Smoked Potato Salad


No barbecue is complete without potato salad. Here’s my take on what may be the most soulful potato salad you’ve ever tasted.


Smoked Potato Salad

Recipe Notes

  • Yield: Serves 4 to 6
  • Method: Hot-smoking
  • Equipment: Alder or any hardwood (enough for 1½ hours of smoking)


  • 2 pounds boiling potatoes (preferably organic), scrubbed with a stiff brush
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Coarse salt (sea or kosher) and freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup mayonnaise (preferably Hellmann’s or Best Foods) or smoked mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar, or more to taste
  • 2 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • 2 scallions, trimmed, white parts minced, green parts thinly sliced crosswise
  • 8 pitted green olives or pimiento-stuffed olives, thinly sliced or coarsely chopped
  • 8 cornichons (tiny tart French pickles) or 1 dill pickle, coarsely chopped (about 3 tablespoons)
  • 1 tablespoon drained capers, or to taste
  • Spanish smoked paprika (pimentón), for sprinkling

Recipe Steps

Step 1: Cut any larger potatoes in half or quarters; leave small ones whole. The idea is for all the pieces to be bite size, about 1 inch across. Arrange the potatoes in a single layer in an aluminum foil pan. Stir in the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Step 2: Set up your smoker following the manufacturer’s instructions and preheat to 275°F. Add wood as specified by the manufacturer.

Step 3: Place the potatoes in the smoker and smoke until tender (a bamboo skewer will pierce the spuds easily), 1 to 1½ hours, or as needed. Stir a couple of times so the potatoes brown evenly. Remove the potatoes and let cool slightly (they should be warm).

Step 4: While the potatoes smoke, make the dressing: Combine the mayonnaise, mustard, and vinegar in a large bowl and whisk to mix. Whisk in the chopped eggs, dill, scallions, olives, pickles, and capers. Cover and refrigerate until the potatoes are ready.

Step 5: Stir the warm potatoes into the dressing. Correct the seasoning, adding salt, pepper, and vinegar to taste; the salad should be highly seasoned. You can serve the potato salad warm or chilled (cover and refrigerate, or quick-chill the salad over a bowl of ice). Transfer to a serving bowl and dust with smoked paprika before serving.

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