Friday, October 7, 2011

Potato Devil

Have you ever seen one of these?

It's a "Potato Devil" aka "Kartoffel Teufel."

The other night, in my new newly re-energized dreamlife, I spent time with mine, which I believe lies about 225 miles NW of where I lie.

I must find it immediately.  I find that it's now rare and precious. You can't find one for love or money.

A long time ago my Potato Devil was given to me by the former wife of a person who is still a close friend.  I haven't been able to speak to this woman in quite some time, unfortunately, because the divorce was one of those where sides were chosen for you if you didn't actually choose sides yourself.

It was a great present, which I think may have been a combination birthday/belated house-warming gift.

The story of the Potato Devil, as related by the package literature, is this:

In Germany and Central Europe, at a time when energy was scarcer and more expensive than it is now, it was sometimes deemed profligate to fire the oven when all one wanted was to prepare some roast potoatoes, rather than make an entire meal.

So an ingenious person came up with this portable oven for stove-top use, which required far less fuel.

The way it works is that small jacketed potatoes (as many as will comfortably fit) are placed in the bottom half of the Potato Devil.  Added to these are a great many individual cloves of unpeeled garlic.

The Potato Devil top is then put in place and the device placed on a low flame, protected from direct heat by a "flame tamer."  After 30 minutes, the Potato Devil, still closed, is inverted.  After another 30 minutes the potatoes -- now perfectly roasted and heavily infused and perfumed with garlic -- are ready.  The garlic cloves, their papers slightly scorched, are peeled and can be eaten as they are or spread on bread or toast.


The method and device work absolutely perfectly every time.

Now, I find, you can't buy these things any longer (the manufacturer has gone out of business).  Those you might be able to track down are expensive.

Kartoffel Teufel, I'm on my way northwest.  Winter is coming.

Potato devil recipe (Variation):

(for cooking without fat and keep your oven ever clean)
Cook in the peel, without fat, golden around and well soft inside, potatoes will take an extraordinary taste.
Put your washed potatoes, not peeled, without water.
Put the devil directly into the oven (thermostat 8).
After 20 minutes, turn them and let them another 20 minutes.
Your potatoes are ready.
Accompanying a raclette, a cheese, this is a treat.
The color of your devil will change with usage.
To clean it, use a wire brush and washing-up liquid.
Let it dry on fresh air during half a day before storage.

Sweet chestnut recipe :

Incise with a knife the sweet chestnuts and place them in the devil.
Put it in the oven 1 hour with thermostat on 9-10.   

Urs Graf, Devil Following Hermit, 1512, Pen and ink drawing, Öffenliche Kunstsammlung, Basel


  1. I purchased a Microwave - Teufel today at a second hand store. I would like to use it in my oven but have no instructions as to temp and times. Any suggestions?

    1. For potatoes 450-460 degrees. 25 minutes then flip 25 more minutes. Really search google for clay pot oven ingredient for recipes rather than specific product.

  2. Unfortunately, I don't. I bought mine so long ago and have only used it in a conventional oven. Please report back -- And good luck! Curtis

  3. I have one that has never been used. I bought it after reading Jim Thorne's rave reviews of it. Are you interested in purchasing??

  4. Good morning, Paulette and thanks for writing to me. I would be interested. Please advise details. My email address is Thanks again. Curtis

  5. Hi I just purchased a microwave teufel at a garage sale and I'm hoping it is safe for oven use, if so would it need to be soaked first?

    1. Hi Leah and thanks for writing. I don't know the answer to that question, unfortunately. Regards,Curtis

  6. Replies
    1. Thank you so much for writing and for visiting. This is a great addition t my knowledge and this post. I'm currently taking a break as I get acclimated to a new job, but I will be back. In the meantime, please enjoy the last four years of posts. Curtis

  7. Replies
    1. Rosetta, Good Day. I searched online for you, but I wasn't successful. If I am able to track one down, I'll post something here. It was a German product, so possibly there are some German websites for overstock or used cooking equipment where you might find one. Amazing that such an item would go out of circulation. It's very simple and very effective. Curtis Roberts


  8. Just bought one of those,
    What temperature should be in the oven while baking in this?
    Should I be careful not to put cold kartoffelndevil on hot oven plate?

    Greetings from Poland!

    1. Wow and amazing! You were able to buy one of these? We still use ours and love it. Our cooking using the Potato Devil is strictly stove-top and we use it on top of a stove-top "flame-tamer" or heat diffuser like the one pictured above. We heat the flame-tamer and potato devil gradually to the desired temperature. The package literature provided the roast chestnut recipe and calls, as you'll see in this link:

      for an extremely hot oven. In the US our ovens are set using Fahrenheit temperatures, not gas marks or thermostat measurements, as you'll see described in the linked article. I hope this helps and thank you for writing.


  9. I posted here in 2012, but never checked back to see the reply! I still have an unused original Potato Devil. Please let me know if anyone is interested in purchasing.

    1. Hi Paulette: I would like to purchase your Potato Devil for a reasonable price. What are you charging? Thank you for your reply. I would love to give this to my daughter. Thank you. Curtis Roberts (

  10. What is the American top-of-stove cooking time, REALLY? I did ~30 minutes per side for a half-filled teufel and the potatoes were not done. I hadn't used it in 30 years or so! Can't remember how it works best.

    1. For us, 40-60 minutes usually works perfectly, but I guess variations must exist based on the potatoes used, flame heat, and flame tamer type. We still love the Potato Devil. Thanks so much for writing. Curtis

  11. You can find one slightly different here

  12. I bought mine for $8 at a garage sale in my neighbourhood, barely used.

    I put it on my glass top stove, 30 minutes each side, and I get perfect potatoes.

    I hadn’t thought of adding garlic, and I didn’t realize these were rare, so I’m especially appreciative of it now.

    Thank you for the article!