Basic Foil Packet Potatoes

In Foil Packet Recipes

Foil packet potatoes are probably the best place to start if you haven’t cooked with foil in a campfire in the past.

This basic recipe for foil packet potatoes is a great recipe to get started with and also easy to make in a pinch and toss in your ice-chest before leaving on your camping trip.

Not a lot of work and everything but the cooking can be done at home before you leave.

Foil Packet Potatoes

  • Prep Time:  5 Minutes
  • Cook Time:  45 Minutes
  • Serves:  4 people as a side


  • Non-stick cooking spray (ie., Pam)
  • 2 large russet potatoes
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 1 jalapeno – seeded and de-ribbed (optional)
  • 1 tsp. dried rosemary
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 sheets heavy duty cooking foil (18″ x 24″)

Equipment Needed at the Campsite:

  • Long handled BBQ tongs
  • Knife or other utensil to open the foil packets once they’re done
  • Shovel or some other tool to spread out coals in your fire pit

Before You Leave Home

Luckily, with this recipe, you can do every step at home except for the actual cooking part.

To get started, wash your potatoes, then dice them up into small cubes. About 1/4″ to 1/2″ each. Try to keep all of the cubes about the same size so that they’ll cook evenly. Divide into two separate piles.

When you’re done with that, dice the onion into pieces approximately the same size as the potatoes and divide evenly.

Finely dice your jalapenos and divide into your onion and potato piles.

Potato Dices

Toss one pile of your potato/onion/jalapeno mixture in a bowl and add 1/2 tsp of rosemary and salt and pepper to taste (I like about 1/4 tsp. each of salt and pepper).

Mix thoroughly.

Foil Packet Potatoes Ingredients

Next, tear off an 18″ x 24″ sheet of heavy duty aluminum foil.

Generously spray the center of the foil with your cooking spray and dump your ingredients neatly on top.

Constructing you foil packet potatoes

Fold your foil packet into a tent pack. Make sure you leave plenty of airspace in the pack. There is a lot of water in the potatoes and onions, so the steam will cause the foil packets to expand quite a bit as they’re cooking.

Season your second pile of potatoes, onions and jalapenos and create a second tent pack.

Once they’re complete, toss into your cooler (careful not to crush, puncture, or tear them) and head out on your trip. They also do just fine in the fridge overnight if you want to put them together the day before you hit the road.

Cooking Your Foil Packet Potatoes at the Campsite

To cook your foil packet potatoes at the campsite, you’ll want to be certain that you have a good bed of coals going. A roaring fire isn’t going to work.

Once your fire has burned long enough that you can spread out a generous amount of coals, take your shovel and spread out an area about two inches deep and large enough to lay your foil packs on.

Drop your foil packs directly on the coals and cook for about four minutes.

Cooking your foil packet potatoes

The foil packets should expand fairly rapidly and begin to sizzle immediately.

If your foil packets start expanding too much and look like the pressure is going to force the packs open, you can stab a tiny pinhole in the top to vent some of the steam out. Be careful not to burn your fingers.

Next, move your foil packets off of the direct coals and place as near the heat as possible without them actually touching the coals (you don’t want them to burn).

Let cook for an additional forty minutes, giving each packet a gentle shake every fifteen minutes or so to redistribute its contents.

Foil packet potatoes over indirect heat

Try to keep just enough heat under your foil packets that they lightly sizzle, but no more.

If you need to check if your potatoes are done, gently unfold one side and pick out a potato to test it. Be careful not to burn yourself though, a lot of very hot steam will escape. Some heat resistant gloves would be handy here.

Once they’re ready, remove from the fire and cut open with your knife. Again, be careful not to burn yourself with the escaping steam.

Cooked Foil Packet Potatoes

Dump on a plate and enjoy.

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Basic Foil Packet Potatoes
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
Total Time
50 mins
Course: Side Dish
Servings: 4 people
  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • 2 medium russet potatoes - small dices
  • 1 medium yellow onion - small dices
  • 1 jalapeno - seeded, de-ribbed and finely diced (optional)
  • 1 tsp. dried rosemary
  • salt and pepper - to taste
  • 2 18"x24" sheets heavy duty aluminum foil
Extra Equipment Needed
  • Long handled bbq tongs
  • Knife
  • Shovel
Before You Leave Home
  1. Wash  potatoes and cut into 1/4" to 1/2" cubes.

  2. Cut onions into 1/4" to 1/2" cubes.

  3. Finely dice jalapenos.

  4. Divide potatoes, onions and jalapenos into two equal piles.

  5. Mix each pile of potato/onion/jalapeno mixture with 1/2 tsp. each of rosemary and salt and pepper to taste.

  6. Tear off an 18" x 24" piece of aluminum foil and spray the center generously with cooking spray.

  7. Place one pile of potato/onion/jalapeno mix on each piece of aluminum foil and fold into tent packs.

Cooking at the Campsite
  1. Cook directly on coals for five minutes.

  2. Remove from direct heat on the coals to a grill grate near the coals. Cook for 40 more minutes, gently shaking the foil packs every fifteen minutes until done.

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