Thu 23 Aug 2018
Read other related stories: Orion Cooker , Potato , Salad , Side Dish , Vegetables
POTATO SALAD GETS SMOKE INFUSION
Without question, potatoes are my favorite vegetable to expose to smoke vapor. For one, it is so easy to do whether you select a gas/LP grill, charcoal grill, convection grill, or electric unit. Additionally, it takes such a short amount of time to cook them this way.
I’ll give you my preparation for the potatoes and then my take on the traditional potato salad made with our awesome smoked potatoes.
Preparing for the Grill
Honestly, you can use any of your favorite potatoes for this technique and recipe. I’ll tell you that I’m firing up my Orion Cooker as the high heat of this unit will allow my potatoes to become tender in about 60 minutes and I don’t need to do more than turn the potatoes one time. Of course, I’m using the custom blend wood chips sold by Orion to ensure that the smoke infusion is perfectly balanced. When using the Orion Cooker, a chimney starter of briquets should be started and the fuel pan of the unit filled with unlit briquets. Personally, I like to use long-handled tongs and place my hot coals from the chimney started to the inner edge of the fuel pan. That ensures that I direct the heat very quickly to the metal cylinder of the unit.
If you’re using a traditional charcoal grill, try to do the cooking on hot coals only, with no flame. Start a chimney or two of hot coals and allow these to burn down until they are just hot coals. Then pour into the charcoal area. I often use a fine wire mesh in my charcoal area so I can retain even the smallest hot coal for my cooking.
On a gas grill, use a two-zone cooking method with wood chunks placed on the hot side of the grill, potatoes on the unlit side, and the lit burners set to low-to-medium.
Before placing the potatoes on the grill grate of any of these units, clean them, pat dry, and pierce with a fork on both sides so the water in the potatoes can steam out during the cooking process.
As I said, potatoes are the perfect vegetable to put on the grill or smoker as their skin acts like a mini cooker and cooks them tender. You’ll simply need to turn the potatoes just one time during the hour they grill. While they are cooking, you can prepare the dressing to be ready to put everything together.
Tasting Notes: Always grill and smoke the potatoes with the skins on to keep the smoke vapor from getting too strong. Remember, potatoes have a lot of water which will be an attractant to smoke vapor.
For our creamy dressing, you’ll need the following ingredients:
1-1/2 cups of mayonnaise
Rice or cider vinegar- 2 tablespoons
2 tablespoons of sugar
2 tablespoons of yellow mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon pepper
2 celery ribs, sliced
1 cup of onion, minced
5 hard-boiled eggs, coarsely chopped
Start by combining the mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and sugar. Be sure everything is mixed in well. Taste to be sure everything is balanced and adjust as needed. Usually, adjustments are made to the vinegar or mustard levels. The texture will be very creamy.
Once the potatoes are tender, you can remove them from the grill and allow to cool. Once cool enough to handle, cut into bite-size pieces. Now add the chopped smoked potatoes to the dressing bowl and mix until all the potatoes are covered in dressing. Give it just a few minutes to absorb.
Final Salad Touches
Now that the dressing has been added to the smoked potato pieces, it’s time to add the remaining ingredients. First in, the celery and onion. Mix this well to ensure a single bite doesn’t get all onion! Next, the chopped egg is added. Gently mix this into the salad to keep the larger pieces from crumbling too far. Finally, the sprinkle of paprika over the top of the salad. I prefer a Spanish or Hungarian paprika. That’s it! Now chill until ready to serve and enjoy this super flavorful take on the non-traditional potato salad gets smoke infusion!
You can use a smoked paprika if you want even more kick of smoke but most of the time, a traditional paprika is suitable.
SmokinLicious Products used in this blog:
Wood Chips: Grande Sapore®