I went through a phase in my grilling education where I was convinced that you could cook almost anything in a foil packet. I've since moved on to other grilling obsessions, but potatoes have stayed firmly in their foil packets.
Potatoes are quite possibly the perfect foil packet food, turning slightly crispy on the edges and tender on the inside. Adding a layer of melted cheese to these grilled potatoes near the end makes them irresistible!
Scrub your potatoes well for this dish so you can leave the skins on. Cut them into nice, thick wedges, otherwise you run the risk of them just turning into a mushy mess in the packet.
Keep your packets on the smaller side for easier flipping and even cooking — no more than a pound of potatoes in each packet. Each packet of this size will serve about two people.
The trick to this recipe, and what makes it one of my favorites, is that after you cook the potatoes, you open up the packets and add a healthy sprinkle of sharp cheddar cheese. Return the packets to the grill without the covering, and the cheese melts over the potatoes in a smooth, gooey layer.
This is really a no fuss side dish for the grilling season. For some things, like potatoes, the foil packet is here to stay!
Cheesy Grilled Potato Packets
2 pounds red potatoes, cut into wedges
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
4 to 5 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated
Fresh chives, garnish
Scrub potatoes well and preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Cut potatoes into wedges.
Lay out two large pieces of foil. Split potatoes between the two pieces of foil (one pound per packet). Drizzle the potatoes with olive oil and season each packet with minced garlic, red pepper flakes, kosher salt, and black pepper.
Cover the packets with a second piece of foil and crimp the edges well to seal the packets. Place the packets on the grill and grill them for about 20 minutes, flipping a few times during cooking to make sure they are cooking evenly.
When potatoes are tender and easily pierced with a skewer, remove the top piece of foil from each packet. Sprinkle cheese on top of the potatoes and return to the grill briefly just to melt the cheese.
Garnish finished packets with fresh chives and serve immediately!
Potato Packets in the Oven: To make these in the oven instead of on the grill, follow the directions for packaging the potatoes, then roast in a 425°F oven for 30 to 40 minutes, until tender. Remove the top, sprinkle with cheese, and run under the broiler until the cheese is melted and the edges of the potatoes are crisped.
- I don't recommend using Russet potatoes for these; they are too starchy. You can use the little baby round potatoes though.
- Any cheese would be good on this but something that melts well is a must. Pepper Jack, Swiss, or fontina would be fantastic.
- If you are using charcoal, grill these over indirect heat so otherwise they will burn.
- If you're worried the potatoes might not cook all the way through, try par-boiling them before grilling. Here's how: Why You Should Boil Potatoes Before Grilling.
(Image credits: Nick Evans)