Grilled Tin Foil Potatoes
Tin Foil Potatoes
Potatoes are hard vegetables and don’t do well with direct grill heat, although there are ways around that. You can, however, make little baking packs with tin foil easily and have easy potatoes on the grill. Tin foil packs work like miniature ovens and turn out tender potatoes bursting with flavor.
If you were ever in Scouts or 4-H, then you probably made hobo packs. The idea is the same here, but you’re focusing on a side dish instead of a one-dish (or package) meal for one.
You can make a large potato pack for everyone, but family bundles work best for four people or less. Otherwise the pack is too cumbersome and takes up too much grill space.
We think it works out better to make individual packs. They fit between other items on the grill, and everyone can cook to the doneness they like. My boys like the potatoes cooked lightly until done. I like crispy pieces along with the soft pieces, so I cook mine longer.
There are fancy ways to fold up tin foil packs. But, you can use a the two sheet method which is simple and works fine.
Tear off a piece of tin foil. Heavy duty is best, and they now make tin foil designed for grilling. Make the tin foil piece a little bigger than what you think you need. You’ll be rolling up the sides, so that makes your pack smaller than it looks when you’re starting out with a flat sheet of tin foil.
First, rub butter on the tin foil—just on the side where you’ll be placing the potatoes – not on the outside where the fire will burn the butter. If you are watching fat or calories, you can also use Pam or Crisco spray.
Wash the potatoes and cut in slices. You can leave the peelings on especially if the potatoes are new potatoes with thin skins. With older potatoes, you may want to peel the skins. As far as the slices, you want them about the thickness of pancakes or a bit thinner. If you cut them too thick, it’s hard to get them cooked through.
Place the potatoes in the middle of the tin foil spread out in a fairly thin layer. You can have them two or three slices deep. The thicker they are layered, the longer they will take to cook.
I like to add green peppers and onions at this point. I go with about half a pepper cut in slivers and a couple of slices of onion. Some people like these. Some do not. This is another plus with individual packs. Everyone can customize.
Sprinkle on seasonings. Salt and pepper are fine. I like Lawry’s seasoning salt or Penzy’s 4-S and also garlic. Experiment. Lots of different seasonings taste good on potatoes. Don’t overdo it though. These are fairly small portions, so sprinkle lightly especially when trying something new.
The next step is to put a couple of blops of butter on top of the pile of potatoes. The other option is to spray the top piece of tin foil with Pam. These are fine with Pam especially if you use seasonings, but they’re better with butter (of course).
Now, tear off another piece of tin foil about the same size as the bottom piece. Place this over the potatoes (Pam side down if you use Pam). Roll the sides together to seal. I go right, left, and then top, bottom. Then, I turn the corners up, so the pack is more compact.
Potato packs take longer to cook than many meats. I usually put the potatoes on 10 minutes or so before adding meats. If they get done earlier, they can sit to the side for a while or on the warmer rack.
Place the tin foil packets carefully on the grill over medium heat. Have the rolled up sides facing upward. They are less likely to drip butter and cause flares if placed on this way.
Cook for around 15 minutes. Then, flip the packs over. You’ll need about 5 more minutes on the flip side.
Cooking times do vary depending on the temperature of the fire and also on how done you like the potatoes. To test, stick a fork through the center of the pack but not all the way through to the bottom. The fork should slide in easily. Once you do the fork test, don’t flip the packs back over. The butter will leak out if you do. If you leave them alone, they will cook through (if they’re not already done when you test).
Use tongs to lift the packs off the grill. Be careful. They are filled with steam and very hot. Let them sit for a few minutes to cool down a bit. Then peel back the tin foil, and you have tasty potatoes right off the grill.