Baked Potatoes and our family go way back. They have been a favorite for so long. Even though we have baked potatoes almost every single time that we grill anything, we still haven’t gotten tired of them. Actually, they are the part of dinner that I look forward to the most. Forget the kebab, grilled steak or chicken – I want the potato.
At my parents’ house, we used to have bonfires all the time, especially when I was still a child. It was the most beautiful and peaceful place on earth, a small clearing surrounded all around by a forest and just a few feet away from a babbling creek. I spent my summers outside, hiking throughout the woods, picking berries, mushrooms and apples, wading or swimming in the creek, picking wildflowers or running through the soft grass. It was such a memorable and wonderful childhood.
Some of my best memories are around that campfire, whether with a boisterous group of extended family – talking, laughing, arguing, playing, eating some great food, even singing and other times with just a handful of people.
When we children were still small, we weren’t allowed to have campfires or swim in the creek without adult supervision. As we grew older and were taught all about safety and our parents felt we were mature enough to handle the responsibility, we got to enjoy the joys of the summer fun much more often. We could finally go off on our own whenever we felt like it, and didn’t have to wait for the boring adults:), who sometimes had jobs and other important duties that kept them away from awesome summer activities.
Many times we would hunt through the refrigerator to see what was remotely possible to cook, pack our bags and off we would go to our favorite spot. It was so much more fun when we went by ourselves. There is something so exhilarating about making a campfire by yourself and cooking a meal over an open fire. I definitely felt like a pioneer – brave and unstoppable.
One day, our cousins were visiting, and we decided to make the trek to the woods and have a campfire. We packed some hotdogs, a partially eaten package of bacon, potatoes and butter and headed off to the woods. It started to rain before we got a chance to finish our dinner. There we sat, with the warm, summer rain gently pattering all around us, chomping down on our creation. We didn’t care that we didn’t have any plates and were eating out of the aluminum foil that we had used to bake the potatoes, sharing one fork among all twelve of us to spread the butter on our potatoes and then eating it with our hands. The bacon and hot dogs tasted like a gourmet meal. The potatoes were incredible as usual. Garnished very simply with some butter and salt, they tasted like a meal fit for royalty. With limp, damp hair, hands and faces streaked with soot, we grinned at each other in complete contentment. (I really, REALLY wish we had iPhones back then. Think of all the picture perfect moments that got missed, like this impromptu picnic with the cousins, right?)
If you’re not new to this blog, you’ve probably heard me say many times that sometimes the most delicious things are among the most simple. You have to admit, baked potatoes are definitely in that category. Usually, we serve them with just butter, salt and pepper. Of course, you can add as many garnishes as you like. The potatoes are slightly charred on the outside and perfectly fluffy on the inside. Nothing beats rolling that potato out of the campfire ashes, unwrapping it from the aluminum foil, and then watching the steam rise up as the butter melts.
Potatoes – Russets or Gold potatoes
Fresh herbs (parsley, dill, chives, scallions, dill, etc)
What’s the deal with the aluminum foil?
- Wrapping the potatoes in aluminum foil will keep the potatoes clean.
- The trapped heat in the aluminum foil will help the potatoes cook quicker.
- It’s important to wrap each potato in TWO layers of aluminum foil because if you only use one layer, most likely the ash will creep inside the aluminum foil and you will have dusty, dirty potatoes. Also, the potatoes will be more burned on the outside instead of having the perfect slight charr.
Nestle each potato in the coal and ashes. Flip the potatoes over halfway through cooking.
Bake for 15-25 minutes, depending on the size of the potatoes. Medium sized potato are usually done cooking in about 15 minutes. If you press on the potato with your tongs, you should feel that the potato has softened. You can also use a metal or bamboo skewer to poke a hole through the potato to check for doneness. If the skewer easily pierces the potato, it is done cooking.
Serve the potatoes with your choice of garnishes.
Make sure to bake extra potatoes. You and everyone else will most likely eat more than your usual amount, because the potatoes are SO good, but also leftover potatoes rock. You can simply heat it up and eat it with some salt and pepper, or cut it up and crisp it up in a skillet. Seriously, good eats.
- Potatoes, Russets or Gold potatoes
- Sour cream
- Fresh herbs (parsley, dill, chives, scallions, dill, etc)
- grated cheese
- salt, pepper
- bacon bits
- Scrub the potatoes clean with water and a sponge. Poke 3-5 holes into each potato with a paring knife. Wrap each potato in two layers of aluminum foil.
- Get the fire going on your grill. If you are using charcoal or wood, wait until the fire has burned for about 15 minutes and the charcoal or wood is partially covered with a thin layer of ash.
- Nestle each potato in the coal and ashes. Flip the potatoes over halfway through cooking.
- Bake for 15-25 minutes, depending on the size of the potatoes. Medium sized potato are usually done cooking in about 15 minutes. If you press on the potato with your tongs, you should feel that the potato has softened. You can also use a metal or bamboo skewer to poke a hole through the potato to check for doneness. If the skewer easily pierces the potato, it is done cooking.
- Serve the potatoes with your choice of garnishes.