Hack A Campfire Cooking Pot With Only Aluminum Foil & A Branch

Picture this — you have found the perfect campsite and have brought all the necessary cooking ingredients and utensils with you to make a wonderful fire-cooked meal. Then, you start unpacking your gear only to discover that you forgot to bring your camping cookware. Now what? While you technically can cook many meats and veggies on a hot stone near the fire, this method is not recommended because many rocks can explode or crack when exposed to heat. However, if you have aluminum foil, you can create your own campfire skillet, which is much easier to use and safer than unknown rocks.

To make this DIY campfire pan, all you need is the aforementioned foil and a sturdy stick that is forked at the end. The space between the fork should be wide enough to fit the food you'd like to cook. Then, when you've found the perfect stick, simply take a piece of foil, stretch it over the two halves of the fork, and press each end of the foil securely onto each side. You can reinforce your skillet by using multiple sheets of foil, all stacked together and wrapped around the fork on both sides. Then, when ready to cook, simply place your food on the bed of foil and hold it over the flames.

What if your ingredients are too heavy?

While the foil and forked stick method is great for frying up light foods like eggs, veggies, toast, and small pieces of fish, it may not work so well if your food is heavy enough to rip through the foil. Therefore, if you have a particularly hefty piece of meat or a root vegetable to cook, you will probably need to use another method. Luckily, aluminum foil can come to the rescue in this situation, too — because most meat, veggies, and even full meals can be cooked or reheated using the aluminum foil packet method.

To do this, simply place the contents of your meal (whether it's a hamburger patty with onions and cheese, a large piece of fish with lemon and garlic, or a whole potato with butter and salt) on top of a piece of aluminum foil. Then, fold the foil in half to cover your food entirely and seal the edges by folding them over and crimping them with your fingers. This will create an air-tight packet that will help heat and steam your food at the same time. To cook, simply place your packet on the coals of the fire and check periodically until done. This method works great for mixed veggies, baked potatoes, meat, and cheese melts.

What if you need a pot, not a pan?

While the tinfoil forked stick method is great to use as a skillet and the packet method is perfect for foods that are slightly heavier and juicier, what should you do if you have a cup of soup or coffee that needs heating over the fire? As it turns out, you can use aluminum foil to make your own pot as well. The only thing you need to be careful of with this method is not overworking the foil and making sure the contents are not heavy enough to tear through it.

One way to make an aluminum foil pot, according to a bushcraft content creator on YouTube, is to simply take a square piece of aluminum foil and start by folding each corner in to create a hexagon. Then, lift the folded corners and slowly start crimping around the edges to create a bowl shape. Once you have a bowl or pot, add another layer of foil over the top to help reinforce it and cover any cracks or weak spots that may leak. While this method probably won't work for large portions of chili or soup, it is perfect if you just need to heat a small bowl or cup of something watery while out in the wild.

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