I thought I had roast potatoes nailed a long time ago, having peaked with the duck ‘n’ dexter roasties a few years back. Then one day a few weeks ago I decided to try roasting potatoes in the Big Green Egg. Well hello! After an abortive first attempt, we now have a new winner for how to make amazing roast potatoes! And yes, they are better than oven cooked ones …
Crispy Roast Potatoes in the BGE
|15-20 mins prep
1.5 – 2 hours cook
Using and Seasoning Cast Iron
I use a cast iron pan for roasting potatoes (and other items) in the Egg. There are a variety of brands available, the most notable being Lodge. The 10.25 inch Lodge skillet is perfect for roasting potatoes for up to four people. This is available on amazon.co.uk (affiliate link). You can of course use non-cast iron in a Big Green Egg, e.g. ceramic. The precursor to the Lodge skillet was a John Lewis lasagne dish.
The first time I tried roasting potatoes in the skillet it did not go well. The potatoes stuck to the pan and I was left with a lot of burnt bits. After this disaster, and taking to Google, I realised that I needed to season the skillet before using it for roasting. It’s simple enough to season the skillet, simply wipe it with oil and bake it in an oven at 200°C/400°F for 20mins. I did this twice as after the first time there were still bits not fully covered with a smooth oil surface. This video from Farmhouse on Boone gives a good description.
- Chopping board
- Sharp knife
- Potato peeler (or use a sharp knife)
- Cast iron skillet (or similar)
- Tongs (optional)
- 1.5kg potatoes. I use Maris Pipers or King Edwards.
- 2 tbsp duck fat
The first step is to get the potatoes ready, this is pretty standard:
- Peel the potatoes and cut them into chunks. Soak the chunks in cold water, swirling to remove excess starch. Keep refreshing the water and swirling until the water is clear.
- Boil the potatoes for 6-7 mins, until a sharp knife can easily pierce the surface. Drain the potatoes and decant them between a colander and pan to fluff up the edges.
Once this is done, we can get the Egg ready. I’ve cooked potatoes either by themselves or on a shelf above the meat. To cook the potatoes by themselves in the Egg:
- Set the Egg up for indirect cooking, place the cast iron pan in the Egg and get it to 220°C/425°F.
- Wait for 10 mins for the cast iron to be at temperature, then add the duck fat. Swirl this around and add the potatoes.
- Roast for 60 mins, check on them, move them around if necessary.
- Roast for another 30 mins or until done.
When roasting potatoes with other meat, the Egg temperature is invariably lower than 220°C/425°F. This means the potatoes will take longer to roast and the time needs to be factored in with the meat being ready. In one cook, I roasted a boneless leg of lamb at 175°C/350°F for around 2.5 hours. I put the cast iron on the top shelf of my custom built Large Egg rig when the meat went in. Then after 30 mins I added the fat and the potatoes. They weren’t quite done when the meat was ready, so I rested the lamb, boosted the temperature of the Egg to 220°C/425°F and finished/crisped up the potatoes.
As a footnote, the obvious question would be why not roast the potatoes with the meat? Or with the meat above the potatoes to catch the drippings? I did try these approaches and they kinda worked. I just prefer my potatoes to be really crispy, and doing the approaches described above pretty much gurantees this.
Hints, Tips and Pictures
- Ensure that your Egg is level, otherwise the fat in the pan will go to one side and the potatoes won’t cook evenly.
- If you’re cooking the potatoes above the meat, ensure that the setup you’re using will fit the meat with any drip tray before lighting the Egg. This ensures that there’s no last minute “argh it won’t all fit” moments. When I cooked the lamb I used a cookie tray (see pic below) to catch drips as it’s low. Even so a six inch gap was needed to the top shelf. This was too much for the PSWoo and I suspect the Eggspander, hence using my custom height-adjustable rig.
- I turn the potatoes to ensure an overall even cook, using a set of tongs. This could detract from cooking meat if the Egg is opened a lot.
- I personally don’t like the taste of smoked roast potatoes. If I’m using a smoking chunk in the Large egg when cooking meat, I’ll use the Minimax to cook the potatoes.