Skillet Potato Wedges (Loretta Lynn’s Tater Logs)

by R.B. Quinn and Min Merrell
potato wedges

Skillet Potato Wedges–It’s the cast iron baby.

Everyone who cooks has at some point oven baked big baker potato wedges. They’re a quick to fix, easy side that goes with everything and everyone. Kids love them and no one has to commit to a whole baked potato. Just enjoy one more wedge as you please.

We don’t peel the potatoes. Just cut them into wedges, drizzle with oil and season with salt and pepper (and other seasonings, whatever you like). It’s one of the essential non-recipe recipes that everyone should know. We usually just put them on a baking sheet, not really thinking too much about the pan.

However, we recently had a potato wedge breakthrough and it turns out the pan deeply matters. Holed up in a cabin at Pickett State Park on the Cumberland Plateau outside of Jamestown, Tenn., after an unusual foot of snow, fiddling with the wood stove and relaxing with the dog, we decided to get dinner started early. Some smart state park person had equipped each kitchenette with a real nice pre-seasoned 12-inch cast iron skillet made by Lodge Cast Iron of South Pittsburg, TN. What a terrific surprise.

So instead of using a baking sheet, we tossed the potato wedges in the big skillet and roasted them in a hot (450º F works fine) oven as usual, loosening up the wedges with a spatula a couple of times during roasting. We roast them about 30 minutes, but time will vary according to how browned you like them. Just keep an eye on them. You want to talk about crust?  That skillet’s not just for cornbread or searing a steak. Once again the skillet wins, producing the most beautiful crispy potatoes ever. We could not stop eating them and definitely can never go back to that baking sheet or a foil pan.

Loretta Lynn in her endearing cookbook You’re Cookin’ It Country (Rutledge Hill, 2004) fondly calls baked potato wedges Tater Logs. We do too. We know she’s got a well-seasoned iron skillet or three. Pass the ketchup.




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Michele March 25, 2016 - 7:55 am

How long do you bake the logs? I’m going to try this tonight!

Mindy Merrell March 25, 2016 - 8:31 am

Have plenty of ketchup! Around 30 minutes. I guess I better add that to the story! Depends on how browned you like them.

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