The summer season is here and in full swing; this means it is time to unload your barbecue grills from the garage. Numerous barbecue parties and picnics have been lined up and the grill is the key to making them worthwhile during the summers.
The delicious flavor and texture that each dish brings to barbecues are unparalleled. Whether it is chicken or salmon, each meal adds its flavor to the barbecue. However, these barbecue foods are not the only ones that need grilling.
Potatoes complement our everyday meal, hence earning the titles of ‘dinner staple’ and ‘comfort food.’ However, there is no reason why dinner staples like potatoes can’t be part of a quality grilled meal.
Smoked, baked potatoes that have been cooked to be perfectly light and fluffy will be perfect sides for dinner. The grilled potato with its distinct flavor and texture is an excellent addition to summer BBQs. It is gradually becoming an essential item at family gatherings and picnics.
On the outset, cooking a potato’s insides while ensuring that its outsides do not burn seems tricky; however, the convenient nature of potatoes and their rough and hard exterior make grilling them easy.
Learn How to Cook a Baked Potato on the Grill
With everyone grilling homemade burgers and brats, people often ignore baked potatoes. However, these potatoes add value to the meal by complementing the taste of the grilled food, making them a must-have for this barbecue season.
Since many don’t know the method for grilling baked potatoes, we are sharing a step-by-step guide that will prepare you for summer cook-outs.
Grilling Baked Potatoes
Grilling baked potatoes is a lot easier than grilling some of the other foods that are popular during the summer season. Potatoes can be baked in many ways; it all depends on the grill that you have and the method you prefer. On a gas or a charcoal grill, you can grill baked potatoes with and without foils.
1. Grilling Baked Potatoes with Foil
One method that people commonly go for is placing the foil on the grill and then heating the potato. This method is not only used for grilling potatoes but other food items as well.
The foil on the grill absorbs all the heat and traps it in; this prevents the skin of the potato from burning.
To add further flavor and texture to the baked potatoes and to create a pleasant aroma, sprinkle salt, garlic, pepper, and Italian seasoning evenly on the foil. Roll the baked potatoes in the foil. Then, use a fork or knife to puncture the rolled potatoes a few times.
After puncturing the potatoes, place them on the grill and wait for them to get softer. The waiting bit extends to an hour at least; however, once the potatoes are soft, serve them with your favorite toppings.
2. Grilling Baked Potatoes without Foil
Before you go about grilling baked potatoes, it is imperative to choose the ideal potato type for the job. There are two main types of potatoes: russet potatoes and thinner skin potatoes.
Thinner skin potatoes, as the name suggests, have more delicate skin. Russets tend to have more starch than the other potato types; this makes them ideal for grilling baked potatoes without foil.
Before you start grilling, heat the potatoes partially; this way the insides of the potatoes get cooked properly. Keep in mind that you cannot heat the potatoes insides otherwise.
Make sure that the internal temperature of the baked potato ranges around 205 to 212 °F, since a fully baked potato has an internal temperature of 210 °F. However, unlike many other foods, potatoes can adapt to high temperatures; therefore, you can set the interior temperature above 210 °F as well. Anything under 190 °F is not recommended.
Now that you are done heating the potatoes’ interior, the next step is to cost them with oil using a brush and poke it with a fork a few times. Wash the potatoes before you oil them and place them in the microwave because it prevents that shriveled potato look.
Place the potatoes in the microwave for 2-3 minutes after which they are ready for grilling. However, don’t over-do it; otherwise, you’ll have wrinkles on the potatoes.
Before starting, make sure that the grill’s surface has a temperature in the 450 °F to 500 °F range. Temperature slightly under this range is okay but anything over it will dry the potatoes.
To ensure that the baked potatoes are clean and react well to changes in the temperature, scrub and clean the potato under running water. To gently expose the potatoes’ insides to the grill’s direct heat, poke the skin with a fork few times.
Now that the skin has been pierced, brush the potatoes with olive oil to add an aroma and texture to the food. By this time, the potatoes will give a very soft and smooth look. Finally, sprinkle coarse salt and pepper on the potatoes and microwave them for 2 to 2-and-a-half minutes while flipping the potato halfway through.
The frequency of flipping and the duration of heating vary according to the strength of the microwave and the size of the potatoes. However, regardless, the primary aim should be to not over-heat the potatoes with the microwave.
After microwaving, the baked potato is ready to transfer over the direct heat of the grill. Flip the potato every 4-5 minutes and carry on heating until the potatoes’ skin turns a deep brown. The total grill time, in this case, is about 12 to 14 minutes.
3. Cooking Baked Potatoes on Charcoal Grill
To prepare the baked potato on a charcoal grill, you need to be aware of how to use a charcoal grill.
After following all the preheating steps and baking the potatoes at the right temperature, you need to divert your attention to the charcoal grill. Your first aim should be to access the bottom of the grill, remove the rack, and open the grill vents from both sides; this will allow you to use the cooking area of the grill.
Light the charcoal in the chimney starter and add coals to one half of the grill. Place the rack on the grill as soon as you are done.
After the potatoes are ready for grilling, you can decide to grill them with or without aluminum foil. You can test the grill’s readiness by placing your hand above it and assessing the heat released. Stab the potatoes with a fork to see if it has been cooked from the inside. If a potato offers no resistance to the fork, it means that it’s done.
Once the potatoes start changing color, it is an indication that you should remove them from the grill. Your grilled baked potatoes are now ready.
Grilled Baked Potato Presentation
The good thing about grilling baked potatoes is that they are not just tasty on their own but also complement your main dish well.
The tender look of a potato and the color that it obtains is enough to catch one’s eye. You can sprinkle various salads on the top of the grilled baked potato. You can also add a layer of cheese or your favorite sauces inside it, giving it a new flavor profile.
People experiment with classic stapes all the time and baked potatoes are no different. Whether it is stuffing them or serving them as a side dish, you can choose the ideal potato presentation to complement your main dish.
Our Final Thoughts
Grilling baked potatoes is fast becoming the barbecue trend this summer. In addition to being convenient and easy to cook, baked potatoes add a crispy, tender dimension to barbecues today.
If you are planning a barbecue and are looking for variety in the foods available, then grilling baked potatoes with the methods we have mentioned above is the right option for you.