Grilled potatoes are a perfect accompaniment to any barbecue. But making sure they are tender throughout is extremely important. So how to do it? There are a few different steps you’ll want to follow, but the most important one is to cook the potatoes for a short time before throwing them on the grill. By cooking the potatoes in advance, you can ensure they are cooked through, avoiding burning the outside while waiting for the center to be finished.
There are several ways to precook your potatoes. Microwaving them is the quickest way and only takes a few minutes. Just make sure to prick the potatoes a few times on each side so they don’t explode. If you don’t mind lighting the fire, you can boil them for five minutes. If you decide to boil them, don’t forget to add a little salt to the water.
Read more: 14 Grilling Tips Approved by Celebrity Chefs to Help You Become a Grill Master
Brush with salt for tender potatoes
After you’ve precooked your potatoes a bit, the next step is to prepare the skins for the grill. We recommend doing this by coating their exterior with cooking oil and rock salt. Since salt draws out moisture, this technique will result in potatoes that are soft and chewy in the middle but nice and crispy on the outside.
Although a small amount of salt will be absorbed by the potato, most of it will remain in the skin and the inside of your potatoes will not come out too salty. For this reason, it’s difficult to go too far by coating the entire exterior of the potato with rock salt. You want to use a generous amount to create tender potatoes inside. In this case, there is no need to hold back when it comes to salt.
Should you wrap these potatoes?
Wrapping potatoes in foil is a common technique for baked and grilled potatoes, but at least one chef disagrees. “I see a lot of people using foil to wrap their potatoes, but it’s a big no-no and causes soggy skins!” Isaac Toups, of Toups’ Meatery restaurant in New Orleans, told Today. He explained that this happens because the foil allows the potato to retain moisture.
Whether or not you wrap your potatoes in foil ultimately depends on your preference. The skins will be crispier without it. But the tenderness of your grilled potatoes has more to do with whether or not they’ve been cooked a little in advance and coated with salt.
Since foil traps heat, this may seem like a necessary step, but it’s worth experimenting to see which method you prefer. If you’re still not sure about forgoing the wrapper, why not try putting a single potato without foil on the grill to see the result?