Grilled yams are sweet potatoes that have been cooked over a barbeque flame until tender. They are normally brushed with cooking oil to keep them from sticking to the grill grates, and several flavor variations are possible for grilled yams. This method of cooking with yams is a healthy option, and many cooks like to make them as a side dish along with their favorite barbequed meats. Cooks preparing sweet potatoes for the grill should slice them thin enough for the vegetables to cook all the way through.
The most common yams are orange, although other types of these sweet potatoes can range from a nearly white to dark purple. Each of these has a somewhat different flavor, and many cooks report that any type is a good option for grilled yams. Orange yams can normally be found in most grocery stores. Farmers' markets can also be good places to find fresh yams of various flavors. Both grilled and baked yams are considered nutrient-rich alternatives to other side dishes, such as baked or mashed potatoes.
Recipes sometimes have varying instructions for preparing yams. Some cooks prefer to cut each yam lengthwise into strips that are roughly 0.5 inches (about 1.27 cm) thick. Others like to slice yams horizontally into round pieces of approximately the same thickness. Either method works well as long as the yams are cooked on the grill at the right temperature and for the correct length of time. Most recipes for grilled yams have cook times of 10 to 12 minutes at around 350° F (about 177° C) on average.
Finished grilled yams usually have a softened texture similar to that of baked yams, and many will also have deep golden brown grill marks. Cooking oil ensures that the yams lift easily off the grill. Some cooks use canola or olive oil, while others prefer coconut oil. If the skin is left on the yams, many recipes have instructions to lay each piece on the grill with the skin facing upwards.
In addition to cooking oil, many cooks add other flavor ingredients to grilled yams just after removing them from the barbeque. Common ingredients for this step can include black pepper, salt, brown sugar, or melted butter. Another advantage to cooked yams is that they can be either sweet or savory, depending on individual preferences.