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Potatoes on the grill

We love grilling but haven't yet done potatoes on the grill. I have seen a few recipes on Epicurious and elsewhere, but I am still not sure about the best way to make the potatoes taste distinctively grilled. What are the best potatoes to use? Also, best to par-boil them first or not? Looking for advice from other grillers.

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  1. absolutely par-cook (either simmer or nuke) first to ensure that they cook all the way through without getting completely charred on the exterior. Red Bliss hold up well, as do Yukon Golds. i also love to do sweet potatoes.

    BTW, be sure to cut or slice into consistently-sized pieces so they cook evenly. the easiest way to manage them is by skewering them as chunks, or cutting into thick slices or wedges so they'll be easy to turn with tongs.

    4 Replies
    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

      Skewers always fell apart for me, just curious. I do so many ways.

      I love a mix of sweet and white, roasted in a foil pouch with fresh sage, garlic and shallots and butter. It is such as easy dish and so sweet. I grill them all the time put foil pouches are great clean up and offer amazing taste for another alternative to just straight grilling, but still offer flavor.

      1. re: kchurchill5

        I love those potato/herb (and whatever else) pouches on the grill. After years of using a gas grill, I now have charcoal grill. Christened it July 4, and one of the dishes were those grilled potato pouches. I used the natural wood charcoal and was very pleased with the subtle wood-smokey flavor that made it's way inside the foil.

      2. re: goodhealthgourmet

        Hmmm... I'll have to try skewering them
        I always like grilling whole mini potatoes (par-boiled first), less chance of them breaking apart during flipping and shuffling around or sticking to the grill.

        1. re: AndrewK512

          the trick to keeping them from falling apart when doing skewers is to leave the skin on, and be sure the skewer runs through the skin on each chunk/piece. it provides a more sturdy anchor than the tender, cooked flesh, which is more likely to disintegrate and fall away from the skewer.

      3. For quick simple in a hurry. Micro for 5 minutes and then put on the grill. I do like to add a little oil and salt on mine. May be against the norm, but always loved.

        I also love to slice or dice and put them in a foil pouch, a little oil and fresh herbs, usually some garlic, s/p and fresh rosemary or thyme. Sometimes I will add cheese to these potatoes too along with a little broth. As the potatoes cook the broth makes a little sauce for the cheesy potatoes.

        I sometimes cook 2/3 in the micro about 5-6 minutes, and then just slice 3-4 thick slices but not going all the way through. Then stuff the slices with some herbed goat cheese and then wrapped and reheated to cook.

        I also make some on the grill with a little cream, fresh thyme, diced potatoes and a couple of tablespoons of butter, s/p, wrapped in foil pouches again on the grill.

        Or the easiest. Par boiled, then cut in either plants or wedges, add olive oil, s/p, any herb, I like thyme or oregano and then some parm and grill until golden brown. A simple easy side dish

        For a twist, After cut into wedges, brush the potatoes with a mix of olive oil, cumin, chili powder, garlic and paprika and then grill. A great spicy potato side dish.

        And the favorite. Just cut in half after a quick nuke or par boil or even bake and then scoop out most, add some sour cream, cheese, bacon, scallions, anything and put on the grill to heat up and finish cooking.

        ----------------------------

        Hope that helps. I makes lots more, but these are my favorites.

        1. Something I forgot to mention. I have offered used a small aluminum pan with just a little olive oil and toss the potatoes in with seasoning, other veggies, onions, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, anything you like and you can roast right on the grill. About 30 minutes and no clean up, just throw away the pan and great flavor once again. Great when you need to be by the grill for other sides or the main course. Skirt steak, roasted stuffed tomatoes and roasted potatoes, onions and mushrooms are a favorite. All grill, no clean up. That is summer cooking!

          1 Reply
          1. I use a mondoline to cut my potatoes (raw) into halfmoon shapes about a 1/4" thick. Then I marinate them in olive oil, garlic and spices. I then grill them to taste.

            1. Other than simply baking the whole potato on an upper rack...I always cook them in foil..like pie plate/chinese food container rectangle pan.
              Lately , I just chop up whatever potato is about, sliced onions, chop garlic....Harry and David (Store)have this amazing artichoke pesto that I throw a TBL or 2 of in... a splash of Olive oil pat of butter Rosemary and a sprinkling of Parmasan cheese S&P. Cover 25 minutes upper rack. Wonderful taste and flavor.

              6 Replies
              1. re: easily amused

                Maybe a dumb question, but do potatoes cooked in foil pouches on the grill have a grilled flavor?

                1. re: Karen K

                  not a dumb question at all, and i meant to point this out earlier. foil makes it easier, but you definitely sacrifice some of that smoky grill flavor, as well as the caramelization that you can only get from direct contact with the grate. oh, and you miss out on those lovely grill marks too ;)

                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                    You do loose some of the flavor true, however ... you do get some caramelization but not the same as directly on the grill. But to me when grilling not everything has to have a smoky flavor. I may do steak and grilled asparagus and then the potatoes in a pouch which are creamy. To me all the things grilled don't have to have a smoky flavor, they all balance one another out, and besides to me the ease of cooking it all right on the grill together with little clean just makes it easy and enjoyable.

                  2. re: Karen K

                    As you are aware, potatoes can have a certain "Mush" consistency about them. How one cooks them on a skewer?? My hat is of to them... the flavor of the potato within the foil packet is delicious .... directing on the grill can be an exercise in a "sticky" frustration.
                    No one has time nor inclination to be "parboiling" pre- BBQ Yikes!

                    1. re: easily amused

                      Potatoes on skewers isn't that amazing. Here is a picture of red and yellow potatoes on skewers. I'm not sure why other's are not in favor of par-boiling before grilling. I understand it is an extra step, but with red and yellow potatoes if you have the time it's worth it. It gives a nice crisp outside and smooth texture inside, otherwise I find these types of potatoes have a drier potatoe taste.

                      1. re: easily amused

                        That is why for a couple of recipes especially when I cut in thick planks or wedges I just nuke for 4-5 minutes and then to the side, then when ready slice. No par boil unless you want to the MW works fine for a quick fix.

                  3. I only use Idaho potatoes if I'm starting with raw potatoes. Brush with oil and season potatoes. Start grilling over direct heat, then to an indirect heat to finish.
                    Red and yellow poataoes I par boil then grill.
                    Montreal Steak Seasoning I like sprinkled on too.

                    1. There's lots of great advice here. If you're looking for a recipe, try this, its awesome:

                      http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                      1. Don't parboil.

                        Slice into thick wedges.

                        Rub with some garlic.

                        Brush with olive oil.

                        Place over hot coals until tender.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: ipsedixit

                          I agree, I don't parboil or otherwise pre-cook - Just slice into a managable chunk. I want to be able to get some nice color!

                          Olive Oil, garlic, yes - Also Salt, pepper, rosemary, and sage go well with potatoes.

                          1. re: ipsedixit

                            I have two things that help me decide whether or not to pre cook slightly. What I am cooking. I am have a appetizer heating up or something on the stove and then trying to run out and do steaks or fish which doesn't take too long. I can't run back and forth for the potatoes. So that is when I like to pre cook slightly, not much, just a quick head start. Then yes I do olive oil, garlic, herbs or cheese, whatever you want and then cook. I can basically finish off the potatoes in the time that the steak or whatever I cooked is resting. Now if cooking chicken long and slow, I have the time especially if my veggie is also on the grill. That way I have the time to cook them correctly.

                            But with just me as the cook and sometimes cooking for 10 or more, you can see why a little help from the par boil helps me get things done in time and still enjoy my guests.

                            But both methods work and both taste great, so whatever works best for you

                          2. I use big, waxy "chef" potatoes - _not_ baking potatoes. Scrub 'em and cut 'em into 1" thick rounds (I leave skins on for flavor/nutrition). Then soak in cold water for at least an hour. Pat dry with paper towels, toss with olive oil/salt & pepper and grill over indirect (low) heat, turning only once or twice, until done. The soaking adds precious liquid that'll keep the raw potatoes from getting too gummy/tough during grilling.

                            For a special treat, after you've grilled them for awhile and they're almost done, put 'em back in the oil/S&P bowl and add a little finely minced onion. Toss, and return to the grill to mellow out the onion. Dee-lish!