Potatoes are one of those vegetables that just fit perfectly with the barbecue grill! Whether you’re tossing a steak over the coals or sticking to a hot dog or hamburger, a spud is a wonderful side.
It’s not complicated to prepare a potato on the grill, but it does take time. And of course, there are some basic steps that will help keep it absolutely delicious!
Some Tips For Grilling Any Potato
Remember it takes time
The most important thing to remember when you want to grill potatoes is that they take time. Yes, you’ll need to start them before your burgers, steaks, hot dogs, corn, and most other fixings! Grilling a whole potato takes around an hour. And don’t forget you’ll need to preheat your grill to about 350° before starting, too.
If you want to save some time, though, you can parboil the potato ahead of time. Around 10 minutes in boiling water will shorten the time needed on the barbecue substantially. You’ll only need to keep them on the grill for 30 to 40 minutes. You could also microwave them for 5-6 minutes instead of parboiling.
If you’re preparing slices, you can cut them first then parboil for ten minutes.
Use foil (mostly)
In most circumstances, cook your potato in aluminum foil. It’s possible to get good results without it – especially with a sliced potato – but in most circumstances, you’ll get a much better result if you wrap the potato in foil.
This helps keep the potato from drying out. It also helps you seal in the oil and spices that you apply.
Of course, there are times you can get away without foil, but they call for closer attention to the process. It’s easy to burn the skin while inside is far from done.
Direct heat or indirect?
Generally, we prefer to grill our potatoes on the upper rack and not over the direct flame. This allows the potato to cook all the way through. If you don’t have an upper rack, keep the potatoes toward the cooler part of the grill.
However, there are people who prefer to cook on the main grate. But you have to be more careful not to burn the skin of the potato if you do it this way. It still takes a long time to cook all the way through, so you have to turn it regularly. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a crispy outside!
Don’t prep the potatoes too early
It can be tempting to start dicing and slicing early so you can work at a more leisurely pace. But with potatoes, you have to be careful; they turn a greyish shade when exposed to the air. It doesn’t mean they’re bad, but it looks unappealing.
To avoid this, wait to cut them until right before grilling. But if you need to cut them early, cut them into a bowl of cold water or cover the slices with ice right away. This will help preserve their fresh appearance.
What are your other favorites from the barbecue grill? Check out our guides for these awesome cookout foods!
Cooking A Whole Potato On The Grill
If you want to grill a baked-potato style whole potato, start with a piece of aluminum foil large enough to wrap around the spud.
Add oil into the center of the foil – about 1 tablespoon is enough!
Add your spices to the oil.
You can pierce the potato with a fork in a few spots, if you want, to allow the spices to work their way inside.
Put your potato into the mix and wrap the foil around it, folding the ends so the oil doesn’t leak out.
Turn the potato every 15 minutes or so. It will take 45 minutes to an hour to cook.
Test it with a fork – you can pierce right through the foil. You’ll know it’s ready when you don’t feel much resistance in getting to the center.
Cooking Potato Wedges On The Grill
If you want to grill wedges instead, you can follow a similar process. Since potatoes are so dense, it will still take a good amount of time – 30 to 45 minutes – to cook them correctly. Because of this, we recommend using foil here. That way, they won’t dry out as fast.
You can use the same process of adding oil and spices onto aluminum foil. You may need a tiny bit more than with a whole potato since there will be more surface area to cover.
If you’re using your potato chunks or wedges for a kabob, don’t forget that other vegetables and meat will cook much faster. You’ll want to start cooking the potatoes earlier, then add them to the kabob to finish.
Cooking Potato Slices On The Grill
If you have thinner potato slices, they’ll cook much more quickly. It can still take about 15 minutes for a ½-inch thick slice, though.
Marinate your potato slices first.
You can cook them directly on the grate, but you’ll have to be careful that they don’t fall through! This method will give them a nice, seared look.
Or you could choose to use a grill griddle or frying pan lined with aluminum foil. You can close the foil loosely over them to help hold in some moisture.
Turn the slices after 10 minutes and cook them on the other side for about 5 minutes more. If you parboiled first, 5 minutes on each side should be enough.
Potatoes go great on the grill, whether you want to prepare them as a whole potato, wedges, or slices. They do take some time to cook right, but it’s a simple process! You’ll love the great taste as one of your principal sides at your next cookout.