Thursday, September 4, 2014

Grilled Russet and Sweet Potatoes

This is my favorite patio BBQ meal. I have a cheapie gas grill and it cooks burgers and grilled potatoes perfectly. I've done it enough and figured out the timing - start the potatoes first and when they are done on one side, I flip them, then add the BBQ sauce slattered hamburger patty.

I like my burger medium rare, so the potatoes need to begin cooking first. And should they finish early, then I just move them to a cooler part of the grill, until the hamburger is done. If you like your burger well done, then the potatoes only need a minute head start.

I usually grill cheap russet potatoes. They are easier to work with and char slower. Lately, I've been grilling sweet potatoes. They have more sugar so you have to check on them more often, as they will burn and blacken quicker. Well, I like the mix of soft sweet interior and charred smokey skin of the sweet potato.

And if your burger is done right and still juicy, then there is nothing better than using fries to sop up the meat juices after each burger bite.

And when grilling them I use the burger juices. I flip the burger to a different part of the grill and place some cooking potato slices on the greasy and flavorful used burger wet spot.

Potatoes are cheap. I've made grilled potatoes using russet, white and rose, yam and sweet potato. I simply season them with salt and pepper and sometimes a Cajun seasoned salt.

So, during this summer grilling season, make sure to throw on a few thick potato slices alongside your favorite slab of barbequing protein. They are a delicious combination.

Ingredients (about 2-4 servings)
  • 2 potatoes - I only peel the yam or sweet potato. Slice potatoes one inch thick. You can slice into ovals or stick shapes.
  • Salt and pepper to taste - I also use seasoned salt.
  • Oil - optional. Some grill grates are sticky so lightly brushing potatoes with oil will make flipping slices easier. 

If you have a traditional BBQ grill then fire-up the charcoal or wood chips. If you have a gas grill like I do, then start it a minute before adding sliced potatoes.

Lightly wash or scrub potatoes. You can peel them or leave the skin on. I sometimes peel sweet potatoes and yams.

To speed up grilling microwave whole potatoes for about 2 minutes -- this is optional.

Slice the potatoes. I like them sliced to about one inch thick. You can slice them any way you like, into ovals or like matchsticks (but thicker.) This will give you more of a potato soft center. I like to use larger potato slices because it's easier to handle on the grill. You can always slice the bigger pieces when you serve them.

Lay out sliced potatoes and sprinkle on salt and pepper and/or seasoned salt. Lightly brush or drizzle with oil if necessary - I usually go without it. Sometimes I even add some fresh chopped herbs.

Add the sliced potatoes to the hot grill. Depending on the heat of your grill cook the potatoes until one side is charred. This is when I add my hamburger patty. (If you are grilling chicken, then start chicken and potatoes at the same time - as chicken usually takes longer to cook than a hamburger.)

*If you are cooking a burger with the potatoes then flip the burger to a different part of the grill and add the cooking potatoes on the greasy burger spot - for extra flavor.

Cook the other side of potatoes until charred. That's it. Cooking time will vary depending on the heat of your grill. With my gas grill on low it takes about 5 minutes for each side.

Sweet potatoes or yams have a high sugar content, so they will char black if left on the grill too long, so they need more babysitting - check on them after a couple of minutes.

Potatoes are done when tender on the inside. Try one out to test for doneness.

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