Grilled Baked Potatoes can taste so much better than the oven version. Adding the potato to the grill gives an earthy flavor from the fire as well as a crispy texture. You can also add your favorite toppings to make the ultimate loaded baked potato.
Find out how to make perfect grilled baked potatoes with a crispy exterior and a soft and fluffy interior.
Baked potatoes are a classic that I grew up with. But I got a little bored of them as an adult. Enter grilling them!
When searching for grilled potato recipes online, the theme you will often see is to wrap in aluminum foil. The can help the potato from burning when cooking directly on the grates. BUT the issue this presents is that the seasoned potato will eventually steam as it cooks and looses moisture, and the texture of the skin will be soft. Wrapping in foil also prevents any of that charcoal or smoky flavor to get into the potato (so why bother even grilling it at that point?).
With a few simple techniques you can achieve the perfect grilled potato, with a crispy outside skin and soft fluffy interior, without using foil. This is a great side dish for the perfect grilled steak and potato dinner. You can simply grill your potatoes while your steak is cooking on the grill, side by side.
Why This Recipe Tastes So Good
- Seasoning the potato with a savory no-sugar rub prevents it from burning while giving the skin awesome flavor.
- Grilling indirect and unwrapped allows the potato to get crispy versus steamed.
- Taking the internal temperature of the potato assures the perfect texture for a fluffy and soft interior.
- Topping with sour cream, cheese, chives, makes it a great side dish. Or go big and load it with pulled pork to make it a full meal.
The best potato to use for baked potatoes on the grill is the russet potato. Not only is it the classic variety for baked potatoes, but the skin is hearty enough to stay intact while grilling and the interior gets soft and stays tender even after being on a hot grill.
If you’re cooking multiple potatoes make sure to buy similar weight and size to make for an even cooking process.
Poke Potatoes: Start by poking the potato with a fork to make six holes throughout the potato. This will allow steam to escape as it grills.
Season Potatoes: Apply olive oil to the potatoes, planning roughly one teaspoon of olive oil per potato. Season the potatoes with a dry rub that does NOT contain sugar. We use our chicken seasoning, which is herbs and spices, with no sugar. We use roughly one tablespoon of seasoning per potato.
Chef’s Note: We tested this recipe many times and the consistent outcome with any sugar based rub was a burned creosote flavored skin. So be sure the seasoning is sugar-free.
Foil versus No Foil
Many recipes online will tell you to wrap potatoes in foil before grilling. And while you can, the biggest issue you will run into is steaming the potato versus actually grilling it. To get a crispy skin and soft interior you really need to grill uncovered (or not wrapped in anything).
Other recipes may tell you to microwave first then finish on the grill. Again, this is a fine shortcut if you’re pressed for time, but it’s not that difficult to just grill them on their own. If you’re already grilling your dinner, there’s no extra hassle in throwing a couple potatoes alongside your main protein.
We grilled these side by side and both took the same amount of time. The biggest difference is that the foiled potatoes had a soft and flabby skin versus the crispy skin and soft interior of the ones that were not wrapped.
Chef’s Note: The most critical advice is to keep the grill temperature at no more than 400 degrees Fahrenheit and grill the potatoes on indirect heat (meaning not over a direct flame). Any higher and you will run the risk of burning the potatoes.
How to Grill Baked Potatoes
The key to success is using a two-zone grilling method and cooking the potatoes on indirect heat at no more than 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Any higher and the potatoes may burn. The second key step is to rotate the potato midway through grilling to keep a consistent texture in each potato.
- Place the seasoned potato on the indirect side of the pre-heated grill and close the lid. Maintain a consistent temperature, so be sure the grill does not get any hotter than 400 degrees.
- After 20 minutes of grilling, flip the potato, close the lid and continue grilling for another 20 minutes. After 40 minutes total, start to check the internal temperature in the thickest part of the potato with a good instant read thermometer, like the Thermapen One. If the potato is not reading 205 degrees, rotate the potato again and close the lid and continue cooking.
- Check the potato temperature every 10 minutes until the internal temperature reads 205 degrees Fahrenheit, at which point the potato is done. Remove from grill and then cut open and then add your toppings.
How Long to Grill Potatoes
The average 10 to 12-ounce russet should take one hour, however cook the potato to the proper internal temperature. It may seem odd to take the internal temperature of a potato. It’s not because of food safety issues (like meat), it’s because you are waiting for the inside of the potato to reach a thermal point where it is soft. And 205 is the magic number. If you pull it too soon, then the texture inside the potato will be hard in some places and soft in others. America’s Test Kitchen also agrees that 205 is way to go.
The right digital thermometer is also important, and we have been using the Thermoworks products for over a decade with the Thermapen One the best digital instant read thermometer in the market.
Toppings and Modifications
For toppings you can keep it classics with cheddar cheese, sour cream, bacon, chives. Or you can go big and make loaded potatoes. For loaded potatoes, top your potatoes with pulled pork and BBQ sauce, brisket chili, or beef chili (like the chili in our chili dogs).
If your’e cooking to serve a great steak alongside your grilled baked potatoes, check out our complete guide on grilled steak recipes for the perfect grilled steak and potato dinner.
Other Great Grilled Potato Recipe Inspirations
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