There’s something truly magical about the rich, smoky flavor that infuses every morsel of a good baked potato. For those who adore the earthy satisfaction of a well-cooked spud and the aromatic charms of a backyard barbecue, smoking your baked potatoes is a culinary experience that elevates this humble vegetable to new heights. Whether you're a seasoned pitmaster or a first-time smoker, this guide is your ticket to crafting the ideal smoked baked potato.

Smoked Baked Potato

Ingredients and Tools Needed


  • Russet or Idaho potatoes
  • Olive oil
  • Salt (coarse or kosher works best)
  • Aluminum foil


  • Charcoal smoker, electric smoker, or gas grill with smoker box
  • Wood chips or chunks (hickory, mesquite, or applewood are popular choices)
  • Tongs
  • Instant-read thermometer

Before you begin, ensure you have enough potatoes to satisfy your crowd. Typically, one large potato per person is a good place to start.

Preparing Your Potatoes

Select firm, evenly-sized potatoes that are free of bruises and blemishes. Scrub them thoroughly under running water to remove any dirt. After drying them off, poke each potato several times with a fork, which allows steam to escape during cooking and prevents your spuds from bursting.

Now, lightly coat each potato with olive oil, using your hands to ensure a complete and even covering. Finally, generously sprinkle salt over the oiled skins for flavor and to aid in crisping.

Setting Up Your Smoker

Your choice of wood is vital to the smoky taste of your potatoes. If you're new to smoking, hickory is a reliable and robust option. More experienced smokers might opt for the sweeter, fruitier notes of applewood. Whichever you choose, soak the wood chips or chunks for at least 30 minutes before smoking. This will help them produce a steady stream of flavorful smoke, as opposed to catching fire too quickly.

For the perfect smoking environment, set up your smoker with a water pan and preheat it to a temperature of around 225°F to 250°F. This low-and-slow approach ensures the potatoes cook through while absorbing the smoke flavor.

Smoking Your Potatoes

Place the prepared potatoes directly on the smoker grates, ensuring they are not crowded. Keep the smoker's temperature consistent and be patient – smoking can take anywhere from 1.5 to 2 hours, depending on the size of your potatoes and the accuracy of your smoker's temperature control. Refrain from opening the smoker too often, as this will release heat and smoke, potentially prolonging your cooking time.

Periodically check the smoker to add more wood chips or chunks and maintain the smoke. You're aiming for a consistent, gentle smoke flow, not a billowing bonfire.

Checking for Doneness

After about 1.5 hours, use your tongs to gently squeeze the potatoes. They should yield slightly and the skins should be crispy to the touch. For a more precise measurement, an instant-read thermometer inserted into the potato should register at least 205°F.

Once your potatoes reach this temperature and have a nice, crisp skin, carefully remove them from the smoker with your tongs. The insides should be fluffy, and the exterior well-seasoned from the salt and smoke.

Serving Suggestions

Smoked baked potatoes are wonderful with a range of toppings. Set out bowls of traditional butter and sour cream, as well as chives, shredded cheese, and crumbled bacon for a loaded baked potato bar. For a lighter option, serve with Greek yogurt and chopped herbs.

Pair your smoked baked potatoes with barbecued meats for a classic combo, or keep it vegetarian with a medley of grilled vegetables. A simple green salad on the side adds a refreshing contrast to the smoky richness of the potatoes.


The allure of smoked baked potatoes lies not only in their depth of flavor but also in the satisfaction of slow-cooked perfection. Whether you're firing up your smoker for a summer feast or craving comfort food with a twist, these step-by-step instructions guarantee a delicious outcome. Engage your smoker, savor the wait, and prepare for a meal that speaks to the heart of every true-blue barbecuer.

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