Recipe of the Month – Omelets in a Bag

omlet
Make a tasty omelet right at your
kampsite—with no fuss and no muss!

Tracey Gooding of Brantford, Ontario, who shares her special recipe with us, says, “Works great to get everyone fed at once and with very little clean up. Kids especially like it!”

Ingredients:
Eggs (2 eggs per person)
Shredded cheese (maximum of 1/8 cup per person)
Milk / Cream (1/2 T per person)
Butter (1/4 tsp per person)
Salt and Pepper (to taste)
Pepper (to taste)
Favorite omelet ingredients, such as green pepper, onion, mushrooms, ham, bacon or sausage, cut into small pieces.

Directions:

Fill a pot 3/4 full of water and bring to a boil. (Tracey and her familiy use a Dutch oven pot, which accommodates 6-8 omelets easily.)

Give each kamper a Ziploc sandwich bag and write their name on it with a permanent marker. They may then add eggs, milk, cheese and other ingredients according to his or her preference. Close the sandwich bag, trying to get as much air out as possible.

Carefully kneed the bag to scramble the eggs and thoroughly combine the ingredients. Place each bag into the boiling water, and allow them to cook for 10 minutes*. Carefully remove each bag, open it and then slide a perfectly cooked omelet onto your plate. Enjoy!

*If you use more than 2 eggs, allow an extra 3-4 min for cooking time

Our kamping recipes come from readers just like you! Share your favorite recipe and tell us why you love it. Your recipe may be featured in Kompass, too!

  • montanacamper

    My kids LOVE to have what we call “Campfire Burritos.” If we don’t bring them with us camping, they are disappointed! It’s very simple and you really don’t need to follow a recipe. I recommend serving this with corn cooked in foil in the fire coals. It’s a complete and fulfilling meal that’s easy to make and clean up.
    Here is the basic idea:

    CAMPFIRE BURRITOS (makes about 6)
    - flour tortillas
    - can of refried beans
    - 1 lb. burger or turkey burger
    - 1 green pepper, diced
    - 1/2 small onion, diced
    - 1 package taco seasoning
    - shredded cheese
    - 1 package cream cheese

    Cook the meat with the onions and green peppers. Once cooked, mix in beans, seasoning, and cream cheese. Put in tortilla shells with cheese, roll up and place in heavy foil. Cook in the coals for about 10 minutes but check to make sure you don’t burn it. These can also be assembled ahead and cooked later.

    • Jane Lloyd

      These look so good–can’t wait to try them. Always looking for great recipes to try while camping. The bar-b-q one in last fall’s newsletter was delicious. My all-time favorite is still “drunk chicken”. I’ve tweaked the method a little though because it took to long on the open fire. I place the chicken down in a dutch oven to cook, then the last few minutes I brown it over the coals. Great! Don’t forget to put a few drops of liquid smoke in the beer–awesome flavor!!!

  • Karen

    As far as I’m concerned, when you cook those Hebrew National hot dogs over the fire, that’s all you need. . .

  • Rhonda

    The omelets sound really good–these sound like something that my kids would actually eat because they could choose their own toppings. Great post!

  • Mary

    These omelets sound really good, but so do the campfire burritos. I’ll bet the cream cheese gives them a unique taste.

  • Joyce from Chesterfield, MI

    We make omelettes in a bag with our camping club. Everyone brings different toppings and we have an omelette smorgasborg. When cooking omelettes ina bag for a group, the trick is to use a Sharpie marker to write the name on the Ziploc so each person gets their own personalized omelette.

    • Jennifer C (Calif)

      We do these for both our large & small camping groups. We find Ziploc Freezer bags and Sharpie Markers work best. Also with 3-egg omelets , cooking them 4 minutes longer along with squeezing them (use a papertowel or two-they are hot) half-way through works really well.

      • Sarah Rondeau

        We used to make these with the scouts all the time. Picky eaters can pick their own mix-ins and everyone’s happy :-)

  • kristi annon

    I am most definately going to try the omelet idea. THANKS!!!!

  • Roddie

    I have been cooking food in bags for years. Nice to have no mess to clean up, and eat right out of the bag. Omelets are one of my favorites. I would, however, suggest quart-size freezer bags rather than sandwich bags. They hold up much better in the boiling water, and won’t puncture when poked around. Also, if you sort of flatten the bag after it starts to cook, it will be thinner and cook faster. Just my two cents from 40-plus years of experience….

  • jeri hubbard

    we have been doing these omelettes in a bag for many years we use the zip lock freezer bags as they are much sturdier. we don’t use a marker we use a small pair of sissiors and see what kind of code we can cut on the plastic above the zip lock..really interesting combinations..

  • Gillian Crawford

    Going to try the omelets at home tonight, if they are good I will be adding them to my camping meals list.

  • Chris Treichel

    My dad had a great receipe. Medium boiled potatos the day before. In the morning cut up some onions with the potatos s & p great filling and lots of energy very simple. If you have the time add some cooked bacon crumbled.

  • Julie

    So the bags don’t melt? I would think the omelette would taste kind of like the plastic it was boiled in. Is this safe?

    • Big Wave

      The plastic won’t melt if kept in the water and away from the side of the pot above the waterline.

      We had an instance or two of meltage when the plastic touched the inside of the pot (above the boiling water). To alleviate this we had the kids make another omlet, push out as much air as possible and punctured the top of the bag (above the zip) with a branch to dangle the bag in the water. This worked and none went hungry.

  • Mary Ann Whetsell

    Just a question about using plastic bags in boiling water. With all the “hoopla” in the news about leaching of chemicals from plastic (i.e. the movement to stainless steel water bottles), is there a concern we are adding more chemicals to our foods by this method?

    • Nora

      I agree, this worries me, cooking in plastic will definitely release chemicals. Some of the girl scouts have used this method when camping. My troop hasn’t, but we have heard about it. Do you know the girl scouts created, “smores”!!!

    • Linda

      Use the new ziplock steaming bags if you have any concerns since they are made for this type of thing – maybe a little more expensive but worth the peace of mind if in doubt and works exactly the same way. We have used the quart size bags for a few years and have always had great success.

  • Lori

    Our family favorite is “Fast Food Sandwiches” when camping.
    Fried egg with cheese & canadian bacon, sausage or ham on a
    toasted bagel or english muffin. Served with those pre-formed
    hash brown patties. It’s so crazy: we never eat fast food-type breakfasts
    except when we’re out in the middle of nowhere.

    Another favorite: use coconut covered marshmallows for S’mores.
    You have to be careful and use indirect heat, but boy, is it worth it!

    • Judy Folk

      If you are camping in a trailer and have an oven, it is so quick to toast the english muffins all at once on a baking sheet. This helps your sandwiches to be done and hot at the same time. You could also toast a bunch on a griddle pan at the same time.

    • P Zoromski

      Love the coconut marshmallow idea! You could use cinnamon graham crackers too. I also like a little peanut butter on the graham cracker. It helps to hold the chocolate in place.

  • Linda & Kory

    left overs from the night before? throw them into the bag with the eggs and cheeses, very easy and quick, we have done this before and it’s so yummy.

  • Mark Hoagland

    Our Boy Scout Troop has been making omelets in a bag for years. The boys love them since they are custom made & the leaders love them because you can eat them right out of the bag & not have much clean-up!

  • gramag

    We make these omelets, but do not use milk or butter – a little less fat. You really don’t need either of those items and still makes a yummy omelet. We always use the sandwich size bags – just be careful they are not hanging out over the edge of the pan as they will melt. These have become a camping favorite with our family.

  • TJ

    What happened to all the warnings about how dangerous it is to cook in Ziploc bags??!!

    • Doris Yakey

      I agree with you 100%. Do you know how many chemicals are in the plastic and getting into the food. I honestly don’t see how those chemicals could be good for your kids. How hard is it to make an omelette in the frying pan and then divide it up for everybody. At least that way you know that it is a lot healthier!!

      • Kathy Washbourne

        Zip Lock says not to boil there bags. However they did tell me to try the steamable bags for food. Steamable to the key word I believe. However, last week a friend gave me a large quanity of Seal A Meal bags. Right on the box they say boilable bags. I now own a small Seal A Meal machine that I can carry in my motor home so we can have the boilable breakfast.

        Thought I’d pass that little option on as we love the boilable breakfast also.

  • Karen

    http://camping.about.com/od/campingrecipes/a/ziplocbaggies.htm

    Check out the website info re cooking in Ziploc bags. Personally, I suspect that if you are only doing it once or twice a year on a family camping trip, no one is going to die from it. However, everyone should be informed.

    • R Dieker

      Thank you for this info. Not to mention all those bags tossed into the landfill. If I were KOA I would not advocate this recipe and heed the warning from Ziploc. It amazes me how non eco friendly ‘camping’ has become. Don’t boy scouts earn a leave no trace badge anymore?

      • Mary

        get over yourself and have some fun w/ your family! your children are gonna hit the age when mom and dad are no longer fun! cherish what you have, it’s not extensive, the bag cooking.

      • Merri-A

        I do not believe that KOA is advocating anything but merely sharing a cool idea, if your eco friendly habits prevent you from using this recipe then don’t use it. I’m about 80% eco friendly in my habits and my families habits but lets be serious it’s almost impossible to be perfect and if you made this meal once a year I’m sure no harm would be done.
        We all need to be a bit more positive.

    • Barney Hilderbrand

      Those omelets in a bag was really sounding good. A couple of times a year a large group of us get together and have a family reunion, we all like camping. I was going to set this up but I read the article from the web site you had posted with your comments. I will definately wait for some other type of bag to be made. Thank You for the information. Barney

    • Tim H,

      Thank you very much for posting this link. As a Scoutmaster I am always looking out for the safety of the youth (and adults) on our trips. While we have tried this a couple of times with good success, I will refrain from using this method until a safe and proven alternative is found. Thanks again!

  • Sue Mollick

    Wow, they both sound yummy! We are going to Yellowstone in June and it sounds like we will be having some good eating

    • Jennifer A

      Do you know where you are staying? If you are camping KOA, the best one is on the Snake River outside of Jackson. It is on the Snake River and has absolutely amazing sites! The drive to and from Yellowston is beautiful and goes through the Grand Tetons. We got to Wyoming just to stay at this KOA! We have been going there for over 15 years now!

  • Lynn Henderson

    When making more than one Bag Omlette, remember the more bags in the pot the longer the Omlettes take, as the water cools down a little.
    These are wonderful, quick, and no mess. Kids love to eat them right out of the bag. No dishes !!

  • Alicia

    Wow, my imagination is running wild. I travel and camp in a motor home, so what adjustments would I need to get this recipe done in a microwave?
    I would like to use electricity because I can generate it myself in a number of ways, and therefore I can conserve on the LP.
    I like the idea of boiling the meal in a plastic bag, and I know I can nuke water to boiling in a M/W, but is it possible to maintain boiling for 10 minutes and cook successfully in a sandwich bag??

    • Linda

      Use the Ziplock Zip and Steam – cook on full power 2 1/2 minutes or until eggs are cooked and firm throughout – with no liquid egg remaining – if needed continue micro at 30 sec intervals until omelet is done – allow bag to stand 1 min before opening – these directions are straight from Zip Lock :)

  • Barbara

    Gee Alicia,
    I am like you are. I never use the stove or oven.
    If it can’t be cooked in the microwave or grill we
    don’t eat it.
    The only thing I can think of is bringing a big bowl of
    water to a boil in the microwave. When the water is
    boiling fill one side of the sink with hot water then add
    the boiling water to it.
    May have to leave the bags in the hot water for a little
    longer to cook them.
    Barb

    • Renee

      We have done this with a group of friends and it worked great. But like you I don’t use the oven. We used our turkey fryer and just filled the pot with water. Works great and plenty big for big crouds.

      • David Rubeo (chef)

        Microwave ovens have a powerlevel setting. Experiment with this to find the level that will keep the water boiling without boiling over. I do this all the time. A little practise & you can do just about anything with the microwave oven.

  • Paul Korinko

    Not to be a party pooper, but there are many low melting point polymers in the ziploc bags that make them somewhat unsuitable for long term exposure to boiling water. You may want to reconsider the use of ziploc type bags and use oven or microwavable bags. It’s a matter of health. The plasticizers in bags are similar to the BPA that was used in Nalgene water bottles that caused such a stir.

  • Gillian Crawford

    Oh! what a disaster, glad I didn’t wait to go camping to try this for the first time. Used 3 eggs so put in to boil for the extra time – 14mins total – Bag fell apart as I tried to remove from water. Scooped omelet out of water hoping to salvage it only to find centre not cooked at all. Ended up in the garbage. Will not be trying this again, faster and easier to do the old fashioned way – in a fry pan.

    • Dana

      Gillian–did you use a thin sandwich bag or a freezer bag that is much thicker? My guess is the thinner ones won’t hold up. Kudos to you for trying it out!

    • West

      We have enjoyed these for years, but the 2 main points you have to stress are:
      *Must have boiling water (lid helps!)
      *Must use freezer type bags

      tried really hot water and regular bags and learned our lesson w/ both.

      Although we are all trying to be more green, it is a huge convenience to have no mess to clean up when you are ‘roughing it’!

      • Dana

        Also, I think it is just as green to be able to burn the trash in the fire, and the bags obviously burn.

  • Mary Hayes

    Not to be a party pooper but all those plastic bags just contribute to more trash. Not a very environmentally friendly method even though it’s so very convenient. A good skillet with a little olive oil still works well.

  • Diane Lyons

    To Sue Mollick,

    You mentioned going to Yellowstone in June. Please remember that food takes longer to cook at higher altitudes and you may want to add more cooking time to the omelets.

    Wyoming welcomes you! Hope your stay is wonderful.

  • Joita Henry

    When packing for a camping trip,I put several eggs in a canning jar to keep in the cooler;then when I need them I either pour them out or shake them up. Walla,either fried eggs or scrambled for omelets! HAVEN’T TRIED THE BOILING WATER TRICK BUT SHOULD WORK IN WATER CONSIDERING THEY ARE SPECIFICALLY MADE FOR HOT WATER. Then take it home or wash and recycle. No chemicals,just not as neat.

  • Vivian Slabaugh

    Xpress Redi Set Go Cooker. Great for camping, I would not leave home without it. This is the very best way to do omelets and so many other things. It frys, bakes, steams. You must have electeric outlet though. But very easy clean up too !!! No chemical bags or trash.

  • Jim

    Actually to all the microwave people, you can make scrambled eggs in a micro, so you should be able to do an omlet. Use micro safe bowl, 2 eggs a pat of butter and a bit of milk, mix together pop in the micro for about 1 minute, take out and stir and back in for another 30 to 50 seconds. You can add cheese, and anything else your heart desires. I regularly have omlets on the road this way. It is convient, fast and very little mess to clean up.

    • Alicia

      Jim, appreciate your thoughtful suggestion. I guess some of us were trying to make a case for cooking the whole omlette in a boiling bag, when we all know you can just nuke it in the first place in the M/W without a bag. Making a simple task complicated, I guess.

  • Rodger Temple

    I agree with paul. Do NOT boil food in a sandwich bag.They are not made for that purpose and chemicals will leach out, especially plasticizers.

  • Thinkgreen

    Lets not fool ourselves over a few plastic bags. We might as well forget about being “Green”. With today’s style “camping” in vehicles’ with humongous gas consumption, environmental unfriendliness of camper-manufacturing impacts, on-site electrical, sewage and water requirements, roads cut through natural habitat just so we can pull into to our “camp site” etc. etc. none of us would deserve a green scout badge. Accommodating all this no longer equate to the “Green”. Luxury and “Green” are at opposite ends of the scale. So, if we enjoy camping, lets just do that the best we can and leave our sites in good shape for others.

  • Madge Ferguson

    For two generations we have been using the “boil in the bag” idea for boat and camper cooking. We use the sealing machine that uses safem, sealable, freezer bags. At home, we double meals we are cooking and freeze single portion dinner meals (use separate bags for meats, potatoes and veg), for example:
    sliced roast, meatloaf, chops, etc. and some gravy (freeze till you go camping)
    mashed potatoes & most vegetables (freeze separately with a dollop of butter or margarine )
    When you set off camping – pull meats, potatoes and vegs from the freezer and you can have a mess free Sunday dinner in the trailer!
    Happy eating! Madge

  • Tamara

    I use bags or foil. I hate the mess of greasy pans. I do chopped potatoes, onions & garlic, in foil by the camp fire. Then will have eggs in bags ready to put in water. Remember you don’t have to have your eggs scrambled. Try the poached way.

  • Matt Mather

    Try this: Take a brown lunch bag, lay 2-3 strips of bacon on the bottom, then crack two eggs over the bacon. Fold the bag over and place over a hot bed of coals. Important to note that there should be no flames!! Also watch carefully as the paper and the grease from the bacon can catch fire…proper placement is key. Eat your eggs and bacon from the bag, and toss the bag when your done. Paper bags are green also.

  • Helen Louchart

    I work for KOA and like to think we are going green. Maybe we could come up with a way to depose of zip lock bags that will keep us green. Any ideals?

  • SnopesReader

    There is nothing on snopes.com this time but I think we can agree that we get a little to freaked out about anything that could potentially cause “carcinogens” and that keeps us from doing things that could potentially kill us…. but seriously folks? Plastic bags?

    Per Ziploc FAQ’s http://www.ziploc.com/

    Q: I have read an email that warned consumers about the alleged dangers of using Ziploc® products in the microwave. Is this information true?

    A: In 2002, we became aware of an email that was being widely circulated, which warned consumers about the alleged dangers of using plastics in the microwave. This email claimed that the combination of fat, high heat, and plastics releases dioxin into the food and ultimately into the cells of the body, thereby increasing the risk of producing cancerous cells. We researched these claims and it is clear that the information is misleading, and unnecessarily alarms consumers.

    Saran™ and Ziploc® products are 100% dioxin free. You also should be aware that dioxins can be formed only when chlorine is combined with extremely high temperatures, such as 1,500°F, which even the most powerful consumer microwave ovens are unable to produce.

    Our Saran™ and Ziploc® products can be used with confidence when label directions are followed. All Saran™ Wraps, Ziploc® containers and microwaveable Ziploc® bags meet the safety requirements of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for temperatures associated with defrosting and reheating food in microwave ovens, as well as room, refrigerator, and freezer temperatures.

    Please help us alleviate consumers’ concerns and share these facts with those who forwarded this misleading e-mail to you, and to whom you may have sent it. Thank you for giving us a chance to set the record straight.

  • Nicki Haley

    I think Ziplock has developed a new steamer bag for this very thing!!!!!

  • DD

    Seems to me it takes less time to toss omelet ingredients into a nonstick pan and quickly saute (with a tiny bit of oil if desired) than it does to boil water — on the stove, over a campfire, or in the microwave! A quick wipe with a paper towel and the saute pan is clean (and nicely “cured” to boot). You don’t even have to use water (sometimes a precious commodity when camping), sauteing is more controllable, tastes better, it’s quick and more convenient, in my opinion.

    If the novelty of using bags is so fetching, then for heaven’s sake use boilable bags, not zippies that melt into your food…Yuk! I get the bit that everyone’s omelet is allegedly ready at the same time, but unless it is a huge group, the time difference of boiling a larger pot of water and sauteing 4 omelets in rapid succession still makes it faster cooking over a flame. Individualized omelet fixings can be combined ahead of time by each person in a paper cup and tossed into the saute pan one after the other. The paper towel used to wipe the pan and the paper cups used to mix fixings can then be tossed into the campfire instead of adding to the ever-growing landfill. If we’re “urban camping” (big RV park and tricked out rig with hook-ups), then I’ll be darned if I’m eating out of a zip bag!!

  • John

    Pretty Wopman by Roy Orbison Keeps Me Going!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Cheryl Platz

    I wrote to Ziplock to ask about safety in boiling their bags. They said they don’t recommend it. They are not designed to withstand the extreme heat of boiling.

  • Alicia

    Yes, and what happened to the suggestions on how to cook this in a microwave?

  • Jane Lloyd

    Steamer bags are great for vegetables but have holes in them!! Zip-Locs are not sturdy enough and the plastic contains a lot of toxic chemicals that release when heated to the melting point. So, my method is to use large pork and bean cans (larger around the mouth). Remove the paper, spray with non-stick cooking spray, place a small pat of butter in the bottom, add your omelet fixins and set them into a large cast iron skillet full of very hot water over the fire. You can place a cookie sheet or a large pot lid over them and speed up the cooking time! Much safer and a great way to recycle those cans while camping! They’re great for heating up leftovers too if you don’t have a microwave.

  • Carla B

    We tried the omelets this morning…they were wonderful! We added no butter and used a tiny amount of fat free milk so they had no greasy flavor at all. We agree that freezer bags would be better than thinner sandwich bags.

    As far as the health concerns, we are now somewhat conflicted after reading all of the above comments. I agree that using this recipe a couple of times a year probably poses no more threat to our health than many other actions we take each day. However, we will be checking into some of the alternatives mentioned above. We will remember also…this is designed to be a FUN alternative to food prep, involving ALL family members or friends at the SAME time. So…be careful and have FUN!

  • Doug Walker

    Some folks comments indicate they just miss some of the key points about this recipe.

    1. It’s the novelty of a different way to do omelets.
    2. Everyone gets to do their own = FUN!
    3. Many can be cooked at one time.
    4. You’re not doing this every day of your life so get over the ‘chemicals’ thing.

    I’ve done this many times over the years and it is always enjoyed by all participants. Freezer bags work just fine. Stick with the major brands. Try to keep the water boiling. The bigger the pot the better. Cooking time will vary with the amount of ingredients. 2 eggs and a little cheese will cook in 10 – 12 minutes. 3 eggs and/or more ingredients will take longer. Each person needs to time their own and if it looks like the eggwhite is still runny, back into the pot for 2 or 3 more minutes. Then check again. Note that it is very difficult to overcook this treat.

  • Karen Cassard

    These omlettes are really alot of fun and very tasty if done right. I agree with all the concerns but as some have stated “you only do it once in a while” so the chemical concern should be minimal. Live a little – if chemicals don’t kill you something else will. Live each day as it is your last.

    The burritos sound yummy so I am going to try them on our next camping trip.

    Thanks for all the great ideas.

    Enoy the great outdoors and respect it.

  • edw_jr

    Have done the bag omelets many times with no problems. No busted bags, no major plastic illness; just real good camping omelets that everyone enjoyed!

  • Doug H.

    Bag plastic will not kill you, but these Omelets sure will make for an easy morning of cooking. Thanks for the excellent recipe.

  • autoversicherung vergleich

    last few days our group held a similar talk on this topic and you show something we haven’t covered yet, appreciate that.

    - Kris

  • JL

    Good Grief! All the ridiculous statements and comments! Any good cook can/should be able to heat a pot of water to below the boiling point, or lower it back to below the boiling point! And this WAS for a group of kids/people! Try feeding a dozen or more hungry people out of one skillet! If you can, you must have helped with the “Loaves and Fishes” Christ served on the Mount! Camping is all about having fun! If that means kids cooking breakfast in a plastic bag once or twice a year will harm them, then you should be having them wear mask/ filters all the time to keep out all the polutants emitted by vehicles, aircraft, and factories! They’re getting much worse from them than a bag is going to give them!