How to Cook French Fries on the Barbecue


If the barbecue is the center of action at your next gathering, and you know that your guests will devour homemade French fries, it’s time to accept the challenge and cook those fries on the grill. You don’t have to tell anyone that this restaurant-style side dish is deceptively easy to cook. In fact, you may spend more time cutting the potatoes and mixing the seasonings than standing over the grill. Let everyone marvel at your skill – and watch them snatch up and savor your beautifully browned and seasoned fries.

Things You'll Need

  • About 1 pound of mixed potatoes (russets, Yukon golds, red potatoes or sweet potatoes)
  • Seasonings
  • Potato scrubber
  • Sharp knife
  • Bowl
  • Olive oil
  • Tongs
  • Stir together your favorite potato seasonings in a small bowl. Seasoning salt alone makes a tasty flavoring for French fries on the barbecue. But don’t be afraid to experiment with equal amounts of zestier additions, such as rosemary, thyme, chili powder, cumin or allspice. If you’ve never made grilled fries before, consider stirring together only salt and pepper and adding any zestier flavors after the fries are cooked. The next time, you can grill the zest into the fries.

  • Select a tasty blend for your French fries by choosing at least two different types of potatoes. Augment dependable russets with sweet potatoes or buttery Yukon golds. Red potatoes make tasty fries, but their small size makes them tricky to cut into the same size as other, larger potatoes. Choose the largest red potatoes you can find or be prepared to cut the other potato wedges into smaller pieces. Equal size is important because it will help ensure that the fries cook evenly.

  • Clean the potatoes under cold water with a vegetable scrubber. You will cut the potatoes and leave the skins on, so be sure to remove dirt as well as any sprouts.

  • Cut the potatoes into consistent, ½-inch wedges – smaller if you’re using red potatoes. Place the potatoes in a bowl and coat them liberally with olive oil. Sprinkle your seasoning mixture over the potatoes and toss them thoroughly.

  • Heat one part of your gas grill to medium-high and another to low or use the upper rack as your “low-heat” cooking area. On a charcoal grill, pile more hot coals on one side to accomplish the same objective. Place the fries on the hottest part of your grill and cook them for about three minutes, or until they turn a crispy brown. Flip the fries over with tongs and cook them for another three minutes in the same “high-heat” area. Scoot the potatoes to the cooler side of the grill and cover it. Turn the fries after five minutes and cook them for another three to five minutes, or until they are softened.

Tips & Warnings

  • Hot fries can be difficult to taste-test; by the time one cools down, the fries on your grill could burn. To prevent this from happening, keep some toothpicks in your pocket and insert one directly into the middle of a fry to see if it’s softened.
  • As soon as you remove the fries from the grill, sprinkle them with salt and Parmesan cheese, if you like.

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