Campfire Cookin: Butter BBQ Boats (or ‘Bobs)

Friday August 14, 2009

My friend Renee did a great write up on what her family eats when they camp, so I thought I would share the one good camp food recipe we use when we camp.  Like Renee, we minimize the actual work by doing as much prep as possible ahead of time.  Also, when we cook, we usually keep things  simple the first night (i.e. hot dogs and pre-made salad) and then get a little more elaborate the second night.

Our favorite camping dish is a beef kabob recipe my husband found.  I’m not sure of it’s origin, so I don’t know who deserves the real credit for it.   But I’ll share our version of it here:


Butter Barbecue Boats

aka Shish Kabobs with Butter Barbecue Sauce

½ cup (1 stick) butter
¼ cup lemon juice
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp mustard
½ tsp salt
dash of pepper
3 Tbsp chives or onions, chopped

Kabobs / Boats
1.5lbs sirloin tips (top round is also excellent), cut into 1 ½” cubes
green pepper
red pepper
fresh mushrooms
cherry tomatoes
large onion
potatoes, cubed
Basically any veggies that float your boat.

Camping Version (Boats!)

Pre-camping Prep:

The Sauce: melt butter in a sauce pan until amber color.  Add rest of ingredients and blend thoroughly. Simmer 5 minutes.  Yields about ¾ cup; enough for four or five 9” kabobs.   Set sauce aside to cool.

Chop up your veggies into skewerable (or bite-sized) pieces.  We washed, scrubbed and dried the potatoes ahead of time, but waited to cut them until we needed them at the campsite – raw cut potatoes don’t keep so well.   Bag up your veggies for later (keeping veggies that should be kept dry – like mushrooms & potatoes separate).

Slice the beef into bite-sized pieces.  Combine beef and sauce in a ziplock baggie* (double-bag if concerned about leakage – you don’t want to contaminate your cooler!).

At the Campsite:

Cut up potatoes and any other veggies you haven’t prepped yet.

Create tinfoil “boats”:  Set two 12″ squares of tinfoil on top of each other on your prep surface.    Add a kabob’s worth portion of meat and veggies into your foil and fold up the foil – double food over the top and twist ends to seal food in.

Place tinfoil boats on a grill over medium coals, folded side up for 15-20 minutes or until desired degree of doneness.

Tip: potatoes always seem to take longer – you might want to reserve some sauce prior to combining with meat and make a separate boat with just potatoes and a little sauce.

Cooking at Home (‘Bobs!)

If using wooden skewers, soak them for at least 30 minutes.

Chop up veggies and meat into bite-sized pieces.

Prepare sauce as indicated above, but DO NOT combine with meat.

Skewer kabobs with meat and veggies.  Place on grill 5-6” from hot coals.  Brown slowly for 12-15 minutes, turning occasionally and brushing with Butter BBQ Sauce.

Place kabobs on double thick 12” squares of tinfoil; each each with 2 Tbsp sauce.  Double fold over top and twist ends to seal food in.  Place on grill over medium coals folded side up (do not turn) for 10-15 minutes or until desired degree of doneness.

Eat and enjoy!

The one downside of our abridged campsite version you don’t get the nice grill marks.  You could certainly go the whole nine yards while camping, we just like to keep it simple.  Trust me, it will taste delish either way!

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3 Responses to Campfire Cookin: Butter BBQ Boats (or ‘Bobs)

  1. 1
    GRANDPA says:

    I could be wrong but think this is a treat that we have made over the years. Am pretty sure it is the same recipe or one Mike has modified that we always had. I asked Pat where she got it and said she found it in a magazine (thinks was Womens Day) I know one thing — They sure are fine eating. We found doubling the sauce made them much better so you had a little left over for dippin. I always poured the sauce over the kabobs before sealing and placing on the grill (like your cooking at home recipe) –this makes more steam and seemed to make the meat much more tender. Have not had any for a long long time so will have to crank some up to go along with the fresh corn, cukes, okra, potatoes and tomatoes we are pulling from the garden. SO, you better hurry and get down here.


  2. 2
    Renee says:

    Ok, now I am hungry. We will have to try your recipe. It looks delicious.

    The easiest meal we have done while camping was grilling steaks, asparagus and peaches. We marinated the peaches in some brown sugar and vanilla before leaving home.

  3. 3

    that’s exactly what i do. i focus on the girl’s face right before she jumps and then move my camera up with my finger still on the button then snap as her face appears in my view.

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