Buttery, perfectly seasoned, and absolutely melt-in-your-mouth these grilled potatoes in foil packets are the end-all be-all of grilled side dishes! The flavors of garlic, onion, and butter explode in your mouth at first bite!
I have been eating these potatoes for over half of my life. That’s how good they are! As with any potato recipe – these bad boys are versatile and customizable. Oh, and, as a bonus, you don’t have to heat up the oven to enjoy these perfectly cooked potatoes!
A family favorite - grilled potatoes in foil packets
My dad started grilling potatoes in foil when I was a teenager. I would watch him painstakingly slice the taters and layer them with salt, butter, and garlic. I would also watch him burn about half of the batches (sorry to call you out, Dad!). Sometimes the potatoes were perfect. Sometimes the potatoes were more like charcoal. When they were good, they were great. And when they were burnt, they were still good…because potatoes.
As I grew up and got a grill of my own, I started experimenting with the method and ingredients until I devised a recipe that is my absolute favorite! This technique makes enough potatoes to feed your whole family, produces potatoes that are so silky and buttery they practically melt-in-your mouth, and reduces the risk of burning or scorching the potatoes. Here’s what you’ll need for perfect grilled potatoes:
- Potatoes (my preference is always Yukon Gold or Baby Reds, but a regular Russet will work too!)
- Foil (heavy duty is great if you have it)
- Olive Oil
- Salt and Pepper (must haves for every potato recipe)
- Minced Garlic
- Diced Onion
Assembling foil packets of potatoes
- Slice the potatoes thin. Less than ¼ of an inch. A sharp knife will help with this. Also, if you’re struggling cutting the potatoes whole, slice them in half and place the cut side down to have a flat surface. Slice the halves into thin crescent moon shapes.
- Butter the foil. Two large pieces of it. This will help prevent sticking! Use cold butter and just push the stick across the foil to create a thin square of butter. It’s very similar to buttering a cake pan before filling with batter!
- Create the first layer. I do this by creating consecutive layers of potato slices inside the buttered box. Taking the extra time to evenly distribute the potatoes will help them cook evenly all the way around.
- Season the potatoes. Generously salt and pepper the potatoes. Add minced garlic and diced onion.
- Top with butter. Just a few pats. No need to go crazy.
- Create the second layer. Right on top of the first layer. Nice and even again. Season with salt, pepper, garlic, and onion just as you did the first layer.
- Finish with olive oil. The key! The secret ingredient! A generous drizzle of olive oil not only adds moisture and flavor but helps to prevent the butter from burning on the grill. And thus! Protects the potatoes from burning too. Huzzah!
- Seal it up. Cover the potatoes in the second piece of buttered foil and fold the edges up toward the center of the package to seal everything in.
- Grill the potatoes! With the seams of the folded foil facing up. Cook the potatoes for 15 – 20 minutes over high heat on one side and then another 10 – 15 on the other. The packet will puff up and some oil and butter may leak out when the packet is flipped but that’s ok!
To serve the potatoes
After removing the potatoes from the grill I let them sit for a few minutes until the foil is cool enough to handle. Then I unwrap the foil to reveal buttery, beautiful potatoes. The scent is unreal. Just thinking about the butter, garlic, and onion is making my mouth water! Sprinkle with fresh parsley or chives. For a kick of heat sprinkle with red pepper flakes instead!
Recipe tips and substitutions:
- For two to three pounds of potatoes I start with a piece of foil that is about 18 inches long and 12 inches wide. From there: make the butter square 12 inches long and 9 inches wide so there is enough of an edge to allow for proper folding.
- I fold each side of the packet up onto itself twice. First, the top edge folded in towards the center once, and then again. Followed by the bottom edge folded twice toward the center. Then each side gets folded in toward the center twice.
- When grilling the potatoes, place the foil packet with the folded seams facing up first, this will help keep all the butter and oil inside the packet during the longest part of cooking. (Just be careful when flipping the packet as some oil or butter may leak out and cause a flare up.)
- For crispier potatoes, cook them upwards of 20 minutes on the first side and 15 on the second. For really crispy potatoes, cook them 30 minutes on the first side and 20 – 25 on the second.
- Add in some diced bell pepper to the packet before cooking for even more veggie goodness!
- To easily move, maneuver, and remove the foil packet from the grill I use two large grilling spatulas so the entirety of the packet is supported. A cookie tray is great for transporting the potatoes to and from the grill.
Here’s to grilling season!
Buttery Grilled Potatoes in Foil Packets
- Grilling Spatulas
- Aluminum Foil
- 3 pounds Yukon gold potatoes
- ½ cup butter
- 1 TBSP kosher salt
- Freshly cracked black pepper
- 2 TBSP minced garlic
- ½ cup diced white onion
- ¼ cup olive oil
- Scrub the potatoes well to be sure the skin is clean. (If using a Russet potato, peel the potatoes.)
- Slice potatoes into rounds no thicker than ¼ of an inch and set aside.
- Using a cold stick of butter, create a thin layer of butter in the center of two 18x12 inch pieces of foil. The tracings of butter should measure approximately 12x9 inches.
- Place half of the sliced potatoes in a thin, even layer on top of one of the butter rectangles. Season with half of the salt and a generous sprinkling of freshly cracked black pepper. Top with 1 TBSP of garlic and ¼ cup of the onion. Place 4 – 6 pats of butter on top of this first layer of butter.
- Repeat the process of layering and seasoning with the remaining potatoes directly on top of the first layer. Drizzle the entire dish with olive oil.
- Top with the second piece of foil and fold all the edges in toward the center to create a sealed packet.
- Grill over medium-high heat for 15 – 20 minutes on the first side before flipping and grilling for another 10 – 15 minutes. (Longer for crispier potatoes.) The packet will puff up during the cooking process – this is ok!
- Remove potatoes from grill and allow foil to cool a few minutes before opening packet. Sprinkle with fresh parsley or chives before serving, if desired.
- Leftover potatoes can be stored in the fridge for up to five days. (And make a really great breakfast!)