Warm and soft on the inside, salty and crispy on the outside, Traeger Baked Potatoes make for a perfect side to go along with your favorite meat. There are other ways to make a baked potato, but even my kids can tell the difference when we make smoked baked potatoes, they are that much better.
I often buy baked potatoes with the best intentions and then find them still sitting on my counter a week later. One week later I decided to put them on the Traeger Pellet Grill next to some smokey and sweet Pellet Grill Ribs and I was not disappointed.
These are a great side dish or even part of the main dish when you cut them open and top with some chili or pile on the fixings.
All you will need for this smoked baked potatoes recipe is a handful of ingredients that you likely have in your pantry already. These plus some wood pellets are you are good to go. We've used cherry, hickory, maple, and apple wood successfully.
Yukon Gold Potatoes - I talk about why I use this variety of potato a little further down.
Oil - olive oil, avocado oil, canola oil, or even bacon grease all work.
Kosher Salt - I like the bigger flakes for this recipe.
Black Pepper - freshly cracked is always best.
How to make Traeger baked potatoes
Potatoes have been a staple in households since, probably the beginning of time. There are so many ways to cook and serve them but on the pellet smoker is my favorite way. It takes just a few minutes of prep before you are serving a steaming, golden, crispy side to your meal.
Step 1: Rub the oil all over the potatoes. I generally drizzle the oil on and then rub them down.
Step 2: Season with salt and pepper. Again, you want all the sides coated.
Step 3: Set the Traeger temperature to 250 for about 3 hours. We cook them in an aluminum foil pan right in the smoker on the grill grate like in this photo (with the lid closed). The internal temperature of the potatoes on an instant-read thermometer needs to reach 205.
Expert Tip: You can just check with a fork to see if they are fork tender but the temperature method is much more accurate for perfect potatoes.
What kind of potato works best?
Though they all have great qualities that make them delicious and useful in their way, not all potatoes are created equally. Potatoes fall into one of two categories, starchy or waxy, but in the middle, we have Yukon Gold. Yukon Gold potatoes have a medium starch content that makes them versatile for various types of cooking. These all-purpose potatoes are firm but moist and have a rich flavor.
Long story short, Yukon Gold potatoes work best for this smoked baked potatoes recipe. Russet potatoes are a great second choice.
Do I have to wash the potato before cooking?
The quick answer is yes. At a minimum, rinsing your potatoes is recommended considering they do grow in dirt. To be more thorough run the potatoes under cool water and scrub with a vegetable brush. If you don't have a vegetable brush you can use a kitchen towel. You will want to use a towel to dry the potatoes as well as to remove extra moisture from the skin before cooking.
Are potatoes healthy?
Potatoes have nutrients that are valuable for a healthy diet. They are packed with potassium, vitamin C, and vitamin B6 as well as fiber which slows down digestion and helps you stay fuller longer. What's more, potatoes are naturally cholesterol, fat, and gluten-free.
(Fun Fact: The skin on potatoes has nutrients, so eat that part too!)
What do I serve Smoked Baked Potatoes with?
This easy side dish can be served with so many things. Some of our favorites are Traeger Smoked Pork Chops, Traeger Brisket, Pellet Grill Steak, Smoked Burgers, Air Fried Cornish Hen, or Traeger Chicken Thighs! Might as well maximize that smoky flavor while you have your pellet grill going.
Or serve with this Balmoral Chicken to impress your guests.
What should I top my baked potato with?
Adding your favorite toppings is an important part of any baked potato! I like my baked potato pretty simple, salt and pepper topped with butter. The butter and seasoning add just a little flavor and creaminess to the already soft potato. For those who are feeling a bit more adventurous, here are some other ideas to make the perfect side dish.
- Butter - all these really need is a pat of butter
- Sour Cream - classic potato topping because the creamy tang pairs perfectly
- Crispy bacon bits - we always serve bacon crumbles with a potato bar when we set one up for dinner parties
- Shredded Cheese - try parmesan, cheddar cheese, Monterey Jack for a little heat, or any kind you like!
- Plain Greek Yogurt - we are sour cream lovers in this house but if we are out Greek yogurt is a good sub
- Chives - we grow chives in our garden and they are definitely a family favorite, green onions have a similar flavor
- Spices - a little onion powder or garlic powder sprinkled on top is delicious
- Shredded BBQ Pork - oh yes, turn this into an entire meal by topping with some pulled pork
- Smoked Cream Cheese - sounds a little crazy but this is phenomenal!
It is hard to choose the wrong topping for your baked potato. The possibilities are endless. When I cook these for my family or friends I like to put out a few different options so everyone can personalize their potato. Sometimes conversations even ensue over the "right" way to top your potato. (The answer is there is no right way though!) You can also go all out and make these into Loaded Shrimp Baked Potatoes.
- 5 lb potatoes
- ¼ cup oil
- 2 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon pepper
- Preheat your smoker to 250.
- Rub the potatoes with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Smoke for 3 hours or until the internal temperature of the potatoes is 205 degrees.