Creamy, crispy and cheesy, these Smoked Scalloped Potatoes will be the most requested side at the BBQ table! A simple and easy recipe to make, these potatoes just may end up being the staple of your backyard events.
Smoked Scalloped Potatoes
Nothing screams BBQ side more than potatoes, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take the potato to the next level. These smoked scalloped potatoes are the most comfortable of comfort foods. They pair well with any meat coming off the smoker or grill, it’s easy to make and destined to be a hit!
Soft and creamy on the inside but crispy on the outside, these potatoes offer a bit of everything. The best part is, this is a side that can be prepared for even those special occasions. On top of that, we’ve eliminated a step for you. While most recipes will include the use of flour, this recipe lets the starch in the potatoes do the heavy lifting.
Of course these potatoes won’t be your only side on the table. While your meats might dictate the rest of your sides, you can be confident that these potatoes will stand well on their own. That said, every great hero needs a sidekick. Try adding some color with a Grilled Corn Salad or Smoked Baked Beans.
How to make Smoked Scalloped Potatoes
Idaho Baking Potato – Nice medium potatoes should do the job. A starchy potato such as an Idaho or Russet is best for scalloped potatoes because it will aide in the thickening of the sauce. Red skinned potatoes are better for boiling, roasting, or frying as they typically have a waxy skin and are less starchy.
Yellow Onion – Diced and sauteed, does anything pair better with potatoes than onion….. ok, there may be something better on this list.
Thick Cut Bacon – Yeap, you guessed it. Bacon may pair better with potatoes than anything else out there. For this recipe we’ll be using diced, thick cut bacon.
Garlic – In many parts of the world, this edible bulb from the lily family was used for medicinal purposes and may offer benefits that counter high blood pressure. I’m not going to say that these Smoked Scalloped Potatoes are the healthiest food, but hey, I’ll take what I can get!
Heavy Cream – The base of our creamy sauce.
Mayo – Creamy texture and flavor are added with mayo.
Sour Cream – Another ingredient that adds to that creamy texture we’re looking for.
Shredded Cheeses – A mix of both sharp cheddar and Monterrey Jack cheeses give you the benefit of having one cheese with a strong flavor while the other melts nice and smooth. It’s also important to remember that most store bought shredded cheeses use separators, which will affect how smooth your sauce will be. You can avoid this by buying blocks of cheese and grating yourself.
Onion Powder – While we do incorporate yellow onions in our recipe, onion powder will help carry that onion flavor through-out the dish.
Garlic Powder – Just as the onion powder, we incorporate garlic powder into our sauce to help carry that flavor through-out the Smoked Scalloped Potatoes.
Salt & Pepper – Do you really need to ask why? Use these to staples of culinary exploration to taste. A little can go a long way, so make sure you keep everyone’s tastes in mind.
Preparing the Sauce
Preparing the bacon:
Bake your thick cut bacon at 400° for about 25 minutes or until it reaches your desired level of crispiness. Once done in the oven, allow the bacon to rest at room temperature for a few minutes. Dice the bacon and set aside. I’m not going to tell you the size of your diced bacon. This is BBQ…. make it as big or as small as you want, just make sure it’s enough to spread through-out the entire dish.
Preparing the onion:
In a small saute pan, saute your diced onion in oil. You’ll want to cook the onions down until soft and tender.
Mixing the sauce:
In a small mixing bowl combine the heavy cream, sour cream, mayo, onions, bacon, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper. Mix well so that all of the sauce’s ingredients and combined.
Preparing the Potatoes:
You’ll need to slice the potatoes very thinly. If you use a mandoline slicer, always use a pronged food holder or cut resistant gloves. (The food holder is a plastic piece with prongs on the bottom to hold large pieces of food as they go through the slicer. A good quality mandoline should come with a food holder in the box.) Please be careful using this culinary utensil.
Preparing the Smoked Scalloped Potatoes:
Prepare your smoker as needed and preheat it to the temperature of 250° (try to maintain between 250° and 275°, but not any higher). Use a middle of the road strength wood like Maple for smoking. These potatoes will absorb the smoke flavor very well, so we’re going to take advantage of that.
The secret to making great scalloped potatoes is layering… It’s all in the layering! We will be doing 3 layers in our Smoked Scalloped Potatoes and each layer will have sauce, potatoes and cheese.
First, cover the bottom of your 9×13 ceramic baking dish with a thin layer of your sauce, then we’ll begin our layers.
Start off with a third of your sliced potatoes. Try not to stack your potatoes but rather overlapping just the edges of your potatoes. This will allow the creamy sauce as well as the cheese to spread out during cooking.
Next, after removing a handful of your now mixed shredded cheese, cover the potatoes with a third of the cheese. Be sure to cover the potatoes evenly across the entire layer.
Finally, spread a layer of your cream sauce across the top of your cheese. The sauce should go on thick so it’s important to keep a watchful eye on how much sauce you are using.
Repeat these steps 2 more times so that you have 3 complete layers of potatoes, cheese and sauce. As a final touch, top the entire dish with the shredded cheese that you set aside.
Cooking the Smoked Scalloped Potatoes:
Now that your smoker is maintaining a temperature of 250°, place your dish uncovered into the smoker. This cook will have 2 stages. The first stage will be smoking your potatoes uncovered for 2 hours. It’s during this stage that not only will your potatoes begin cooking, but your flavor from the smoke will be absorbed by the potatoes in the dish.
The second stage of the smoking process will be to cover the dish in foil and smoke for an additional 1 and a half to 2 hours. This stage will cook the potatoes the rest of the way. You’ll be looking for a nice tender potatoes through-out your dish for your Smoked Scalloped Potatoes to be done. The longer you keep the dish in the smoker, the more tender your potatoes will be, so if you like softer potatoes, there’s no harm in keeping them in a bit longer.
Once your Smoked Scalloped Potatoes are done, pull them from the smoker and serve.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I have to use flour when making smoked scalloped potatoes?
These potatoes accentuate the cheese. Flour will make your potatoes bathe in a more gravy like sauce while we like a rich creamy cheesy sauce. These potatoes will create just enough thickness using the starches in the potatoes and a reduction of moisture during the smoke.
How long do I need to cook smoked scalloped potatoes?
Smoked scalloped potatoes will take about 3 to 4 hours to cook. As a general rule, you will be cooking your potatoes until the potatoes are nice and tender.
What is the difference between au gratin and scalloped?
Both methods involve layering potatoes into a dish for baking. But, potatoes au gratin includes layers of cheese, while recipes for scalloped potatoes do not typically include cheese. Rather than cheese, the highlight of scalloped potatoes is the creamy sauce!
Should I soak potatoes before smoking?
Soaking potatoes in a salty water is a process that reduces the amount of starch present. For this dish we are utilizing those starches to help thicken our sauce. Since that is the case, we suggest not soaking the potatoes.
How to serve:
Once you have these Smoked Scalloped Potatoes out of the smoker and on the table, you may ask yourself what could I possibly add to this dish that will make this BBQ even better? Lucky for you, we have the answer. Smoked Corn on the Cobb and Grilled Green Beans With Butter and Garlic are just a couple of sides that will add a little color to your table.
CLICK TO PIN THESE SMOKED SCALLOPED POTATOES FOR LATER
Smoked Scalloped Potatoes
- 3 LBS Potatoes
- 1 Onion
- 4 Garlic Cloves
- 2 cups Heavy Cream
- 1/2 cup Mayo
- 1/2 cup Sour Cream
- 1 cup Monterrey Jack Cheese
- 1 cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese
- 1/2 lbs Cooked Bacon
- 2 tsp Onion Powder
- 2 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1/2 tsp Salt to taste
- 1/4 tsp pepper to taste
Preparing the sauce
- Bake your thick cut bacon at 400° for about 25 minutes or until it reaches your desired level of crispiness. Once done in the oven, allow the bacon to rest at room temperature for a few minutes. Dice the bacon and set aside.
- In a small saute pan, saute your diced onion in oil. You'll want to cook the onions down until soft and tender.
- In a small mixing bowl combine the heavy cream, sour cream, mayo, onions, bacon, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper. Mix well so that all of the sauce's ingredients and combined.
Preparing the potatoes
- Slice the potatoes very thinly. If you use a mandoline slicer, always use a pronged food holder or cut resistant gloves.
Preparing the Smoked Scalloped Potatoes
- Using a middle of the road strength wood like Maple, Prepare your smoker as needed and preheat it to the temperature of 250° (try to maintain between 250° and 275°, but not any higher).
- First, cover the bottom of your 9×13 ceramic baking dish with a thin layer of your sauce.
- Layer a third of your potatoes, not stacking them but rather overlapping just the edges of your potatoes. Be sure to cover the potatoes evenly across the entire layer.
- Spread a layer of your cream sauce across the top of your cheese. The sauce should go on thick so keep an eye on how much sauce you are using.
- Repeat this layer 2 more times and top with the mixed cheeses that were set aside.
Cooking the Smoked Scalloped Potatoes
- Place your baking dish into the smoker and smoke uncovered for 2 hours at 250°
- Remove the baking dish and cover with aluminum foil.
- Place the dish back into the smoker and resume cooking for another 1.5 to 2 hours or until the potatoes are fork tender.
- Once the potatoes are done, nice and tender, top with your desired topping, if any, and serve.
Richard Vega says
Fantastic recipe! Love the new voice, very entertaining!
Thank you! So glad you enjoyed it!
Andy C says
These potatoes came out incredible! The smokiness was perfect and anytime I can have that smokey flavor with a cheesy dish all the better! This “side dish” became a meal as soon as the bacon was added and I was not left needing anything else. Can’t wait to try these again soon!