These Traeger Smoked Au Gratin Potatoes are the perfect side dish for any barbecue! Tender potatoes and onions are smoked before getting a slow braise in rich cream, three kinds of flavorful cheese, and the perfect blend of spices. They’re super cheesy, creamy and so easy to make! It’s hard to find a creamier and more delicious potato recipe than this – always a hit and there are never any leftovers!
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SCALLOPED POTATOES AND AU GRATIN POTATOES?
Scalloped Potatoes and Au Gratin Potatoes are often considered one and the same, because they're both super creamy and rich, consisting of rounds of sliced potatoes baked in a casserole dish. But there are a few distinguishing factors that set them apart!
The one key difference? Cheese! Scalloped Potatoes consist of thinly sliced potatoes layered in a casserole dish and baked with heavy cream or milk (or a combination of the two). The cream is often infused with aromatic garlic or fresh herbs.
Au Gratin Potatoes, on the other hand, have grated cheese sprinkled between the layers, resulting in a cheesy, more decadent dish. Breadcrumbs may also be sprinkled on top before it bakes. Another minor difference is the way the potatoes are sliced. Although in both casseroles the potatoes are cut into rounds, the potatoes used in scalloped potatoes are often cut a bit thicker than those in au gratin potatoes.
HOW LONG SHOULD I COOK SMOKED AU GRATIN POTATOES?
Low and slow is the best way to cook au gratin potatoes. They absorb more smoke that way and can cook along with your favorite smoked meats, which are also cooked low and slow. Cooking time will vary depending on how thick your potatoes are, how consistent the temperature on your smoker remains, and how tender and crispy you prefer your cheesy potatoes. Begin checking them around the 3-hour mark and keep an eye on them until they reach your desired tenderness.
I typically smoke these uncovered for two hours at 250 degrees, and then cover with foil and smoke for an additional 1-1/2 to 2 hours.
CAN I MAKE SMOKED AU GRATIN POTATOES IN THE OVEN?
You absolutely can bake these in the oven (350 degrees for about 1-1/2 to 2 hours) or until the potatoes are fork tender, but you are actually making traditional Au Gratin Potatoes as they won't be smoked! Follow my recipe for deluxe Au Gratin Potatoes!
Of course, if it starts raining or if you run out of wood pellets, you can absolutely finish this up in your oven! Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees until potatoes are fork tender and cheese sauce is bubbling!
SMOKED AU GRATIN POTATOES ARE FABULOUS SERVED WITH:
8 russet potatoes peeled and thinly sliced
1 large yellow onion, peeled and thinly sliced
1-1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon pepper
1-1/2 cups cheddar cheese (fresh shredded)
1-1/2 cups smoked gouda cheese (fresh shredded)
1 cup parmesan cheese (fresh shredded)
4 cups heavy whipping cream
8 Tablespoons (1 stick) butter (cut into pieces)
Fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 lb. hickory smoked bacon (cooked until crisp & chopped)
2 cups smoked ham (chopped)
Smoker or Pellet Grill
Cast iron skillet or aluminum foil pan
HOW I MAKE THIS:
YIELD: Makes 12 servings
NON-STICK SPRAY: Even though it may be tempting, don’t spray a cast iron skillet with any type of non-stick spray, as they contain other ingredients that aren’t good for your pan – and your cast iron pan is already seasoned. If you are using a disposable aluminum foil pan, you can spray the inside before adding ingredients if you prefer.
EASY CLEANUP: You can use an aluminum foil pan for easy serving and cleaning, or use a large cast iron skillet if you prefer.
COOKING TIME: Cooking time will vary depending on how thick your potatoes are, how consistent the temperature on your smoker remains, and how tender and crisipy you prefer your cheesy potatoes. Begin checking them around the 4-hour mark and keep an eye on them until they reach your desired tenderness.
FASTER COOKING: To save two hours of cooking time, you can peel and slice the potatoes, then par boil with water and salt for 10 minutes; drain well and assemble as directions call for. Smoke at 250 degrees for 1 hour uncovered, 1 hour covered with foil.
MAKE AHEAD TIP: Prepare potatoes and cover pan with foil; refrigerate. Remove from refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for 1 hour before you plan to start cooking.
PREPARING THIS FOR A CROWD? If you plan on doubling this recipe, cook each batch in a separate disposable aluminum foil pan.
Original recipe created by Snowflakes & Coffeecakes; published May 2022.
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