Loaded Smoked Potato Skins

Crispy potato skin, melted cheese, and crumbly bacon, our loaded potato skins on the grill.
loaded smoked potato skins

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There is nothing better than a perfectly crisp potato skin stuffed to the brim with melty cheese, and smoky bacon then dipped in tangy sour cream.

It’s classic American bar food and also the perfect snack to serve at your next tailgate or barbecue.

These smoked potato skins are cooked on the grill, adding an extra layer of flavor, and the result is perfectly crispy potato skin that will blow your mind.

What type of potatoes to use

The Russet potato is the perfect vessel for potato skins. The thick skin allows them to get perfectly crispy while the larger size gives you plenty of stuffing space for the cheese and bacon.

You could also use Yukon Gold for this recipe. The skin is not as thick, but they are great if you want a bite-sized version.

How to make Loaded Smoked Potato Skins

1. Prep and grill

Lay down a sheet of foil for each potato, coat the potato in olive oil, then season.

For this recipe, I used the PS Seasoning BBQ General SPG seasoning. It’s a balanced blend of salt, pepper, and garlic that works perfectly for a baked potato.

raw seasoned potatoe on foil
Season all over not just the top.

You can make your own blend by combining 1tbsp kosher salt, ½ tbsp black pepper, and ½ tbsp garlic powder.

Once seasoned wrap tightly in the foil.

Preheat the grill to 400°F and place your wrapped potatoes directly on the grates.

four potatoes wrapped in foil on the grill

For this recipe, I used my Napoleon Freestyle 425. It’s a propane grill that makes whipping up recipes a breeze, but you can opt to use a charcoal or electric grill instead if you prefer.

a fork piercing a potatoe on the grill
The fork should glide in smoothly when the potato is cooked.

You’re going to let them cook for about 45 minutes, or until they are fork tender.

2. Cook the bacon

While your potatoes are grilling, grab a pan and cook your bacon. I used thick-cut bacon for this recipe because it gives you bigger crumbles and more bacon flavor in every bite (and who doesn’t love bacon?!)

four bacon slices cooking in a frypan
You want it to be crispy, but not overcooked because it’s going to crisp up more when the potato skins are on the grill.

Once your bacon is cooked, just grab a knife and rough chop it into bits.  

3. Pre-fill prep

Once your potatoes are cooked, you want to let them cool for 10 to 15 minutes so they don’t fall apart when you cut them and they are easier to handle.

Once cooled, slice each potato lengthways right down the middle and use a spoon to scoop out the insides. You should leave about ½” of potato lining the inside of your potato skin.

Lay your potato skins out and sprinkle some more seasoning on the inside of the potato.

You could also use your favorite beef or chicken rub and if you prefer to make your own rubs, check out these 10 BBQ Dry Rubs You Can Make at Home.

4. The filling

Now that you’ve seasoned your potato skins, it’s time to fill them with cheese. I like to use a blend of thick-cut medium cheddar cheese for this recipe.

fillled potatoe skins on wire rack prior to cooking
Cheddar cheese pairs perfectly with both potatoes and bacon, making it a great choice for potato skins.

Fill each potato skin with a generous portion of shredded cheddar, then sprinkle on some crumbled bacon.

5. Back to the grill

Put the potato skins back on the grill, still at 400°F, for another 10 to 15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and starting to turn golden brown at the edges.

Pull them off and they’re ready to serve immediately.

potatoes skins cooking on the grill

6. Serve and enjoy

Transfer your potato skins to your serving tray and top them with a sprinkle of chopped green onions. I like to serve my potato skins with sour cream for dipping.

Ranch or blue cheese dressing are also great for dipping.

Looking for more tailgate ideas

loaded potatoe skins on a wooden chopping board

Loaded Smoked Potato Skins

Crispy potato skins, smoked on the grill and stuffed with cheese and bacon.
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Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 585kcal
Author: Breanna Stark

Ingredients

  • 4 Russet potatoes medium size
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp BBQ General SPG rub see above for alternative
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese shredded
  • 4 slices bacon thick cut
  • ½ cup sour cream for dipping
  • 1 green onion for garnish

Instructions

  • Preheat your grill to 400°F.
  • Wash your potatoes. Lay down a sheet of foil for each potato. Coat the potato in olive oil, then season with BBQ SPG rub (1/4 tbsp per potato).
  • Wrap each potato tightly in foil and place directly on the grates of the grill.
  • Let the potatoes cook for about 45 minutes, or until they are fork tender.
  • While your potatoes are cooking, fry up the bacon until crispy, then crumble and set aside.
  • Once your potatoes are fork tender, remove them from the grill, unwrap and let them sit for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Slice each potato in half lengthways and use a spoon to scoop out the filling. You should leave about ½” of potato lining the inside of your potato skin.
  • Lay the potato skins out on a tray and sprinkle some seasoning on the inside. Fill each skin with the cheese and top with crumbled bacon.
  • Place your potato skins back on the grill for another 10 to 15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and starting to turn golden brown at the edges.
  • Remove your potato skins from the grill, top them with green onions, and serve immediately with sour cream for dipping.

Nutrition

Calories: 585kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 37g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 0.03g | Cholesterol: 88mg | Sodium: 536mg | Potassium: 1033mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 838IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 479mg | Iron: 3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated and should be used as an approximation only. If you’re worried you could always add a side of kale.

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