If you like to cook, roast, bake or fry potatoes, then chances are you probably have never thought about grilling them. Well, we got news for you, it can be done.
There are several ways to cook potatoes on the grill, whether straight on the grill and cut or parboiled first to make them soft enough to grill. While these methods work, the best method for grilling potatoes will be to wrap them in aluminum foil.
But certain questions arise, such as how long does it take to grill potatoes in foil? Or how to bake sweet potatoes in foil on the grill for thanksgiving dinner? Well, keep reading this article to find out the answers to these questions and so much more information about grilling potatoes in foil.
Using Foil to Cook Potatoes
Foil is used for cooking potatoes in almost any method. You can bake potatoes in the oven without foil or roast them just the same.
Sometimes, if the temperature is too high, they can shrivel up and not become evenly cooked, especially if the potato is not a uniform size. Also, if you like to cover your potatoes in oil with salt before baking them, they tend to get a harder and crispy outer skin that can be hard to chew or eat at times.
Aluminum foil is used a fair amount to bake potatoes, mainly in commercial kitchens. They even make aluminum foil sheets that conform to the potato’s actual size, so you don’t have to tear out pieces off your roll.
When you bake a potato in foil, the heat is trapped inside and helps to cook the potato evenly, no matter the size or length. It will also keep the skin moist and tender while it cooks and after. It also allows you to trap in fats, liquids, and seasonings that would fall off without foil use.
When it comes to using foil for cooking certain foods, potatoes are almost always the first thing that comes to any chef or cook’s mind.
Choosing the Potato
The potato initially came from the Andes mountains thousands of years ago. Since then, it has spread worldwide and has been recreated and transformed into thousands of different breeds.
Today, there are several different types available to you in the local supermarket. But each potato is different in density, taste, flavor, texture, and color. Each potato also needs to be cooked in a particular way, depending on these factors.
Here is a quick look at some of the potatoes available to you and which one might be the correct choice to grill in aluminum foil.
Idaho Potato/Russet Burbank– This is the most common type of potato used. It can be cooked using any method and is most commonly used as the baked potato. It has thick skin with a light and fluffy center.
Sweet Potato/Yam– the sweet potato is also very common. It is one of the sweetest potatoes with an orange color. The potato itself is very dense and needs to be cooked much longer than other potatoes.
Purple Potato/Vitelotte– this potato is one of the very first potatoes around. It is also a very dense potato and has a vibrant purple or blue color, even when cooked. The flavor is a little earthy or woodsy.
Yukon Gold Potato– this potato is a yellow potato with very thin and light skin. They cook very quickly and have a sweet and light flavor with a creamy texture.
Fingerling Potato/Ratte potato– these potatoes are long and slender about the size and shape of a finger, hence the name. They are a little bit dense and have a buttery and nutty flavor.
New Potatoes/Red potato– this is a very common potato as well. It has a light and fluffy texture with very thin skin as well. The outside of the potato is red, but the inside is white.
White Potato– these potatoes are very light in density and have thin skin. They have a plain and light flavor and cook very quickly.
Jerusalem Artichoke/Sunchoke– these are not necessarily potatoes, but they look like a cross between a root and a potato. They also taste and cook like a potato. They have a sweet and vibrant taste with an off-yellow color. They are best when cut up and roasted.
Cooking Potatoes on the Grill with Foil
When you start to cook potatoes on the grill with foil, you want to make sure you have the correct potato for the job. There are two methods, wrapped whole for baking and cut up and placed in foil packets for roasting or steaming.
If you plan on baking potatoes on the grill, choose the larger potatoes like russet Burbank or larger Yukon or red potatoes. All you need to do is wrap a single potato entirely in foil, making sure it is completely sealed.
You can add a little oil or salt to the potato before wrapping it up, but it doesn’t matter or isn’t all that necessary. For all the other potatoes, you will be making foil packets to cook them.
If the potatoes are small enough, you may not need to cut them up, but if they are larger, make sure to quarter them first. Cover the potatoes in oil or butter with seasonings.
You can also add other ingredients like onions, garlic, and other root vegetables that are dense like carrots, parsnips, and turnips if you like. Whether you are wrapping the potatoes whole or making a foil packet, the cooking process on the grill is the same.
You will need to use indirect heat for cooking them. Heat the grill to a minimum of 350 degrees. You can go higher if you like; it will just cook them faster.
Place the potatoes on the grill off to the side and not directly over the flame. Make sure to keep the lid closed as well. As far as how long it takes to grill potatoes in foil, it is pretty simple.
It will take at least an hour to cook it properly for a single potato wrapped in foil and grilled at 350 degrees. The foil packets will depend on what type of potato is inside the packet, the size of the potatoes, and the grill’s temperature.
Cooking Sweet Potatoes on the Grill with Foil
Sweet potatoes and purple potatoes are much denser than all other types of potatoes and need to be cooked longer. Also, when these potatoes are cooked thoroughly, the texture is much different than a regular potato.
That is why many people like to make mashed sweet potatoes out of them. If you do this, make sure to remove the skin before mashing them. Knowing how to bake sweet potatoes on the grill in foil is the same as baking any other potato in foil.
The only difference is that it will just take longer than the other types. The same goes for making foil packets out of them. Just keep an eye, and when they become soft and tender, then they are done. You should be able to press a fork in them with ease.
Check out our article How to Cook Fish on the Grill with Foil
How long to cook potatoes on grill in tin foil?
If the grill lid is closed and the temperature is at least 350 degrees, then a whole potato should be done in an hour to an hour and a half.
How to grill a whole sweet potato in foil?
The process is the same for a sweet potato as it is for a regular potato wrapped in foil. It will just take a bit longer to cook it thoroughly.
What temperature to grill potatoes in foil?
You want to make sure the grill is at least 350 degrees or higher and the lid is closed during the entire grilling process.
Is it safe to grill food in aluminum foil?
Grilling food in aluminum foil is entirely safe. Some people say it will add extra aluminum to your diet. While this is true, the amount it adds is insignificant at most. There is no harm in using aluminum foil to grill food, it can only help you for the better.
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