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How to Make Smoked Potato Salad

Learn everything you need to know about how to make Smoked Potato Salad! 

We mix smoked red potatoes with bacon, smoked eggs, sweet pickles and other ingredients to make a delicious smoky potato salad to bring to your next gathering.

Whether you’ve got a gas or charcoal grill, a Traeger or Pit Boss pellet grill, or even a Masterbuilt electric smoker, we’ve got you covered!

smoked potato salad

 

Why Smoked Potato Salad?

Potato salad usually plays second fiddle at most barbecues and outdoor gatherings.

Let’s face it, maybe third or fourth fiddle.

So why not take it up a notch with some delicious Smoked Potato Salad?!

We’ve already elevated many other typically ho-hum barbecue side dishes like our cast iron smoked baked beans, smoked macaroni and cheese, and the always delicious smoked deviled eggs.

So why not give the classic potato salad the same treatment?

Let’s get started!

***Note: If you want to incorporate smoked hard boiled eggs into your smoked potato salad, check out our complete recipe for How to Make Smoked Hard Boiled Eggs, and then come on back we’ll show you how to use them in your smoked potato salad.

You can smoke the hard boiled eggs right alongside the potatoes at the same low temperature, and they are delicious!

 

How to Prepare to Make Smoked Potato Salad

smoked potato salad

Ingredients for Smoked Potato Salad

To get started with your Smoked Potato Salad, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 2 lbs Red Potatoes (6 medium or 12 small)
  • 1/4 cup Olive Oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Pepper
  • 1/4 cup Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1/2 cup Mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon Mustard
  • 1/4 cup Sweet Pickles, chopped fine
  • 4 Hard Boiled Eggs (or smoked eggs)
  • 1 Celery Rib, diced
  • 1/2 Red Onion, medium, diced
  • 6 slices Bacon or 4 slices Thick-Cut Bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled (optional)
  • Fresh Flat Leaf Parsley for garnish

 

Hard Boil the Eggs

First you will want to hard boil your eggs, especially if you are going to smoke the eggs alongside the potatoes.

hard boiled eggs boiling and cooling before smoking

Here is a great tutorial on how to perfectly hard boil eggs if you need a refresher.  But basically here is what you do:

  1. Fill a saucepan with cold water and place the eggs at the bottom in single layer.  Make sure they are completely covered with water.
  2. Optional: Add a teaspoon of vinegar to help prevent the eggs from cracking in the water.
  3. Turn to heat to HIGH and bring the water to a boil uncovered.
  4. Once boiling, turn off the heat, cover, and let them sit for 10-12 minutes.
  5. Remove the eggs with a large slotted spoon to a bowl of ice water.
  6. Once cooled, you can move them to the refrigerator or peel them to put in the smoker. Do not peel until you are ready to mix them into the potato salad or smoke them.

 

Boil and Prepare the Potatoes

While you COULD technically cook the potatoes entirely on the smoker, we found boiling them first to be a BIG time saver and we still got a lot of smokey flavor into the potatoes by smoking the diced, cooked potatoes at a low temperature afterwards.

They also didn’t dry out on the smoker because we only needed to smoke them for about 30-60 minutes.

Place the whole potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold water until 1-inch above surface of potatoes.

red potatoes boiling in a pot

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 potatoes.

Drain the potatoes and dice.

Place the diced potatoes on a foil lined baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Season with
salt and pepper.
potatoes diced on a pan to smoke

 

How to Smoke the Potatoes for Smoked Potato Salad

Set Up the Grill or Smoker

Because we’ve already cooked the potatoes we only need to use the grill or smoker to add some smokey flavor for our smoked potato salad.

Let’s go through how to set up a few common types of grills and smokers to do this.

 

Pellet Grills and Electric Smokers

a smoker set to 180 degrees

If you’ve got a pellet grill like a Traeger or Pit Boss or an electric smoker like a Masterbuilt, set your cooking temperature to 180°F, or better yet, the “Smoke” setting if your smoker has one.

Learn all about the difference between the Smoke and 180°F Settings HERE.

 

Charcoal Grills and Smokers

putting grate on charcoal grill set up for indirect smoking

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 lit briquette, and one chunk of smoking wood.

 

Smoking with a Gas Grill

If you are using a gas grill, we’d recommend using a pellet tube smoker filled with lit pellets to provide the smoke.

smoke on 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.

 

Smoking the 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 oiled and seasoned diced potatoes in the cooking chamber.

potatoes smoking for smoked potato salad

We are going to smoke them for 30-60 minutes until you see them start to turn brown and have a smokey flavor.

If you are smoking your hard boiled eggs for the smoked potato salad as well, make sure to oil the grates well and you can place them right alongside the pan of potatoes.

smoked eggs and potatoes on pellet grill

Stir the potatoes around every 15 minutes or so to make sure all sides are exposed to smoke.  You can also rotate the pan as needed for more even heating.

 

Use a Grill Basket or Phat Mat (Optional)

We placed our baking sheet of smoked potatoes directly on our Pit Boss pellet grill grates, but you may need to use a smaller pan, grill basket, or grill mat.

Especially if you have space constraints in your smoker like with a vertical electric smoker.

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 veggies 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!

 

Prepare the Bacon and Other Ingredients

While the potatoes are smoking, cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until it is very crispy.

Remove the bacon from the pan to cool on a paper towel lined plate and then crumble into smaller pieces and set aside for later.

You can also use this time to dice and measure out the other ingredients for the smoked potato salad.

 

Finishing the Smoked Potato Salad

Remove and Cool the Potatoes and Eggs

potatoes smoking for smoked potato salad

Once the potatoes are done smoking, remove them from the grill or smoker and place them in a large mixing bowl.

Add the red wine vinegar while the smoked potatoes are still warm and gently toss to coat all sides of the potatoes.

pouring red wine vinegar onto potatoes

Cover the bowl and refrigerate until cool, about 20 minutes.

If you smoked the hard boiled eggs, remove them from the grill or smoker and chill the eggs until cool as well.

 

Mix All the Ingredients

smoked potato salad ingredients

While the smoked potatoes and eggs are cooling in the refrigerator, combine the mayonnaise, mustard, pickles, celery, and onion in a large bowl.

smoked potato salad ingredients

Once the eggs are cool, cut them into 1/2 inch pieces.

Gently stir the eggs, potatoes and crumbled bacon into the mayonnaise mixture.

smoked potato salad

Add some extra crumbled bacon on top and garnish with fresh parsley.

Smoked Potato Salad can be served immediately or refrigerated for up to 4 days!

 

Serving Smoked Potato Salad

Smoked Potato Salad is a great dish to make ahead of time so you have one less thing to worry about on the day of a big outdoor barbecue.

And we find the flavors actually meld better over a few hours in the refrigerator as the smokey flavor from the potatoes works its way into the other ingredients.

Smoked Potato salad goes really well with pork ribs, brisket, pulled pork, beef ribs, and chicken!

Enjoy!

 

What Other Foods Can I Smoke?

Looking for some more smoky inspiration?

Starting up a Pit Boss Pellet Grill

You’ve come to right place!

Check out these other great step by step recipes for your grill, smoker, or pellet grill.

Pork

 

Beef

 

Seafood

 

Poultry

 

Lamb

 

Sides and Desserts

 

smoked potato salad

Smoked Potato Salad

Learn everything you need to know about how to make Smoked Potato Salad! 
We mix smoked red potatoes with bacon, smoked eggs, sweet pickles and other ingredients to make a delicious smoky potato salad to bring to your next gathering.
Whether you’ve got a gas or charcoal grill, a Traeger or Pit Boss pellet grill, or even a Masterbuilt electric smoker, we’ve got you covered!
No ratings yet
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 2 hrs
Course Appetizer, Potato, Salad, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine American, Australian, barbecue, BBQ, Holiday, Mediterranean, Smoked
Servings 6 people
Calories 300 kcal

Equipment

  • 2 Large Stock Pots
  • Large Slotted Spoon
  • Large Bowl filled with Ice
  • Knife
  • 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
  • Large Mixing Bowl
  • Large Serving Bowl

Ingredients
  

Smoked Potatoes

  • 2 lbs Red Potatoes 6 medium or 12 small
  • 1/4 cup Olive Oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Pepper
  • 1/4 cup Red Wine Vinegar

Eggs

  • 4 Hard Boiled Eggs or see link in notes for Smoked Eggs
  • 1 tsp Vinegar for hard boiled eggs

Smoked Potato Salad Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup Mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon Mustard
  • 1/4 cup Sweet Pickles chopped fine
  • 1 Celery Rib diced
  • 1/2 Red Onion medium, diced
  • 6 slices Bacon or 4 slices Thick-Cut Bacon cooked crisp and crumbled (optional)
  • Fresh Flat Leaf Parsley for garnish

Instructions
 

Hard Boil and Peel the Eggs

  • First you will want to hard boil your eggs, especially if you are going to smoke the eggs alongside the potatoes.
  • Fill a saucepan or stock pot with cold water and place the eggs at the bottom in single layer.  Make sure they are completely covered with water.
    4 Hard Boiled Eggs
    eggs boiling
  • Optional: Add a teaspoon of vinegar to help prevent the eggs from cracking in the water.
    1 tsp Vinegar
  • Turn to heat to HIGH and bring the water to a boil uncovered.
  • Once boiling, turn off the heat, cover, and let them sit for 10-12 minutes.
    eggs boiling before smoking
  • Remove the eggs with a large slotted spoon to a bowl of ice water.
    a pot of ice bath
  • Once cooled, you can move them to the refrigerator to store up to 1 week until ready to peel. Do NOT peel until you are ready to smoke them.

Boil and Prepare the Potatoes

  • Place the whole potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold water until 1-inch above surface of potatoes.
    2 lbs Red Potatoes
    red potatoes boiling in a pot
  • 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 potatoes.
  • Drain the potatoes and dice.
  • Place the diced potatoes on a foil lined baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
    1/4 cup Olive Oil, 1/2 teaspoon Salt, 1/4 teaspoon Pepper
    potatoes diced on a pan to smoke

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.

Smoke the 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 oiled and seasoned diced potatoes in the cooking chamber.
    potatoes smoking for smoked potato salad
  • Smoke them for 30-60 minutes until you see them start to turn brown and have a smokey flavor.
    potatoes smoking for smoked potato salad
  • If you are smoking your hard boiled eggs for the smoked potato salad as well, make sure to oil the grates well and you can pace them right alongside the pan of potatoes.
    smoked eggs and potatoes on pellet grill
  • Stir the potatoes around every 15 minutes or so to make sure all sides are exposed to smoke.  You can also rotate the pan as needed for more even heating.
    potatoes smoking for smoked potato salad

Prepare the Bacon and Other Ingredients

  • While the potatoes are smoking, cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until it is very crispy.
    6 slices Bacon or 4 slices Thick-Cut Bacon
  • Remove the bacon from the pan to cool on a paper towel lined plate and then crumble into smaller pieces and set aside for later.
  • You can also use this time to dice and measure out the other ingredients for the smoked potato salad.

Remove and Cool the Potatoes and Eggs

  • Once the potatoes are done smoking, remove them from the grill or smoker and place them in a large mixing bowl.
  • Add the red wine vinegar while the smoked potatoes are still warm and gently toss to coat all sides of the potatoes.
    1/4 cup Red Wine Vinegar
    pouring red wine vinegar onto potatoes
  • Cover the bowl and refrigerate until cool, about 20 minutes.
  • If you smoked the hard boiled eggs, remove them from the grill or smoker and chill the eggs until cool as well.
    smoked hard boiled eggs on a plate

Mix the Smoked Potato Salad Ingredients

  • While the smoked potatoes and eggs are cooling in the refrigerator, combine the mayonnaise, mustard, pickles, celery, and onion in a large bowl.
    1/2 cup Mayonnaise, 2 teaspoons Dijon Mustard, 1/4 cup Sweet Pickles, 1 Celery Rib, 1/2 Red Onion
    smoked potato salad ingredients
  • Once the eggs are cool, cut them into 1/2 inch pieces.
  • Gently stir the eggs, potatoes and crumbled bacon into the mayonnaise mixture. Optionally garnish with chopped flat leaf parsley.
    Fresh Flat Leaf Parsley for garnish
    smoked potato salad
  • Smoked Potato Salad can be served immediately or refrigerated for up to 4 days.

Notes

Smoked Hard Boiled Eggs Recipe: https://www.madbackyard.com/smoked-eggs/
If smoking the eggs, hard boil and peel them first and place them in the grill or smoker alongside the pan of diced cooked potatoes and smoke for the same 30-60 minutes at 180°F.

Nutrition

Calories: 300kcal
Keyword bbq, bbq potato salad, Camp Chef, Masterbuilt, Pit Boss, pit boss potato salad, potato salad in a smoker, smoked potato salad, smoked potatoes, smokey potato salad, traeger, traeger potato salad
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