Smoke-Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Barbecue was a New World invention. And sweet potatoes and maple syrup are indigenous New World foods. Put them together and you get a smoky, crisp-crusted side dish that just might take center stage.
Serves:4 to 8
Total Timeunder 2 hours
One Pot MealYes
OccasionCasual Dinner Party
Recipe Courseside dish
Dietary Considerationside dish
Five Ingredients or LessYes
Taste and Texturebuttery, smoky, sweet
Type of Dishvegetable
- 4 large sweet potatoes (6 to 8 ounces each)
- 4 tablespoons (½ stick) salted butter, melted
- Coarse salt (kosher or sea) and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar, for serving
- 1½ cups wood chips or chunks (preferably maple or apple), soaked for 1 hour in water to cover, then drained
Scrub the sweet potatoes well all over with a stiff-bristled brush, then blot them dry with paper towels. Place the potatoes in an aluminum foil drip pan or large bowl. Pour 2 tablespoons of the butter over the potatoes and toss to coat on all sides. Season the potatoes very generously all over with salt and pepper.
Set up the grill for indirect grilling and preheat to medium-high (400°F). Place a large drip pan in the center of the grill under the grate.
When ready to cook, brush and oil the grill grate. Arrange the potatoes in the center of the grill over the drip pan and away from the heat. If cooking on a charcoal grill, toss half of the wood chips on each mound of coals. Cover the grill and cook the sweet potatoes until the skins are nicely browned and the flesh is very tender, 40 minutes to 1 hour. Use the “Charmin test” to check for doneness; squeeze a potato between your thumb and forefinger (carefully; it’s hot.) When it is done it will feel “squeezably soft.”
Cut the sweet potatoes in half lengthwise and place on a platter or plates. Drizzle some of the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and the maple syrup over the cut side of each potato. Sprinkle the brown sugar on top, then season the potatoes with salt and pepper to taste. The sweet potatoes can be eaten skin and all.
2006 Steven Raichlen