Potato Hobo Packs

Potato Hobo Pack


2 medium unpeeled russet potatoes, cut into 1-inch chunks (about 2 cups)
4 small unpeeled red potatoes, cut into fourths (about 1 1/2 cups)
One onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons firm butter or margarine
1/2 teaspoon dried sage leaves
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
Optional: 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
Optional: Stew Meat and/or Bell Peppers


Place ingredients in a bowl and toss well to combine.

Stack two sheets of aluminum foil (about 18 inches long) on top of each other. Just one sheet is too flimsy and you don’t want the foil to break.

Grease foil with butter (or cooking spray) so that the food doesn’t stick. 

Make a mound of potatoes and onion in the center (about half). 

Cut butter into small pieces; sprinkle over potatoes. Sprinkle with sage, paprika, and salt.

Optional: If you add meat, cut into small pieces so they finish with the vegetables. Place on the bottom of the mound because meat takes the longest to cook. You could add green and/or red peppers, too.

Fold foil over potatoes so edges meet. Allow space on sides for circulation and expansion. Seal edges, making tight ½-inch fold; fold again. Some campers like to bring the four corners of the foil together and crunch the foil into a funnel shape which makes for a good handle to lift in and out of the fire.

Place packs, seam side up, directly on top of the hot coals. Cook about 40 to 50 minutes, rotating packet ½ turn after about 20 minutes, until potatoes are tender. Remove from coals and carefully open. Serve warm. Cut large X across top of packet; fold back foil. Sprinkle with chives.

NOTE: Allow the Hobo Packs to cool a little and be careful of escaping steam!


1 per person

Preparation Time

20 Minutes

Cook Time

30 Minutes

Total Time

50 Minutes

Reader Comments

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I have done the same thing

I have done the same thing except instead of the grill I used the car's engine while on long trips...allot better than fast food...

You need to use heavy duty

You need to use heavy duty foil. More sturdy. Otherwise it's great

Easy recipe to prepare and it

Easy recipe to prepare and it came out delicious! Great side dish for cookouts just double or triple this recipe.

I though it was bad to cook

I though it was bad to cook using tinfoil

It is bad to cook in anything

It is bad to cook in anything aluminum. So just get parchment paper, (for baking -- at grocer or restaurant supply), and make a pocket by folding large pieces of parchment together. Put your food to be cooked into the parchment pocket, then put the parchment pocket into the aluminum pocket. Agree with person who said use heavy duty aluminum foil. Or, as we cook for many people while camping, use the large aluminum foil deep-sided pans, (disposable/recyclable kind), lined with parchment paper, and after food is put into that, cover with parchment paper and finally seal with heavy duty aluminum foil. The aluminum pans are sturdier to put on grates over fires, directly on fires or on gas grills. Makes clean-up easy and all the aluminum is recyclable. However, we still keep some old stainless steel pots/pans just for camping, which work just as well.

Aluminum foil can leach into

The Editors's picture

Aluminum foil can leach into food when it’s heated up in a fire, on a grill, or on a stove, but not likely after one use. If it’s used multiple times to cook with, then it’s more likely. Acidic foods (vinegar, lemon juice, ketchup) speed up process of aluminum dissolving into food, and will even happen at room temperature, but only with acidic foods. In the fridge with non-acidic food, it’s fine.