Cooking Potatoes In The Coals

Potatoes are an excellent addition to your cookout. Baked potatoes, herbed potatoes, and roast potatoes are all easy and delicious summer recipes.

If you're planning on putting a few steaks on the grill this weekend, you might like to toss in a few potatoes as well. Choose the traditional baked potato or something a little more adventurous. All are quick and easy to fix and a wonderful side dish.

First, you'll need to prepare your coals. Allow them to burn down until they're white and at their hottest stage. You'll want to set aside a place for your potatoes away from any meats since you won't want meat juices dripping onto them. To time your meal, you may want to put the potatoes in a few minutes before the meats go on the grill, depending on the cuts of meat and desired doneness.

One of the easiest ways to prepare potatoes on the grill is the traditional baked potato. Wash the potatoes well and wrap in aluminum foil. Be sure to use enough foil so that ashes don't find their way to your potatoes. This is especially important if you enjoy eating the skins. To shorton the grill time, bake the potatoes for about half an hour in your oven at around 425 degrees. Then, transfer them to the already hot coals of your grill and bake until tender. Depending on the size of the potatoes, that's approximately another half hour of cook time.

Have a variety of toppings on hand such as cheese, sour cream, butter, chives, salsa, and bacon. Your guests can enjoy topping their potatoes as they like.

Potatoes can also be sliced or diced before being wrapped in foil. To ensure even cooking, try to keep all the potatoes to the same size or thickness. Spray the foil with a non-stick cooking spray to prevent sticking. There's no need to pre-bake these in your oven since their smaller size will speed cooking time. A half an hour or so in the coals should be enough time for them to cook through. However, you should avoid putting too many potatoes in one foil package. This makes the potatoes take longer to cook, and it makes the packs more difficult to handle. Try putting no more than two large potatoes per pack, even if you have to do several smaller cooking pouches. Add any herbs or spices before sealing the pouches. Some people prefer to add salt after grilling so each person can add it to their own taste.

An easy and fun project is to provide diced potatoes and a variety of toppings for assembly. Prepare a different foil pack for each guest, allowing them to add herbs and spices as they like. Dill is a great addition to roast potatoes, as is packaged onion soup mix. Garlic powder, onion powder, thyme and rosemary are good flavors as well. Try drizzling a little olive oil over the potatoes to add even more flavor. After grilling, top the potatoes with shredded cheese or parmesan. They're very good dipped in ranch dressing or in salsa.

Potatoes are a popular, simple-to-prepare dish that your family and guests will enjoy throughout the grilling season.

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