Learn everything you need to know about how to make Smoked Mashed Potatoes!
We smoke and then mash up skin-on red potatoes for maximum flavor and color.
Whether you've got a Traeger or Pit Boss pellet grill, a Masterbuilt electric smoker, or even a gas or charcoal grill, you can easily make these smoked mashed potatoes!
How to Prepare to Make Smoked Mashed Potatoes
First you'll need to gather your ingredients and get the potatoes partially cooked before putting them in the smoker.
We chose to use small red potatoes because you don't need to peel them and they are easy to mash, they have a lot of flavor, and they look very rustic when left "skin-on" and used for smoked mashed potatoes.
Ingredients for Smoked Mashed Potatoes
- 3 lbs Red Potatoes
- 1 and ½ Cups Half and Half
- 6 tablespoon Unsalted Butter
- ½ cup Sour Cream
- 2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
- ½ teaspoon Fresh Ground Pepper
- Fresh chopped chives to garnish (optional)
Boil and Prepare the Potatoes
While you can technically cook the potatoes entirely on the smoker, we find boiling them first to be a BIG time saver and we still get a lot of smokey flavor into the potatoes by smoking them at a low temperature afterward boiling.
We use the same technique with our smoked potato salad, and always have great results in about half the time it would take to smoke the potatoes from raw to cooked.
They also won't risk drying out on the smoker because we only need to smoke them very low for 60 minutes vs. if we smoked them from raw at a higher temperature for 2 hours or longer to get them cooked.
Place the whole potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold water until 1-inch above surface of potatoes.
Bring the water to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook the potatoes until tender, about 20-30 minutes depending on size of the potatoes.
Drain the potatoes and place them on a cutting board.
Cut them into quarters. Do not peel the skins off.
If you want smaller pieces of skin in your smoked mashed potatoes, you can cut the potatoes into smaller pieces, but we like the large rustic looking potato skins in ours.
Line a baking sheet with foil and spray or brush a thin layer of olive oil on the foil so that the potatoes do not stick.
Spread the potatoes out on the foil with the skin sides DOWN in a single even layer.
Do not spray or drizzle any oil on the potatoes themselves, otherwise the smoked mashed potatoes will be too oily later on.
How to Set Up a Grill or Smoker for Smoked Mashed Potatoes
Because we've already cooked the potatoes we only need to use the grill or smoker to add some smokey flavor for our smoked mashed potatoes.
Let's go through how to set up a few common types of grills and smokers to do this.
Pellet Grills and Electric Smokers
Charcoal Grills and Smokers
If you've got a charcoal smoker or kettle style grill set it up for low INDIRECT smoking with only a handful of unlit briquettes, one or two lit briquettes, and one chunk of smoking wood.
Smoking with a Gas Grill
You may not even need to turn on your grill or at minimum light one far away burner on low to keep the grill temperature no higher than 180°F.
Learn all about How to use Smoker Boxes and Pellet Tube Smokers on Gas Grills HERE.
How to Smoke the Potatoes for Smoked Mashed Potatoes
Once you've got the temperature at 180°F with indirect heat on whatever grill or smoker you are using, place the whole pan of quartered red potatoes in the cooking chamber.
We are going to smoke them for 60 minutes until you see them start to turn slightly yellowish and have a smokey flavor.
You can also rotate the pan as needed for more even heating, but you shouldn't need to do too much else during this phase.
The moist potatoes will absorb plenty of smoky flavor in 60 minutes.
Avoid going much longer than 60 minutes or you risk drying the potatoes out too much which can make them harder to mash in the next step.
Use a Grill Basket or Phat Mat in Smaller Smokers
We placed a large baking sheet of smoked potatoes directly on our Pit Boss pellet grill grates, but depending on your space constraints, you may need to use a smaller pan, grill basket, or grill mat.
We are particular fans of the ORDORA Portable Grill Basket because it comes with its own handle, making it much easier to manage and move lots of delicate food, even shrimp, scallops, and asparagus around with one quick motion.
Another option is to use a Grill Mat, which are becoming increasingly popular in many BBQ circles, especially for delicate vegetables and small seafood like oysters.
Our personal favorite is the PhatMat Non Stick Grill Mat.
Just throw it down on your grill to keep your food all in one place and you can slide it around as needed to make room for other food without having to move each individual item.
It keeps your grates really clean, and when you are done, you just throw it right in the dishwasher!
Mixing Up the Smoked Mashed Potatoes
While the potatoes are smoking on the grill or smoker, you can melt the butter into the half and half.
Add the butter to the half and half in a small saucepan on the stove over medium-low heat.
Stir and heat gently until the butter is completely melted and mixed into the half and half.
Once the potatoes are finished smoking, gather all your ingredients and get a large mixing bowl and a potato masher.
Carefully transfer the smoked red potatoes to the mixing bowl.
Mash the smoked potatoes as best you can by themselves before adding the other ingredients (we will mash them more after adding them).
Gently stir in the butter/half and half mixture.
Next, stir in the sour cream, salt, and pepper.
We recommend adding just half of the salt first, them mashing and checking for saltiness before adding the rest.
Gently mash again with your potato masher to incorporate all the ingredients.
Do not OVERWORK the potatoes or they can get gummy and taste less appetizing.
Just enough to get all the wet ingredients absorbed into the smoked potatoes and have a good texture.
Check for saltiness and add more salt if needed.
Transfer the smoked mashed potatoes to a serving bowl and garnish the top with more fresh cracked pepper and fresh chopped chives for extra color.
Serving Smoked Mashed Potatoes
Smoked Mashed Potatoes
- Large Stock Pot
- Large Slotted Spoon
- Cutting Board
- Paper Towels
- Large Baking Sheet
- Aluminum Foil
- Smoker or Pellet grill -OR-
- Gas or Charcoal Grill setup for indirect heat
- Hickory, Mesquite, and/or Apple pellets, woodchips, or chunks
- Small Saucepan
- Large Mixing Bowl
- Potato Masher
- Large Serving Bowl
- 2 lbs Red Potatoes 6 medium or 12 small
- Olive Oil
- 1½ Cups Half and Half
- 6 tablespoon Unsalted Butter
- ½ Cup Sour Cream
- 2 teaspoon Kosher Salt or 1 teaspoon Table Salt
- ½ teaspoon Fresh Ground Black Pepper
- Fresh Chives, finely chopped for garnish (optional
Set Up the Grill or Smoker
- Preheat the smoker, or grill setup for indirect cooking, to 180°F.
- If using a pellet grill, load the hopper with your chosen pellets, turn on the grill, and set the temperature for 180°F or the "Smoke" setting.
Boil and Prepare the Potatoes
- Place the whole potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold water until 1-inch of water is above the surface of the potatoes.2 lbs Red Potatoes
- Bring the water to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook the potatoes until fork tender, about 20-30 minutes depending on size of the potatoes.
- Drain the potatoes, spread out on a cutting board and dry with paper towels.
- Cut the potatoes into quarters. Do not peel the skins off.
- Line a baking sheet with foil and spray or brush a thin layer of olive oil on the foil so that the potatoes do not stick.Olive Oil
- Spread the quartered potatoes out on the tray with the skin sides facing DOWN. Do NOT drizzle or spray any oil on the potatoes themselves.
Smoke the Potatoes
- Once you’ve got the temperature of the grill or smoker at 180°F with indirect heat, place the whole pan of quartered potatoes in the cooking chamber.
- Smoke the potatoes for 60 minutes.
- While they are smoking, melt the butter into the half and half on the stove. Add the butter to the half and half in a small saucepan on the stove over medium-low heat.6 tablespoon Unsalted Butter, 1½ Cups Half and Half
- Stir and heat gently until the butter is completely melted and mixed into the half and half. Set aside.
Mix up the Mashed Potatoes
- Once the potatoes are done smoking, remove them from the grill or smoker and carefully transfer them to a large mixing bowl.
- Mash the smoked potatoes with the potato masher as best you can by themselves before adding any of the other ingredients (we will mash them more after adding them).
- Gently stir in the butter/half and half mixture.
- Next, stir in the sour cream, 1 teaspoon of the Kosher Salt, and the pepper.½ Cup Sour Cream, 2 teaspoon Kosher Salt, ½ teaspoon Fresh Ground Black Pepper
- Gently mash again with your potato masher to incorporate all the ingredients. Do not OVERWORK the potatoes or they can get gummy and taste less appetizing. Just enough to get all the wet ingredients absorbed into the smoked potatoes and have a good texture.
- Taste test for saltiness and add the second teaspoon of Kosher salt if needed.
- Transfer the smoked mashed potatoes to a serving bowl and garnish the top with more fresh cracked pepper and the fresh chopped chives for extra color.Fresh Chives, finely chopped
- Serve while still hot and enjoy!