Grilled Green Beans in Foil. Foil pouch grilled green beans are an easy way to make a side dish directly on the grill. The veggies steam inside the foil pouch, brown a little, and are done in about fifteen minutes, while you work on grilling the protien to a perfect medium-rare.
I got the idea from Let the Flames Begin by Chris Schlesinger and John (Doc) Willoughby. They called them Hobo Packs, and modeled them after the foil wrapped meals you would toss in a campfire.
Way back in Cub Scout camp, we made a lot of hobo packs...and mine never worked. A pouch of potatoes, ground beef, and ketchup went into the campfire. What came out was burnt to carbon, except for a couple of raw, crunchy cubes in the middle of the pouch. (I ate a lot of baloney sandwiches that week.)
Luckily, I learned the steam-saute basic technique when I was older, and saw past Cub Scout charred potatoes to the possibilities of foil pouches on the grill. Any vegetable that works in a steam-saute will work in a foil pouch.
Schlesinger and Willoughby made elaborate hobo packs; yuca, corn, and tomatoes for example. I make simple vegetable pouches for weeknight side dishes. My favorite, by far, is green beans. Why? Because my wife loves green beans, and I want to keep her happy.
- Fresh Green Beans
- Kosher Salt
- Fresh Ground Black Pepper
- Olive Oil
How to Grill Green Beans
- Wrap the green beans in aluminum foil: Stack 2 2-foot pieces of heavy duty aluminum foil on top of each other. Lay the green beans in a rectangle down the middle, leaving a lot of space on the sides of the foil, and a little space at the top and bottom of the foil. Sprinkle the beans with salt, pepper, and olive oil, and add a tablespoon or two of water. Bring the long sides of the foil together over the top of the beans. Fold the long sides over twice, then keep folding until you have a long envelope with the foil tight against the pile of beans. Fold the open ends of the envelope a few times to seal.
- Grill the foil envelope of beans over direct medium heat (350°F): Preheat your grill to medium - about 350°F - and put the foil pouch of beans on the grill grate, directly over the heat, seam side up. Grill the pouch of beans for 16 minutes, flipping gently to the other side halfway through the cooking time.
- Check and serve: Carefully open the foil pouch (protect your hands - the foil will be hot) and try a bean. They should be done, tender with a little bite to them, but if not, seal up the pouch and cook for another five minutes, or until the beans are tender. Pour the beans from the pouch onto a serving platter and enjoy.
Start the beans early
The beans usually take longer than my main course when I'm grilling, so I try to get them on the grill first.
Why two pieces of foil?
I can probably get away with one, but I worry about poking a hole in the foil. If there is a hole, all the liquid drips into the grill. This makes a mess, but also doesn't leave enough steam in the foil pouch for the beans to cook evenly.
Heavy Duty Aluminum Foil
"Regular" aluminum foil is thin and fragile. I don't like to use it when I'm flipping a big pouch full of pointy beans with metal tongs - I've poked a few too many holes in pouches that way. If you have to use regular aluminum foil, use 4 pieces to make the pouch. (I get my aluminum foil from warehouse clubs or restaurant supply stores - a 500 food roll costs a lot less per foot than the 25 foot rolls they sell at the grocery store.)
I punched a hole in the foil! Now what?
Accidents happen, even with heavy duty foil. If you punch a hole in the foil, gently flip the pouch so the hole is on the top, and cover the hole with another piece of foil wrapped tight around the package. (Protect your hands while you do this - the grill and the foil pack green beans are hot.)
These beans make a great side dish if you already have the grill fired up for something else, like steaks, pork chops, ribs, or salmon. You can scale this recipe up or dow; I've made it half sized and double sized. When I double the recipe, I cook the beans for 24 minutes total - 12 minutes on each side of the pouch - to make sure they cook through.
If you want to make a Mediterranean version of these beans, add a clove of minced garlic and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes.
If you want an Asian taste profile for this green beans recipe, skip the salt and water and drizzle the beans with 2 tablespoons of soy sauce before closing the foil packets.
- Grill (I use a Weber Summit. Here is the current version of my grill.)
- 2 (18-inch by 24-inch) pieces heavy duty aluminum foil
Adapted From: Chris Schlesinger and John Willoughby Let the Flames BeginPrint
Grilled Green Beans in Foil. You already have the grill fired up - why not cook some green beans while you're out there?
- 1 pound fresh green beans, ends trimmed
- ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons water
- Wrap the Beans: Lay the pieces of foil on top of each other, and put the beans in the middle of the foil, in a pile roughly following the shape of the foil. Sprinkle the salt and pepper over the beans, then drizzle with the olive oil and water. Bring the long sides of the foil together over the top of the beans. Fold the long sides over twice, then keep folding until you have a long envelope with the foil tight against the pile of beans. Fold the open ends of the envelope a few times to seal.
- Preheat the grill: Prepare the grill for cooking on medium heat, then clean with a grill brush. For my Weber summit, I preheat the grill with all burners on high for 15 minutes, then turn the burners down to medium and brush the grate clean.
- Cook the beans: Put the envelope of beans over direct medium heat, and cook with the lid closed for 8 minutes. Flip the bag of beans, and cook for another 8 minutes. Carefully open the bag and check the beans - a bean from the middle of the pile should be floppy, and cooked all the way through. If not, seal up the envelope and cook until the beans are tender.
- Serve the beans: Open one end of the foil envelope - be careful, the steam is hot - and pour the beans onto a platter. Serve.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 16 minutes
- Category: Grilling
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: Grilled Green Beans in Foil, foil pouch grilled green beans, Grilled Green Beans Recipe
This technique will work with any semi-tender vegetable that you can steam in about fifteen to twenty minutes. I use it to make make foil pouch baby carrots, asparagus, and broccoli on a regular basis.
What do you think? Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.
Chris Schlesinger and John Willoughby Let the Flames Begin
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