Hobo Dinner Hamburger Foil Packets

This post has been sponsored by HEINZ and Miracle Whip. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

It’s Grilling Season at Giant Eagle and these easy Hobo Dinners are a foil-packet meal you can make on the grill, on the campfire, or in the oven! We pair them with melty cheese and our favorite condiments— HEINZ ketchup for my husband and Miracle Whip for me—for a delicious summer dinner with almost no clean up!

Hamburger Foil Packet on a cutting board with toppings

You can find HEINZ Simply Ketchup, made with real, simple ingredients, and Miracle Whip, with it’s zip and tang taste, at your local Giant Eagle, as well as any of your other essential grilling needs.

I don’t want to brag, but I’ve been making these Hobo Dinners since middle school. Along with skills like twisting my hair into butterfly clips, knowing all the words to “I Want You Back,” and keeping my tamagotchi alive, I learned how to make my very own foil packet hamburgers.

Like S’mookies and Amish Baked Oatmeal, I have summer camp to thank for this Hobo Dinner recipe. Each week, the camp counselors sent our gawky crew of junior highers into the woods armed with matches, buns, condiments, and far more confidence than we deserved.

We were tasked with starting a fire and cooking our own dinner—a humble foil packet filled with ground beef patties, onions, and carrots.

Sometimes it worked beautifully, and we were rewarded with juicy burgers with that peculiarly wonderful charcoal flavor.

Sometimes our fire making skills failed us spectacularly, and we ate buns and ketchup for dinner. You win some, you lose some, as they say.

Now, as a mom in my 30s, I have a renewed appreciation for this dinner that’s easy to prep and even easier to clean up. I also appreciate having access to an oven and a grill, just in case my campfire skills betray me.

I LOVE that foil packets allow everyone to customize dinner to their own tastes. Kids will love helping prep their own packets, and adults can choose their favorite vegetables and seasonings to include.

Today, I’m going to walk you through how to make Hamburger Foil Packets with whatever vegetables and cooking surfaces you’ve got. Whether you’re making these for a camping trip, busy weeknight, or casual cookout, I think these will become one of your favorite summer meals!

Hobo Dinner prepped in a foil packet

How to Make Hobo Dinners

Foil packet meals can be made with almost any combination of meat and vegetables, but this classic version (and my personal favorite) is made with hamburger patties, chopped potatoes, mushrooms, and onions.

  1. First, assemble the burger patties. I like to use the same basic burger seasoning I use in my Classic Bacon Cheeseburgers.
  2. Then toss the vegetables with a little salt, pepper, spices, and olive oil. When we’re camping, I keep it simple with garlic powder or a steak seasoning, but I’ve included a nice spice blend with the recipe that’s super flavorful!
  3. Cut 4 strips of heavy duty aluminum foil, about 2 feet long each. 
  4. Place the vegetables at the bottom of the packet, followed by the beef patty. 
  5. To seal the foil packet, bring the short sides together in the middle and fold/roll all the way down to seal. Then, roll up the ends. You’re ready to cook!

Hobo Dinner Foil Packets on the grill

Hobo Dinners on the Grill:

Preheat the grill to 400 degrees. Lay the foil packet directly on the grill grates. Lower the grill’s cover and cook for 35-40 minutes.

Hobo Dinners on a Campfire:

If you’re planning to cook these over the fire, I recommend placing a cabbage leaf on the bottom of the packet. The cabbage isn’t for eating, but it helps prevent the outer edges from burning before the center is done.

This recipe works best on a campfire that doesn’t have a lot of active flames and is mostly coals. Lay the foil packet directly on the coals and cook for 20-25 minutes.

Hobo Dinners in the Oven:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the foil packets in the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes or until beef registers 165 degrees. 

Cheeseburger Hobo Dinner in a foil packet

Always use caution when opening the packets, because the steam can be very hot. If you like cheese on your burgers (obviously), unroll the packets, add a slice of cheese on top of the burger, then cover them loosely for a few minutes to allow the cheese to melt.  

What veggies go in foil packets?

You can experiment with all different kinds of vegetables in this packet. Feel free to add carrots or green beans, sweet potatoes, or corn and peas. I recommend staying away from vegetables like zucchini or summer squash that tend to get mushy when overcooked. 

For even cooking, make sure vegetables are chopped to a similar size. Onions should be sliced thick and kept in rings. 

Can you make foil packets ahead of time?

Definitely! You can make the packets, seal them up, and store them in a fridge or cooler for up to 24 hours. All you have to do is pop them on the grill when you’re ready to eat!

Cheeseburger made in a foil packet

What to Serve with Hobo Dinners

These Burger Foil Packets are really a meal in and of themselves. On summer nights, or when we’re camping, we’ll pair them with a fresh cut watermelon or Grilled Corn on the Cob.

If you’re looking for something more substantial, you could add That Good Salad or Grilled Balsamic Veggies

Of course, don’t forget dessert! Our favorites are these Grilled Banana S’mores which are also made in a foil packet!

You’ll also want all your favorite burger toppings. Head to the produce aisle of your local Giant Eagle to stock up on lettuce, tomatoes, and onions then swing by fresh meats to grab some ground beef, and finish up in the condiment section!

Everyone has their own favorite condiments, but I personally love the zip and tang that Miracle Whip brings to a burger. Of course, you also can’t go wrong with the classic thick and rich taste of Kraft Heinz Ketchup. It’s made with simple ingredients and no high fructose corn syrup, which is why I also love sharing HEINZ Simply ketchup with my children.

More Foil Packet Recipes You Might Enjoy

Honey Garlic Shrimp Foil Packets

Grilled Salmon in a Foil Pack

Foil Packet Tilapia with Veggies

Chicken Sausage Foil Packets with Sweet Potato

Foil Packet Philly Cheesesteak

Apple Crisp Foil Packs

Looking for more meaty mealtime ideas? First try my Ground Beef and Potatoes Skillet, then check out my roundups of Ground Beef Recipes, and 60 Beef Recipes for Every Cut!

Cheeseburger Hobo Dinner in a foil packet

Hobo Dinner Hamburger Foil Packets

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

These Easy Hobo Dinners are the perfect way to make hamburgers in a foil packet. This no-clean up recipe is great for camping and grilling, but can also be made in the oven!

Ingredients

For the burgers:

  • 1 1/2 lbs. ground beef (I prefer 80/20)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

For the veggies:

  • 1 lb. baby potatoes, cubed
  • 1 lb. mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 yellow or red onion, thickly sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon parsley
  • Salt and pepper

To serve:

  • KRAFT Heinz Simply Ketchup
  • Miracle Whip
  • Lettuce
  • Tomato
  • 4 slices cheddar cheese, or cheese of your choice

Instructions

  1. Preheat the grill to 400 degrees. *See notes for campfire and oven directions.* Cut four strips of heavy duty aluminum foil about 2 ft long.
  2. Add the beef, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and Worcestershire sauce to a bowl. Use your fingers to gently work the seasonings into the beef. Form into four patties.
  3. Combine the potatoes, mushrooms, and onions with the olive oil and garlic powder, paprika, oregano, and parsley. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  4. If you're making these on the campfire, lay a cabbage leaf on the bottom of each strip of foil before adding the veggies. Otherwise, layer the packets with veggies first and the burger patty on top.
  5. Bring the two short sides together and fold them down to seal. Fold/roll up the remaining two sides.
  6. Place directly on the grill grates, cover and cook for 25-30 minutes, or until the burger registers 165 degrees.
  7. Carefully (really carefully--the steam can be very hot!), unwrap the packets. If desired, place a slice of cheese on top of each burger. Loosely roll back up and allow the cheese to melt for a few minutes. Top the burgers with Miracle Whip or Heinz Simply Ketchup plus your favorite toppings and serve.

Notes

Hobo Dinner on a Campfire:

If you're planning to cook these over the fire, I recommend placing a cabbage leaf on the bottom of the packet. The cabbage isn't for eating, but it helps prevent the outer edges from burning before the center is done.

This recipe works best on a campfire that doesn't have a lot of active flames and is mostly coals. Lay the foil packet directly on the coals and cook for 20-25 minutes.

Hobo Dinner in the Oven:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the foil packets in the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes or until beef registers 165 degrees. 

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 622Total Fat: 28gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 152mgSodium: 881mgCarbohydrates: 38gFiber: 6gSugar: 8gProtein: 55g

Please note nutritional information for my recipes is calculated by a third party service and provided as a courtesy to my readers. For the most accurate calculation, I always recommend running the numbers yourself with the specific products you use.

Did you make this recipe?

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16 Comments

  1. My mother made these all the time when I was growing up. She learned from her mother during the depression. Hobo hamburgers or foil packs as mama called them have been around probably as long as foil has been around. Mama made them in the oven and used other meats beside hamburger. Sometimes she’d make them with pork chops sometimes with chicken. Just whatever she had on hand. We grew up in the country and grew pretty much everything we ate, both meats and vegetables.

  2. I add thin sliced carrots to the veggie layer. Layer the veggies, place the
    Burger on top, and then add another layer of veggies. I spray foil with olive oil so veggies don’t stick. Fresh green beans can be added as a layer. Great for camping.

    1. You can definitely prep these ahead of time and store in the freezer. I haven’t tested them out from frozen, so I don’t know if they could be cooked straight from the freezer. I would probably recommend thawing overnight in the fridge, but do let me know if you try cooking straight from frozen!

  3. we made these years ago too but didn’t fold them but rather, palace foil in a bowl and build the meal. Grab the four corners and pull up and twist. Viola a Grill Kiss. Add Pork and Beans with a dollop of ketchup and a teaspoon of brown sugar to the mix and enjoy.

    1. So sorry about that! It gets mixed with the veggies when the olive oil and garlic powder is added. I’ve updated the recipe to reflect that.

  4. In ingredients for the burgers, you list 1/2 teaspoon onion powder. Does that go in step 2?

  5. We make this at least once a week. My family love them and they are so easy to make. A whole meal in one pack. Thanks so much.

    1. I’m so glad to hear it and thrilled your family enjoyed the hobo dinners. Thanks for coming back to let me know!

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