Step 1: Clean the grill
Clean the grill so the potatoes don’t stick. For a charcoal grill, light some coals; with a gas grill, set it on high and close the lid. After about 20 minutes, let the grill cool. Then scrape off the burnt-on bits with a steel brush and end by wiping down the grill with a clean cloth soaked in vegetable oil.
Step 2: Heat the grill
Heat a gas or electric grill to medium. If it’s a charcoal grill, wait until the coals are ash-colored.
Step 3: Decide between whole and cut
Decide if you want to cook potatoes whole or cut them up. The latter will cook faster.
Waxy boiling potatoes, like yellow and Red Bliss, are best for grilling because they hold their shape while cooking.
Step 4: Cook potatoes whole
To cook whole potatoes, rinse them, pat them dry, poke a few holes in them with a fork, rub a little vegetable oil on them, wrap them in foil, and throw them on the grill. Turn the foil packets every 15 minutes or so. Large potatoes will need at least 50 to 75 minutes over high heat.
You’ll know the potatoes are done when you can easily pierce them in the center with a fork.
Step 5: Cube ’em
For faster-cooking potatoes, wash them, pat them dry, cut into cubes, and place them on aluminum foil. Season them to taste, add a few pats of butter or drizzle on some olive oil, and curl up the edges of the foil to create a platter. Put it on the grill and cook until tender, about 30 minutes.
Step 6: Precook them
You can also partially precook the potatoes to save time. Cut them in half and boil them on the stove until tender, about 15 minutes, then drain. When they’re cool enough to handle, brush them with olive oil, season to taste, and put them directly on the grill, cut-side down, until browned, about three minutes. Lay them on their sides and cook them for another few minutes.