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What Are Sauteed Potatoes?

G. Wiesen
G. Wiesen

Sauteed potatoes typically refer to a number of different dishes that can be prepared by cooking potatoes in a shallow skillet using cooking oil or a similar ingredient. There are a variety of ways in which the potatoes can be prepared for this dish, though they are often sliced, cubed, or cut into chunks. Butter is commonly melted to cook sauteed potatoes, though vegetable oil can also be used, as can animal fat from bacon. These potatoes are typically cooked until they are soft, often until they are golden brown and the edges and sides become crispy.

The basic idea behind sauteed potatoes is fairly simple. They are prepared using different types of potatoes that have been cut in a variety of ways. Rather than simply cooking them in a dry skillet or in an oven, however, they are cooked through wet heat that takes the form of hot oil or butter.


One of the most common ways in which sauteed potatoes can be prepared is through cubing them. This means that the potatoes are cut into pieces of relatively similar shape and size, that are typically fairly small, and then cooked in a skilled. Potato slices can also be used, which are usually cut rather thin and laid in a single layer in the skillet. These methods are often ideal since they provide for relatively even heating, though roughly chopped or "chunked" potatoes are also usable.

Potatoes are usually cubed before being sauteed.
Potatoes are usually cubed before being sauteed.

The type of oil or lubricant used to make sauteed potatoes can also vary significantly. Butter is often used, which is allowed to melt in a hot skillet before the potatoes are added. This adds a rich flavor and allows the potatoes to cook properly. Vegetable oil can also be used to introduce less fat into the dish, though the flavor is typically not as notable compared to butter. Animal fat such as bacon grease can also be used to make sauteed potatoes, which gives them a deeper, smoky flavor.

One of the most important things in making sauteed potatoes is for the person sauteing them to ensure they are cooked sufficiently. The pieces of potato should be dried to remove as much excess moisture as possible prior to cooking. Once they are added to the hot skillet, they usually cook for quite some time to remove moisture within the potatoes, allowing them to become soft and fluffy. The sauteed potatoes then continue to cook until the outsides of them become golden and start to crisp, which creates a textural contrast between their inside and exterior.

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Discussion Comments


To make sure the potatoes are not hard, boil the potatoes in water for three or four minutes, then drain them on a paper towel. Then you can sautee them and they should not be uncooked or hard in the middle


Sauteed and skillet fried potatoes are the same thing right?

I've been eating skillet fried potatoes for breakfast for years. I sautee them with onions, black pepper and butter. I love eating them with ketchup.


@anamur-- Unless you cut the potatoes into very small cubes, it's difficult to cook potatoes all the way while sautéing them. That's why I always parboil potatoes before I sauté. I boil the potatoes whole in a pot of water for fifteen to twenty minutes. And then I cut them up and sauté them in oil, usually olive oil.

They're also very delicious sautéd in butter. Garlic and herbs are great additions at this stage but add them close to the potatoes being done or the garlic might burn.


I've tried making sauteed potatoes several times and it always came out uncooked. How does one cook them fully without the outside burning?

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    • Potatoes are usually cubed before being sauteed.
      By: Natika
      Potatoes are usually cubed before being sauteed.