Slow grilling your foods can yield incredible results. It helps to make your food taste more flavourful, as the grill smoke can seep into the meats and veggies, making them positively burst with flavour. While this method takes longer- slow cooking over a very low heat- it is very much worth it for those who are patient.
One of our favourite foods to grill is potatoes, and they can be grilled as wedges or whole. There is nothing quite like the scent of slow grilled whole potatoes filling the backyard. Why stop with red or white potatoes, though?
You could slow grill whole sweet potatoes as well, and we think you’ll like the crispy exterior and tender insides that result from this cooking method. If you have never slow grilled any food, you might be hesitant to try it, but once you get the hang of it, you may not want to have your sweet potatoes any other way.
There is definitely an art of slow grilling, but it’s simple enough that i can break it down for you here so that you can give it a shot and see for yourself how delicious grilling whole sweet potatoes can be.
Why Grill Sweet Potatoes?
You could bake your sweet potatoes, if you wanted to, but there are some advantages to grilling a whole sweet potato. With grilling, you get that delicious smoky flavour you cannot get any other way. This is the kind of flavour that people pay extra for at restaurants, and once you notice it, you may develop a taste for smokiness in your meats.
Even if you prefer baking, it’s good to grill your food every once in a while for a change of pace and flavour. Variety keeps life spicy, you know.
Another good reason to grill rather than bake is so that you bring out the extra sweetness of the sweet potato. This is especially important for sweet potatoes that are only mildly flavourful and sweet. You can give them some extra zing in their taste by not just grilling them but slow grilling them, as that brings out the most flavour.
Prepping the Potatoes
You have to prepare your sweet potatoes for grilling, and you do that by first cleaning them off. A lot of potatoes, even sweet ones, come with dirt on them. Why do some potato sellers not bother to clean the dirt off of their potatoes? It is a kind of traditional thing where potatoes look more natural and farm grown if they have dirt on them, so a lot of people prefer it.
Even though the potatoes might not look as clean and shiny as they could, the dirt has a comforting appearance for some people who are just used to seeing their potatoes look that way since as long as they can remember.
So, you will want to get the dirt off of the potatoes, and you can do that by rinsing them and giving them a good scrub. Don’t scrub too hard, though, or you will clean right through the skin.
Next, pat your potatoes dry and place them directly on the grill. You don’t need a pan or foil like you would if you were cooking them in the oven, making for simpler cooking. So, you can already see one of the benefits of grilling compared to baking.
How to Grill Sweet Potatoes
It’s up to you whether you want to slow grill or just grill them regularly. Like we said, slow grilling can bring out some extra flavour, but you may be on a tight schedule and not have time for that.
No matter how quickly you want your sweet potatoes, though, you can’t rush grilling them. They need time to cook all the way through and to ensure that they are soft enough to stick a fork through without a lot of resistance. You want a potato that has a crispy skin but is very tender on the inside.
If you are cooking on a grill at medium heat, expect the sweet potatoes to take about 35 or 40 minutes. When grilling sweet potatoes whole, be sure to flip them over halfway through the grilling time so that they will cook all the way through and cook evenly.
How to Grill in Less Time
If you want to speed things up and not have to grill the sweet potatoes for as long, you can parboil whole sweet potatoes before grilling. This cuts down your grilling time significantly, and it’s a great time saver for when you are grilling multiple items at once.
If you want time to cook your fish or meat before you put the potatoes on the grill, then parboiling is a great way to get them part of the way there.
You can put them in enough water to fill the pot about three quarters of the way full and set it on a high heat until it boils. Then, lower the heat, add the potatoes, and let the potatoes cook there for about 12 minutes.
This cooks them part of the way and gives you less work later on. To cook them entirely in water, you can leave them in there for 15-20 minutes.
If you have parboiled your sweet potatoes, it should just take a few minutes on the grill to finish them up. When grilling sweet potatoes whole, be sure to wait until they are tender all the way through to take them off the grill. No one wants to bite into a potato that isn’t fully cooked.
Seasoning Your Grilled Sweet Potatoes
You can serve grilled sweet potatoes like you would typical grilled white potatoes or baked potatoes. Just cut them open by making a slit on the top. Then, add butter, sour cream, chives, bacon bits or whatever else you like on your potatoes.
Some people like to have a little brown sugar glaze or cinnamon sugar on their sweet potatoes and turn them into a dessert.
Grilling whole sweet potatoes brings out the best qualities of this veggie, and this may be a dish you want to try at your next cookout. It’s not difficult to make, and if you parboil the potatoes first, you can speed up cooking time and have your food faster.