Two Men, Two Pits and a Blog

Tin Foil Potatoes:The Return of the Sun

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As the March sun melts through the snow-laden spruce, I rake the orange-glowing coals about in the pit, banking them to the back side, like I always do. And I pause momentarily, not just to savor the heat off the grill, which is nice,  but to note this day how the sun at once seems a peck more sluggish aloft than maybe it once was. A little less keen on the business of dropping into darkness, or to give up its waning light. And this gives us northern folk pause for hope. It sings to our soul. But then I notice this same thing every year around this time, around day light savings time.  We set the clocks forward, thinking that does something important. And maybe it does. Up at this latitude anyways, people today saw the sun at supper time, and say what you will, after a winter’s worth of dark suppers, this is a most novel event. Such milestones give hope to the BBQ spirit, that some day soon again, there will be warm sun beams awash over our grills, and merit to the notion we won’t soon either have to dig them out anymore, from the lofty drifts of snow which hath conspired there.  Indeed, we Patrons of the Pit notice these things such as the lingering sun. How couldn’t we.  It is in our blood. Anyways, let’s head inside and see what is going on the grill tonight.

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One of my favorite things to grill are potatoes. And maybe my favorite method of doing them is diced up in the foil. If you’ve never grilled your spuds like this before, you’re missing something out of your grilling career. The process is as simple as it gets almost, and nary fails to turn out a delicious end game. Here is how to do it. While the grill is coming up to speed, lay down a sheet of tin foil and dice up a few potatoes into uniform chunks about the size of dice. Skin on or off, it doesn’t matter, however you like them is fine.  It doesn’t really matter even what size you want to dice them, just so long as they are uniform in size thus to allow for even cooking. The next crucial ingredient is fat. You can dribble some cooking oil over them, but I like to disperse a few generous pats of butter over the potatoes. Next, if you’re an onion person, of which we can only hope our readers are, you’ll likely wanna chop up one of them on the pile too. Then hit the whole thing with a dusting of pepper and a few pinches of kosher salt. Some times I toss in some vegetables too, but not tonight. When you have it all ready, wrap it up good in the foil, tuck it under your wing like a full back, and make way for your grill. Lets head back out there, where as my elder brother is fond of saying ” the metal meets the meat”.

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We preach the in-direct method allot here on POTP, and you should aspire for it, but here is one occasion where it works to go directly over the flame. Go head and put your foiled-up potatoes on the grate, right over the coals. The butter will quickly come to a sizzle, in a ricocheting applause within it’s tin foil sanctum.  Now also would be a good time to toss on a few chunks of meat if you have a mind to, and if you’re man, well, this should not require too much additional thought.  We’ve been on a chicken leg quarter sort of kick here at the pit lately, so we thought to use up some more of those. Patted down in vegetable oil, and seasoned in garlic salt. Nice and simple. As any meat and potato mantra should be. Seared them, them tucked them in-direct. Put on the lid, and went about the vital business of procuring myself a lovely beverage from the refrigerator.  Standard Pit Master Procedure.

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As is custom in winter grilling, you will want to take up residence in your favorite man chair, strategically positioned with a view of the pit and perhaps the big game on the TV. These are the moments in every cook you remember. Those contented span of minutes where the aromas of food and smoke waft from the grill damper, and there is banter in the air, as your posture slouches a bit in your chair. A seasoned pit master doesn’t fight it too much you see, and if you need to tip your hat over eyes and procure a nap for a few minutes, well, we will harbor no shame against thee. In point of fact, we will salute you. For at the heart of all good BBQ, is a soul on the scenic path, taking his time. Taking these moments we love, and extending the moment just as long as we can. No hurries, mate. However, in this cook, we do have vittles over direct heat, and they should be done in about 20 -25 minutes. So don’t nap too long. It’s time to go plate up.

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My beautiful bride is particularly fond of these potatoes of you can get some of them a little crispy, and these sort you will usually find adhering like a tick to the side of the tin foil. Peel them off to compliment the color and texture of your plate. Served alongside some perfectly executed BBQ chicken, hark, a meal fairer to thee, and patron even to the sun which has returned; and unto its golden light cast upon our grills. Amen.

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47 responses

  1. It really looks delicious!

    March 11, 2013 at 9:14 am

  2. I love doing potatoes like that – as well as packs of squash, zucchini and such! Yummy!

    March 11, 2013 at 9:38 am

  3. Liz

    Want, or maybe that is Need 😉

    March 11, 2013 at 10:13 am

    • Ah, our wants are many, but our needs are few.

      March 11, 2013 at 10:26 am

      • Liz

        does that mean I can have some?

        March 11, 2013 at 10:43 am

      • I have no idea, it was too philosophic for me. Probably tho!

        March 11, 2013 at 10:54 am

  4. I’m not sure which I think I like better, the potatoes or the chicken? I think that I just need to have a plateful to decide.

    March 11, 2013 at 10:13 am

    • Haha, I hear ya. This could have easily been another chicken write-up, but we haven’t done much on potatoes yet, so we focused on that. But yeah, good is good, and they both were good! Thanks Auntiedoni!

      March 11, 2013 at 10:23 am

  5. That truly is a work of art.

    March 11, 2013 at 10:59 am

  6. Potatoes are a must with most meals. I too like them crispy in butter with plenty of onions. Papas y cebollo, muy bien! Good job!!

    March 11, 2013 at 11:47 am

    • Agreed! Thanks John. Try not to fall out of any more windows down there!

      March 11, 2013 at 2:10 pm

  7. MMMMMMMMMMM! I’m of the school of butter too – it’s the perfect fat to accompany grilled potatoes!
    PS: Love your writing style- it’s like I’ve been transported to your grill… without getting the smokiness in my hair… LOL. Can’t wait for your next post of deliciousness.

    March 11, 2013 at 1:12 pm

  8. Taters precious! deliciousness! Love your blog!

    March 11, 2013 at 1:43 pm

  9. Yummmm. We still have three feet of snow on the ground here. We love winter grilling!

    March 11, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    • Three feet, wow. Good to hear from the winter people. Better to embrace the season than to fight it. Take care!

      March 11, 2013 at 3:42 pm

  10. I made tinfoil taters Friday night along with ribeyes over an open fire. We were camping for my birthday and couldn’t face the thought of another disappointing restaurant dinner. Even though we were exhausted this turned out to be one of the easiest most delicious meals I’ve made in a long time. I thought of this blog as we sat by the fire, cold beer in one hand – fork full of steak in the other. Too cool, I come back to see your tinfoil taters post 😀

    March 11, 2013 at 4:24 pm

  11. grizyeti

    Tonight my taters will be done like this.
    I can hardly wait.
    And of course, the onion, always the onion.

    March 12, 2013 at 6:27 am

    • Oh of course the onion. Gotta have the onion. Thanks for checking in Griz, it’s always a better place when you do! Take care. POTP

      March 12, 2013 at 9:25 am

  12. Lovely, boys. You’ve done it again. Kudos from the west.

    March 12, 2013 at 11:57 am

  13. melissashawsmith

    Fab! I’m inspired. Now if I can just dig the grill out from the snowbank . . .
    And your writing doesn’t suck.

    March 12, 2013 at 2:07 pm

  14. That looks amazing! Thanks so much for visiting My Mash Life!

    March 12, 2013 at 4:22 pm

  15. Delish–I look forward to making these when it stops raining here. Thanks for “liking” my poem, as well!

    March 12, 2013 at 10:34 pm

  16. Whilst an elegantly written blog ’bout grilling meat in North ‘murica couldnt be further aware from my poorly written blog about fishing in England. I’ve got to say yours is one of my favourite blogs out there.

    March 13, 2013 at 4:57 am

  17. What’s that noise….oh yeah my stomach rumbling. Man, you always make me hungry. Try adding some smoked paprika to the potatoes and other veg. Gives them a great flavour.

    March 13, 2013 at 8:31 am

    • Good idea. Done vegetables many a time, but never smoked paprika. That sounds magnificent. Thanks Charles!

      March 13, 2013 at 9:45 am

  18. Glorious!

    March 16, 2013 at 6:46 pm

  19. Oh.My.Goodness. I was just swept back to childhood! We often had potatoes cooked on the grill in a tin foil packet. So simple, yet so delicious, especially the brown crispy parts. I must have The Hubbers make some this week. Along with a big ol’ honkin’ piece of steak. And grilled veggies. Shouldn’t be a problem… He’s got enough grills…

    March 17, 2013 at 10:02 pm

    • Oh man, a big steak and the potatoes… well, it don’t get no better! Carry on!

      March 18, 2013 at 9:39 am

  20. We made the potatoes in our new Morso wood fired oven. Delicious! Fantastic. thanks for the idea. Next time we plan to add some garlic and rosemary.

    March 26, 2013 at 7:15 pm

  21. Wow! I love the way you write about food…makes eating and cooking sound even more pleasurable than I thought! Great blog, I will be visiting again. Unfortunately I only have a small balcony on an apartment in a busy town in the UK…but I like to camp! Thanks for stopping by Smile Me Happy 🙂

    April 1, 2013 at 4:09 pm

    • Thank you much. I’ve often wondered how people might do some elaborate grilling on an apartment balcony. Perhaps an electric grill would do the trick. Maybe not. There must be a way!

      April 1, 2013 at 4:41 pm

  22. Pingback: About | Patrons of the Pit | Hey Sweetheart, Get Me Rewrite!

  23. Pingback: Easy Grilling: Meat and Potatoes! | Patrons of the Pit

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