Tender grilled sweet potatoes are the perfect sweet and smoky side dish to compliment your favorite cookout fare!
I am a meat and potatoes kind of guy. If I am having a nice and juicy grilled steak, you can bet there will be a heaping pile of potatoes served alongside it. Although, a traditional baked potato is nice, properly prepared sweet potatoes may just be the most tantalizing side dish that will ever come off your grill.
Grilled Sweet Potatoes
There are a few different ways you can grill sweet potatoes. You can leave the potato whole, slice it in half lengthwise, or chop into cubes.
Grilling a whole sweet potato would take excessively long, and personally, I would really miss the delicious layer of crust that forms around the cut potato flesh. Slicing the sweet potato lengthwise and then grilling would be a better option. It would still take longer than cubing the sweet potato, but not excessively. Halved sweet potatoes also take up less room on your grill grate if that is a concern.
However, my favorite way to prepare grilled sweet potatoes is to cube them. The smaller size makes them cook faster, grills up crispier and provides the most surface area for seasoning to adhere to. In short, cubed sweet potatoes will taste best on the grill.
Grilled Sweet Potatoes Seasoning
I use a basic seasoning for this recipe that can easily be customized to fit your tastes with the addition of paprika, poultry seasoning, or any of your other favorites.
How Long to Grill Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are best grilled over indirect heat to prevent burning and take about 45 minutes to grill. The exact time will vary depending on how hot your grill cooks and how large your sweet potato cubes are.
Make sure you rotate the sweet potatoes periodically to ensure they cook evenly. This also gives you a chance to check them and see how quickly they are cooking.
How to Grill Over Indirect Heat
If you have a charcoal grill (this is the grill I use - affiliate link), just fire up a chimney full of charcoal and pile it only on one side of the grill, leaving the other side empty. You will cook the sweet potatoes over the empty side of the grill so they do not burn from hot coals directly underneath them.
On a propane grill you have a few more options. If your grill has good temperature control you may be able to get by with turning the burners on low. However, a safer method to prevent burning is to just turn on one row of burners, and then place the sweet potatoes on the grill grates furthest from that burner.
Grilled Sweet Potatoes in Foil
I tested this recipe by also grilling sweet potatoes in foil. Using foil is certainly the easiest way to cook sweet potatoes, since there is zero risk of burning and they cook faster. However, everyone agreed the grilled sweet potatoes tasted best without foil. The foil basically steamed the sweet potatoes, giving them a mushy exterior rather than the crisp crust that forms without foil.
If you wish to make the sweet potatoes in foil, just toss them in and seal up the foil. I pierce a few holes to allow the grill smoke to sink in. Then place on the grill for 20-30 minutes.
What to Serve With Sweet Potatoes
For a delicious cookout idea that is sure to be a crowd pleaser, cook up my smoked meatloaf recipe, these grilled sweet potatoes, and some grilled asparagus. It may be the best meal you eat all year! Otherwise, sweet potatoes are always right at home next to grilled chicken breasts.
Grilled Sweet Potatoes
- Chop the sweet potatoes into 1 ½" cubes and add into a bowl with olive oil and seasonings. Toss to coat.
- Charcoal grill: Heat a charcoal grill by loading the coals onto one side of the grill, leaving the other side empty.
- Propane grill: Heat a propane grill by turning on one row of burners on medium.
- Place the chopped sweet potatoes on the grill grate furthest from your heat source so they are able to cook with indirect heat.
- Cover the grill and let cook 45 minutes, rotating the sweet potatoes every 10-15 minutes to ensure even cooking. Sweet potatoes are finished cooking when they can easily be pierced with a fork.