Hobo Hamburgers for 4

There’s something to be said for wrapping food up in foil and cooking it all together. The kid who might complain about the same ingredients in a different presentation might happily eat it this way! The other advantage of this is that you can easily adjust the quantities to suit smaller or larger appetites or leave one particular vegetable out if someone has really strong dislikes. My kids don’t like onions so I left them out of their packets. The final advantage is that you can make the packets up ahead of time and just pop them in the oven or on the coals at the appropriate time. (However, cut potatoes will turn nasty-looking so don’t mix them up too soon.) If you parboiled the vegetables a bit first, I bet these would make handy freezer meals too.

People on a cooking list I’m on were raving about hobo hamburgers and someone posted a link to Paula Deen’s version of hobo hamburgers. I started there but made a few minor tweaks. First, I cut the meat down to a pound for 4 burgers, rather than a pound and a half. I only put the onions on mine. I used Russet potatoes and fewer carrots because everything just wouldn’t fit! I didn’t have a green pepper so I just left that out. I did mix up the “house seasoning,” a mix of 4 parts salt, 1 part garlic powder, and 1 part pepper, because I use those things a lot and can see it would be handy to have it around like that. If you don’t want to mix up the whole batch as she posted, just use about 1 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, and 1/4 tsp garlic powder. Not exactly the same but pretty darn close.

I’m actually making these again tonight with a few other variations. First, I don’t have any bacon since we cooked up the last of it for my Mother’s Day breakfast. The bacon probably lent flavor last time, but it was soft and no one really wanted to eat it anyway. Second, I did have a red pepper, so diced that up and added it to the meat mix. Oh, and I’m also using Italian flavored bread crumbs because I bought them by accident.

Hobo Hamburgers

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tsp Paula Deen's house seasoning OR 1 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp garlic powder, 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped green (or red) pepper, optional
  • 1 cup grated Cheddar cheese
  • 2 Russet potatoes, peeled and sliced
  • 2 carrots, peeled, cut in half, then sliced lengthwise
  • 1 large slice of onion for whoever likes onion
  • 4 slices bacon, cut in half, optional
  1. Mix the beef, egg, bread crumbs, lemon juice, seasonings, pepper, and cheese.
  2. Tear some foil pieces large enough to fold in half and hold the burgers.
  3. Shape 4 patties and place one on each piece of foil. Place onion, potato and carrot slices on top. Top with 2 pieces of bacon. Wrap the foil tightly around the meat and vegetables. I like to bring two pieces up to the top and fold down a few times to create a nice seal, then roll the side pieces up.
  4. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes or cook over coals.


  1. I’ve always sliced the potatoes. I just use medium sized Russet potatoes normally. I do NOT brown the meat at all before cooking.

  2. I do a segment on my radio show every week called “Sandra’s Simple Recipes” you can see them at kelofm.com. Anyhoo..a listener sent in her version of this recipe and WOW, I have NEVER eaten a “hobo” or “packet.” They sound so delicious! As I was looking around for some other tips, I came across this and read everything everyone had to say…

    What size potatoes do you recommend? (I am using an oven)
    Is it better to cut the potatoes or have small ones un-cut?
    Should you brown the patties a little on the stove BEFORE you put into packets?

    I appreciate all your help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Deborah Dowd says:

    I just recently posted a version with chicken that I knew as Boy Scout chicken. It is great fun to make and no cleanup!

  4. Anonymous says:

    This is a meal that my dad served us three boys when we went camping nearly 50 years ago. Your version seems to make to much of a fuss. Dad never mixed anything into the meat. He just made four patties and built from there, including diced peppers with the other veggies. From my perspective, the cheese is just extra fat (as if this is a healthy meal!) and there is no need for so much salt… A caveat, if cooking outdoors of a grill or coals, make sure you’ve wrapped it very well because you need to flip it periodically or you’ll end up with half burnt and half raw food when you start to dig in. I’m not sure that would be true in the oven baked version. It also pays to consider the size of your diced potatoes and carrots. Make sure they are suited to cook at the same pace. What am I taking away from this post? After fifty years, I now have the formula to cook this comfort food indoors. Thanx


  1. […] again tonight. I had been sent some samples of Country Bob’s Sauce and I added it to the hobo hamburger recipe. Mmmmmm. The sauce is like A1, dare I say, but a bit sweeter perhaps. Quite good! And I always like […]


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