I have shared posts for grilling the perfect steak and grilling the perfect chicken in the past. With perfect steak or chicken I have always felt a perfect vegetable to go along with it is corn on the cob and of course a BIG PERFECTLY GRILLED BAKED POTATO. The corn on the cob is covered in another post which you can check out here. will be covered in a future post. The focus of today’s post is how to grill amazing baked potatoes.
The first thing that is needed are the potatoes. I have never been overly picky about where I get my potatoes unless I am growing my own. I generally choose mine based on what the price is and if you are hand picking them the most important thing is to try to find some that are about the same relative size so they all cook the same.
Purchase enough for your dinner and a few extra as they are good reheated or even sliced and fried up for breakfast the next morning. Just remember if you only have one grill to work with and you are grilling for a larger number of people potatoes take up a good amount of room on the grill surface. If you are lucky enough to have more than one grill dedicate one of them just for the potatoes.
Things you will need before you start:
- Tin foil
- Olive oil
- Kosher salt
- Charcoal or Propane depending on your grilling style.
- A good grilling tong or grabby thing like my kid calls it.
- A set of Ove Gloves or clean work gloves (these will be used for shucking the corn afterwards).
- Ove Gloves can be found by typing in ove gloves on Google or Amazon and look for this:
- Large platter or cookie sheet.
Step 1 – Prepare your grill. If you are using charcoal load up your charcoal chimney.
If you are unsure what a charcoal chimney is it looks like this and is probably the best tool for charcoal grilling that was ever invented. I wrote a whole post covering the magnificent charcoal chimney. You can find that post by clicking this link or purchase the charcoal chimney I use from Amazon.com by clicking here (if you purchase this chimney from my link I will receive a small payment from Amazon.com as an affiliate, this however does not affect the price you pay).
I find that it takes about 30 minutes to get my coals nice and hot, you should wait until the coals at the top of your chimney look mostly white before you dump the coals onto your grill surface.
Be careful when dumping the coals, this is usually the step where I start dancing around on the deck because hot little ash and coals has found its way to my legs, feet, or arms. I grilling mit is highly recommended.
The amount of coals you use and how you spread them out on your grill is up to you and based on what you are grilling and for how long.
As a guideline if I am grilling two to six potatoes I use half a chimney or more worth of coals and I always grill directly over the coals with the grilling surface about 6 inches above the highest coal in the pile. Once the coals are dumped out and positioned where you want them close the lid and let it heat up.
If grilling with a gas grill you can skip most of the above and just fire your burners up and close your lid and wait for it to get to a good starting temperature, I recommend at least 300 degrees.
Step 1.5 (Optional based on personal taste) – I like to toss a handful of damp wood chips on the coals at this point as well if you enjoy a nice smokey flavor to your potatoes. I will throw another handful on right before I put the potatoes on. Even though we will be wrapping the potatoes in tinfoil the smokey flavor is still able to penetrate the potatoes.
If grilling with a gas grill wrap a handful of damp wood chips in some tinfoil, poke some holes in it and place it on the grill as soon as you fire it up, give it plenty of time to heat up the wood chips and start them smoking before you put the potatoes on.
Step 2 – Prepare the Potatoes
- Tin foil – Rip off enough sheets of tin foil to wrap each potato individually. Generally an 8″ x 8″ piece will do.
- Fork – Punch holes in potatoes with a fork. Generally 3 or 4 punctures on each side is plenty. This step is optional, the potatoes will still cook fine without the holes but I feel the holes just allow the smokey flavor to get into the potato more.
- Olive Oil – Rub potatoes down with oil, making sure the entire potato is completely covered with oil. This not only helps the potato not dry out while it cooks but it also helps the seasoning stick.
- Kosher salt and pepper – Cover one side of the potato with salt and pepper, turn over and do the same on the opposite side.
- More Olive Oil – Add another splash of oil on the foil next to the potato.
- Wrap – Wrap in tin foil making sure to cover the entire potato and not allow the oil to escape.
Step 3 – Once the grill is heated up to at least 300 degrees and there has been time for the grill surface to heat up go retrieve your potatoes.
Be prepared to move quickly, the quicker you are the less heat you will lose, just don’t forget that second handful of wood chips if you opted for that and get those potatoes on the hot grill and shut the lid.
Let them cook for 30 minutes. Open the lid and turn them over using the tongs or the Ove Gloves if you have those. Let them cook for another 30 minutes.
Step 4 – Get your platter or cookie sheet ready nearby. Pull the potatoes off the grill using your Ove Gloves or work gloves and unwrap them right away if the rest of your food is ready.
If you have a little time before the rest of your food is done leave them wrapped and your potato will stay nice and hot until you are ready to eat.
Once they are off the grill, unwrapped, and on a platter bring them to the table and prepare to add the butter than salt and pepper to taste.
Step 5 – Enjoy the tastiest potato you can imagine. If you want to try it the way I like it top it with cottage cheese.
Step 1 to 5 paraphrased:
- Buy potatoes
- Prepare the Grill
- Prepare the Potatoes
- Oil again
- Grill potatoes for 30 minutes
- Turn potatoes
- Grill other side for 30 minutes
- Pull off grill and unwrap
- Butter and season to taste
Hopefully you will find baked potatoes done this way as amazing as I do.
If you have any questions, comments, or ideas you want to share please feel free to contact me and I will get back to you as soon as possible.
The Broke Dad