Paula: Promise me you won’t save this recipe for Game Day. Sure, loaded potato skins join nachos and chicken wings in the indulgent, deeply satisfying category of party fare. But they’re too delicious to be relegated to sporadic occasions. Deep down, don’t you want to eat crispy, seasoned shells topped with bacon, cheese, and sour cream once a week? At least?
Scott: Game Day and potato skins do certainly have a deep and soulful connection, but I must strongly concur that potato skins and their attendant toppings should not be relegated to any particular event or time of year. [Slowly draws open coat to reveal “Free the Skins!” t-shirt.]
Potato Skins are typically prepared in the oven, but they’re even more delicious when roasted in a cast iron skillet over an aromatic charcoal fire. Trophy-winning potato skins are all about a super crispy, crunchy perimeter, so make sure you coat the entire surface with oil. Seasoned with Potato Slayer (our tangy, herb-flecked blend developed just for spuds) the shells are so aromatic when you open the grill you’ll be tempted to skip the toppings. You might keep that in mind and roast a few extra to “test.”
Fully-Loaded Potato Skins with Potato Slayer
Serves 6 to 8
This recipe is merely a guide to building your take on perfect skins. Feel free to swap in your favorite cheese, sub shredded brisket or pork for bacon, or add additional garnishes, such as fresh herbs (chives, oregano or tarragon would be delicious), pickled or fresh jalapenos or halved cherry tomatoes.
- 8 medium Yukon Gold potatoes
- 4 slices thick-cut bacon
- 2 tablespoons of canola oil
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon Potato Slayer, divided
- 1 cup grated sharp Cheddar cheese (or Jack or Pepper Jack)
- 4 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced
- Sour cream, for serving
- Tupelo Two-Step BBQ Sauce, for serving
Heat the oven to 350°F.
Wrap each potato in aluminum foil. Place the potatoes in a baking dish, and bake until they’re tender when squeezed, 50 minutes to 1 hour. Unwrap the potatoes to let them cool a bit.
Prepare a charcoal grill for two-zone cooking and build a medium-high fire.
While you wait for the fire, slice the potatoes in half lengthwise. Using a spoon (a grapefruit spoon works really well), scoop out the interior of the potato, leaving a ½-inch shell. (Reserve potato flesh for another use.) Brush the entire surface (inside and skin) of the potato shells, with the oil (using more if needed) and sprinkle the insides evenly with all but ½ teaspoon of Potato Slayer. Arrange the potato shells on a large cast iron skillet.
Clean and oil the grill grates. When the coals are glowing red and covered with a fine gray ash, place the skillet of potato skins over indirect heat, (the side of the grill with no coals), close the grill, vent for smoking, and cook for the potato skins turn golden brown, about 20-25 minutes (rotating the skillet as needed for even cooking).
While the potatoes roast on the grill, slice the bacon crosswise into strips and fry them in a skillet over medium heat, until lightly browned and chewy (about half the fat will be rendered) but not crisp. Drain excess fat and set aside.
When the potato skins are golden brown, move the skillet to a heat-safe surface. Divide the bacon and cheddar among the hollowed out potato skins, return the skillet to the grill, and cook until the cheese has melted and the perimeter of the skins are crisp and brown, about 12 to 15 minutes more.
Remove from heat, and garnish each potato skin with a dollop of sour cream, sliced scallions, and a pinch of the remaining Potato Slayer. Serve immediately with Tupelo Two-Step or your favorite hot sauce.
Grill-side banter provided by food writer, cookbook author and grilling enthusiast, Paula Disbrowe, and infamous grill nerd and co-owner of PK Grills, Scott Moody.
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