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I use a charcoal grill with lump charcoal. I've had great luck with various meats and veggies, but I'd like to grill some potatoes and have them finish when the meat does. I usually foil wrap the potatoes and toss them in the grill over indirect heat, but it takes quite awhile for them to finish. If I wait 10-15 minutes until the potatoes are done, there's not enough heat left in the coals to properly grill the meat. The only thing I can think to do is to fire up the chimney starter a second time and throw in a second round of coals.

Does anyone have a better way to accomplish this?

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5 Answers

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Nuke or boil the spuds first to get them 75% to 90% done before they hit the grill

I wouldn't use foil either, they grill much nicer bare skinned. Root vegetables suck up the smoke and get tasty dark patches from the grill, just keep and eye on them, and turn as needed

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You can also boil or steam the potatoes until completely done. Let them cool, put them in the fridge, and grill them with the meat. As they're already done, they only need to get hot and charred. –  BaffledCook Jul 9 '12 at 16:02
    
I'll try nuking them next time! Great idea. Maybe a little oil and kosher salt on the outside as well. –  Andy S Jul 9 '12 at 22:20
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Use one of these: http://www.amazon.com/Weber-9600-Char-Basket-Charcoal-Holders/dp/B0000CBIL1 In my experience they keep the coals hot much longer than just adding them directly to the grate and I end up using less coals. Also, it's easier to get a hot fire using these are you can get the coals much closer to the food as the coals end up piling up.

I've used these to do foil wrapped potatoes for 10-15 minutes before throwing the steaks on and the coals are still plenty hot for the steaks.

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I'd personally go with Sean's recommendation, but if you want the potatoes more steamed like you'd get in a foil-wrapped potato, you can cut up the potatoes into 1" (2.5cm) cubes, place it in a heavy duty foil packet (large enough so it's relatively flat) with a little oil and whatever seasonings, and place that on the grill before the steaks.

You'll want to flip the packet at least once while cooking, so if you're cooking for lots of people, make multiple packets, rather than one massive one, as you won't be able to turn it easily without it tearing or breaking open.

I don't have exact times, as I have a propsane grill, and I know lump charcoal gets much hotter. I'd estimate that it cuts the time in half from using whole potatoes, (at least for the size of potatoes I typically use). You can of course adjust this by how you dice your potatoes.

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When making potatoes on the grill, I have started using a small cast-iron skillet. I cut the potatoes in half, place them cut-side down in a cast iron skillet with a little oil (and some seasonings if you choose), and put the skillet over direct heat for about 5 minutes. After that, move them to indirect heat, where they should only require another half hour to cook. So if you wait another 10-15 minutes, you should still have plenty of fuel left to grill your meat. By the time it's done resting, your potatoes should be ready.

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I agree with par cooking to 75% to 90% (as mentioned by TFD) but baking wrapped in foil then just transferring them to finish on the grill will get you a much closer result to grilling from scratch. If it's too hot to have the oven on though 10 minutes in the microwave should do it (make sure you prick the skins).

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