Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

April 21, 2011

'Smoked Potato Fries' will be a summer hit

Dave Lobeck
CNHI News Service

Ada, OK — On occasion I like to try something new and different. Sometimes it works out perfectly, and other times it doesn't.

Luckily, this first attempt at “Smoked Potato Fries” was a home run. And, it's really simple.

As you know, potatoes in general are either baked in the oven, or fried as hash browns or French fries. I will admit I love a good baked potato, and who doesn't like a crispy French fry? I love them all. But, I felt like I could do something different. I even went so far as to search the Internet, and not a single article is posted on this technique, so I am pretty sure it is original.

Here is what you need:

3 medium baking potatoes

2 medium sweet potatoes

2 Tablespoons of olive oil

Salt to taste

Pepper to taste


Hickory Chips

I have posted a video on my YouTube channel for you to see the introduction of this recipe. Go to and search for “smoked potato fries.” But, read on for the recipe and a description of the technique.


Peel the sweet potatoes and leave the skin on the baking potatoes. Slice all potatoes lengthwise to a thickness of roughly ½ inch. Then, slice those pieces to the size of a large French fry. Again, check out the video if you are uncertain.

Place the sliced potatoes into a bowl and add the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. You can use other seasonings if you wish, but I decided to keep it simple. Always remember to be conservative with salt, as you can always add more at the table. Stir the potatoes with your hands until the oil and spices are thoroughly mixed into the spuds.

Place the potatoes on a cookie sheet that has been lined with aluminum foil and sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Make sure they are in a single layer. If they are piled on top of each other the smoky flavor doesn't infuse all of the potatoes.

Prepare your kettle grill with indirect heat, which is 20 to 25 briquettes on one side of the grill. Sprinkle a couple of handfuls of hickory chips on the hot coals. Place the potatoes on the opposite side of the heat and put the lid on.

After 10 to 15 minutes, turn and shift the potatoes for even cooking. Put the lid back on for another 10 to 15 minutes and remove. Test a fry to make sure it is cooked all the way through.

Place the potatoes in the broiler at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 7 to 10 minutes if you want to add a little texture. But, keep an eye on them so they don't burn!

These smoked fries are absolutely delicious. Please take the time to view the video. It does a good job of explaining everything. We served these smoked fries with grilled hamburgers and they were a huge hit.

Dave Lobeck is a barbecue chef from Sellersburg, Ind., who writes a weekly column for CNHI News Service. Visit his website at