Here’s how to make crispy potatoes in a cast-iron skillet~from fingerlings to hash browns and more.
A cast-iron skillet makes the difference.
A cast-iron skillet makes a difference when you want crispy potatoes with a hearty, crispy exterior. Nothing gives the flavor and texture to any food, especially food that is fried or crisped, than cast-iron. The heat distributes evenly in cast-iron, and the non-stick surface makes it easy to flip and turn potatoes until they are perfectly crispy and rustic looking.
What potatoes work best in this recipe?
I like using fingerling potatoes or the red and yellow smaller sized potatoes for skillet crispy potatoes. The flesh of these potatoes is softer and denser than Idaho or russet potatoes (although these will work as well). The key is prepping the potatoes. You can peel them or leave some/all of the skin on for a more rustic look and taste. The most important thing is to cut the potatoes into a uniform size. The smaller the potato, the crisper the end result.
What is the best size cast-iron skillet for this recipe?
The size that I use most often is my 12″ cast-iron skillet. Whether cooking for two or twenty, this is the skillet I most often use. For one, I like for my pan to be spacious so that food doesn’t crowd. Another reason is that I like my cobblers, cornbread, and such to be on the thinner side. When making these crispy potatoes, I always use at least a 12″ cast-iron skillet. If making more than 2 pounds of potatoes, I use my 15″ cast-iron skillet. I like to have ample room for the potatoes so that they will not crowd together and steam. They need room to crisp. If you want more information on choosing and caring for cast iron, read my blog post Why av Cast Iron Skillet is the Best Thing You’ll Ever Buy.
The secret to perfect crispy potatoes in the skillet.
The secret to perfect crispy potatoes in the skillet is what you do BEFORE you put them in the skillet. The secret is bringing the potatoes to a boil, cutting off the heat, and allowing them to sit in the brine (kosher salt + herbs if using) for at least 20 minutes. I prefer leaving the potatoes in the brine until the water cools to the touch. The technique involves bringing the potatoes to boil in the salt brine and allowing them to remain in the brine until the liquid cools. Upon removing the potatoes, they are perfectly cooked on the inside so that the skillet and EVOO can do the crisping on the outside.
Can you make crispy potatoes ahead of time?
Although the crisping should be done just before serving, you can prep ahead of time for this recipe. You can boil the potatoes early in the day and keep them in the fridge. Remove them from the refrigerator an hour or so before cooking in the skillet so that they won’t be cold when placing them into the skillet.
Use herbs to add flavor to crispy skillet potatoes.
If you want an elegant version of crispy skillet potatoes, add fresh herbs. One of my favorites is fresh rosemary; it literally takes these potatoes over the top. The marriage of rosemary, kosher salt, EVOO, and garlic just makes for potato perfection. Fresh thyme also works beautifully in this recipe, but if only choosing one fresh herb, I always opt for rosemary. The fresh herbs and garlic are used in the brine to infuse flavor before cooking the potatoes in the skillet. If you want added herb flavor, toss a bit of the same herbs on the potatoes toward the end of cooking.
How to make crispy Brussels sprouts in a cast-iron skillet.
If you love crispy potatoes in a cast-iron skillet, you can use a similar method to make crispy Brussels sprouts. You can watch a short video below to see my technique.
I hope you will invest in a cast-iron skillet if for nothing else than to make the BEST crispy potatoes ever!!!! I’d love to hear back from you if you try this recipe or have any ideas to share with other readers! As always, thanks for stopping by. Be blessed, and stay savvy!
- 2 pounds potatoes, peeled, diced or sliced
- 3/4 cup kosher salt
- 4 cloves garlic, minced or smashed
- Rosemaary Sprigs
- Chopped chives
- Place potatoes in a large pot.
- Cover with approximately one inch of water.
- Add kosher salt; bring water to a boil.
- Turn off the heat; allow potatoes to sit in hot water for 20 minutes.
- Remove from water; let the potatoes cool for about 10 minutes.
- Heat a skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add EVOO and swirl the pan to coat the bottom.
- When skillet and oil are very hot, add the potatoes~shaking the pan once to distribute.
- Leave potatoes alone while cooking, waiting until edges begin to crisp before turning potatoes.
- When edges are crisp, turn potatoes. Allow to cook until edges crisp.
- Once the potatoes are golden crisp, add more kosher salt (and herbs and garlic if using).
- Serve immediately.
Nutrition InformationYield 8 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 152Total Fat 0gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 0mgSodium 10617mgCarbohydrates 35gFiber 3gSugar 2gProtein 3g