The only thing better than a good recipe? When something’s so easy that you don’t even need one. Welcome to It’s That Simple, a column where we talk you through the dishes and drinks we can make with our eyes closed.

A potato is a 10 in all of its forms—roasted, mashed, grated, even crispy-gone-soggy—but I have a particularly fluffy soft spot for associate food editor Kendra Vaculin’s grilled potatoes. The primal human urge to cook veggies over flames once again proves its millennia-long staying power in this potatoes recipe: Seasoned spuds emerge from their foil packets lightly charred and steamed until creamy.

You can roast these potatoes in a hot oven too. But you’ll want to bookmark them for the peak summer months, when your BBQ is basically always on and a humid kitchen is simply not the vibe. There’s virtually no prep time required. The technique involves wrapping quartered or halved potatoes in a makeshift foil bag, scrunching it closed, and letting them hang out on the grill while you pour yourself another crisp glass of rosé.

Stop there if you want. The potatoes will be rich, ever-so-slightly smoky, and fork-tender. But you can also jazz them up a bit. Slick your spuds in equal parts spicy brown mustard and mayo or sour cream; add a squeeze of lemon and garnish with a hefty sprinkle of fresh herbs, such as chopped dill, parsley, or chives; or toss them, still hot, in grated Parmesan cheese and more black pepper. They are both the pièce de résistance and a blank canvas; a versatile summer side dish worthy of space on the grill. Move aside, bell peppers and zucchini.

How to make easy grilled potatoes in foil:

Turn your grill on to medium-high heat. Clean and oil the grate.

In a large bowl, combine 1 lb. quartered red potatoes, Yukon Gold potatoes, baby potatoes, chopped fingerlings, or chunkily diced russet potatoes with a dash each of garlic powder, smoked paprika, and kosher salt; lots of freshly ground black pepper; and a generous glug of extra-virgin olive oil. Dump the potatoes onto a large piece of aluminum foil and bundle the edges together to form a well-sealed packet. (There’s no need to arrange them in a single layer; everything will be fine.)

Place the packet on the grill and cook until potatoes are tender, 25–28 minutes. (The total time will vary based on how close to the fire you leave the potatoes, but they should pierce easily when you poke them with a fork.) You can completely ignore them during this time, but the potatoes closest to the fire will take on more color than pieces at the top. If this irks you, give the bag a shake halfway through the cook time, after 12–14 minutes.

Don’t have a grill?

You can cook potatoes inside too. Preheat your oven to 400°. Spread seasoned potatoes on a rimmed sheet pan and roast potatoes until just tender enough to easily pierce with a fork, 25–30 minutes. Remove pan from oven; turn broiler to high and cook until potatoes are lightly charred, about 3–5 minutes.

Doubling this recipe (you’ll probably need two pieces of foil to cradle the extra volume) is prudent. Save any leftovers, because next-day potatoes have the potential to be the best potatoes. Reheat them in the oven or air fryer. You can also potato-salad-ify those babies, toss them in a spicy Caesar dressing, or pan-fry them alongside some silky scrambled eggs. Long live grilled potatoes.

Bring the heat:Mustardy Grilled Cabbage and KielbasaThis simple dinner of grilled sausage and cabbage gets added heft from small potatoes that go fork-tender in a foil packet in just under half an hour.View Recipe

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