Easy German Fried Potatoes | Bratkartoffeln

These authentic German fried potatoes are the ultimate comfort food. Crispy on the outside, this easy recipe is perfect for any occasion.

German fried potatoes, or Bratkartoffeln, are a real classic dish in Germany.

This hearty side dish is made with sliced potatoes that are pan-fried until crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. You can serve Bratkartoffeln as a side dish for meat dishes such as Schnitzels, as part of a hearty German breakfast, or even as a standalone dish.

Whether you’re a fan of German cuisine or just looking for an easy-to-make and delicious side dish, German fried potatoes will easily become a family favorite.

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fried potatoes on plate with fork

What are the ingredients

For the basic recipe, you only need 3 ingredients:

  • Potatoes: The best potatoes are waxy potatoes such as Yukon gold potatoes or red potatoes since they will not fall apart quite as much as more starchy ones
  • Fat: After lots of experimenting, I prefer beef tallow for its high smoking point
  • Salt: a sprinkling of sea salt brings out all the best flavors of these Bratkartoffeln
tallow in mason jar, golden potatoes, and sea salt on kitchen counter

Substitutions and variations

Once you have mastered the basic recipe, you can use that to add to it or vary it. Here are some ideas:

  • Onions: many Germans will fry sliced onions alongside the potatoes
  • Bacon: you can fry bacon pieces in your skillet beforehand and then even use some of the bacon fat
  • Fat: any heat-stable fat such as lard, ghee, avocado oil, or sunflower oil will work but I don’t recommend olive oil
  • Cooked versus raw potatoes: I prefer using cooked potatoes but you can easily make this potato dish with raw potatoes
  • Shape: you can make German fries but cutting the potatoes into sticks or cut them into cubes

Useful tools and equipment

You probably already have everything in your kitchen:

  • Large pot: Any pot will do to cook the potatoes
  • Cast iron skillet: While you can use any skillet, I highly recommend using cast iron. If you follow my simple cast iron care, you will have perfectly non-stick skillets.
  • Spatula: A basic stainless steels spatula makes flipping the potato slices very easy

How to serve

To bring out the best in fried potatoes, you can sprinkle them with some fresh herbs such as chives or chopped parsley, or some green onions. With a dollop of sour cream and a green salad, this can be a main course.

Eggs sunny-side up (or scrambled eggs) are a classic accompaniment for this German food.

However, most people serve Breatkartoffeln as a side dish for sausages, pork chops, steaks, schnitzels, and fried chicken. Even bold-flavored fish such as salmon goes well with fried potatoes.

German fried potatoes on plate with fork and green salad on the side

Make ahead of time?

You can save a lot of time by boiling the potatoes ahead of time and then just frying them right before serving.

I prefer eating them immediately but you can keep any leftover potatoes in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. All you need to do is crisp them up in a hot skillet for a few minutes.

How to make this dish

  1. Add the whole potatoes to a large pot, add enough cold water that they are barely covered, and bring them to a boil over medium heat. Cook until just done.
  2. Drain the water and peel the potatoes as soon as you can comfortably touch them. To do that, I love using a potato peeling pick.
  3. For best results, I recommend you let the potatoes cool down completely.
  4. Cut the potatoes into even thin or thick slices, depending on your preference.
  5. In a large cast-iron skillet or large frying pan, heat the fat over medium-high heat until very hot.
  6. Carefully add the potatoes to the skillet in a single layer (you might have to do this in batches) and fry them until golden brown and crisp.
  7. Flip the potato slices and fry them on the other side.
  8. Remove the fried potatoes with a slotted spatula or spoon. If you like you can place them on a paper towel to soak up any excess fat.
  9. Continue with the remaining potato slices. You might have to add more fat as needed.
  10. Season the potatoes with sea salt and plenty of black pepper.

Common Questions:

What are the best potatoes for German fried potatoes?

Any more waxy potatoes such as Yukon gold, golden, or red potatoes. Starchy potatoes such as Russets tend to fall apart during the cooking process but also release more moisture making the fried potatoes less crispy.

Can I make fried potatoes with raw potatoes?

In short, yes, you can. However, it takes a bit longer and you may have to adjust the heat setting on your stove to make sure they brown evenly.

Do the boiled potatoes have to cool down completely?

While not strictly necessary, I recommend you let the potatoes cool down completely before slicing. They will hold their shape better during the frying and crisp up better.

Other recipes you might like

Authentic German Sauerkraut

German Beef Rouladen

Classic German Potato Salad

Hungarian Beef Goulash

Shop this post:

Cast Iron Skillet

Stainless Steel Spatula

Potato Peeling Pick

German fried potatoes on plate with fork
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4.41 from 5 votes

German Fried Potatoes | Bratkartoffeln

Crispy and golden-brown these German fried potatoes make the perfect side dish for all your meats or are great on their own with a big green salad.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time40 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: German
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 373kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds potatoes
  • ½ cup fat (tallow, lard, ghee, sunflower oil)
  • salt & pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Add the potatoes to a pot, add enough cold water that they are barely covered, and bring them to a boil over medium heat. Cook until just done.
  • Drain the water and peel the potatoes as soon as you can comfortably touch them.
  • Let the potatoes cool down completely.
  • Cut the potatoes into even slices.
  • In a cast-iron skillet, heat the fat over medium-high heat until very hot.
  • Carefully add the potatoes to the skillet in a single layer (you might have to do this in batches) and fry them until golden brown and crisp.
  • Flip the potato slices and fry them on the other side.
  • Remove the fried potatoes with a slotted spoon or spatula. If you like you can place them on a paper towel to soak up any excess fat.
  • Continue with the remaining potato slices. You might have to add more fat as needed.
  • Season the potatoes with sea salt and plenty of black pepper.

Notes

  • For best results, let potatoes cool down completely before slicing and frying.
  • Waxy potatoes work best in this recipe (Yukon, golden, red potatoes)

Nutrition

Calories: 373kcal
Tried this recipe?Mention @ourgabledhome or tag #ourgabledhome!

Let me know if you have any questions or comments!

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How To Make German Fried Potatoes | Bratkartoffeln

17 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    So… I tried this with cooked potatoes and found that the potatoes basically disintegrated when attempting to turn them (I used red potatoes with skins on, and a well-seasoned cast-iron pan, with a light glaze of vegetable oil, and minced onion). It was completely delicious, but it was more of a “hash” than individual, sliced potatoes, presenting as a unified dish.

    Do you have any suggestions, with regards to trying this with raw potatoes? I suspect they’ll hold their shape better, and will withstand turning better… Or, maybe, par-boiling the potatoes so they are soft but not cooked through? Again, taste was off-the-chain, but my end results were fairly sad compared to yours!!! lol #operatorerror ~Chrissie

    1. Yes, you can make this with raw or half-cooked potatoes but it will take a lot longer. Make sure to use more waxy potatoes and resist turning them too often to keep them from getting too mushy ~ Anja

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