables. The resulting flavor can be quite intense, depending on what you used for seasoning. Choose appropriately.

Set the oven to 400 F, wrap up the packets, put them together in the pan or dish, and put them in the oven for an hour.

Because it's enclosed, the steam and fluid can't really escape, so overcooking this only makes it fall apart won't dry it out.

Unwrap carefully and devour. Depending on the veggies you pick to accompany the chicken breast, this is a fairly healthy dinner, and easily done to can be a nice meal to start your kids off with, or college students, or anybody else who is just learning to cook.

Note: If you only bake it for half an hour, this will be long enough to cook the chicken, but it will not cook the vegetables enough for them to be soft.

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