Grilling, roasting, boiling, etc are used to describe different types of cooking. Is there a verb to describe cooking (usually potatoes) under a pile of hot ash? We do this sometimes outdoors in the wild. After making the fire and letting it burn down a little, we put potatoes under hot charcoal. Some wrap it in a foil tight and then put it under.

Don't [the verb] the potatoes. I want them fried.

Informal words are also welcome because I personally don't know of an established word to describe this in even a neutral way in my own native language so I figure in English it might be the case too. However I can think of a word in a dialect of my native tongue which is not shared by all native speakers in my country.

  • Is the end result similar to a baked potato?
    – Stephen S
    Commented Apr 18, 2017 at 18:45
  • @Stephen so the sentence would be Don't bake the potatoes. I want them fried right?
    – Yuri
    Commented Apr 18, 2017 at 19:10
  • Maybe. A baked potato is one that has undergone that treatment, but it doesn't go both ways - I wouldn't always attach baking a potato to making a baked potato. "Baked in the coals," as Andrew said, is definitely better than just "baked."
    – Stephen S
    Commented Apr 18, 2017 at 19:15
  • 1
    I'd probably say "Don't fire-roast Yuri's potatoes, he wants his fried." or simply "Don't put Yuri's potatoes in the coals, he wants his fried."
    – TimR
    Commented Apr 18, 2017 at 19:38

3 Answers 3


"Roasting" is most accurate (see definition #4, "to cook or heat by embedding in hot coals, embers, etc.").

Since it's potatoes, though, a native speaker might instead say "baking", since "roasted potatoes" is a dish where the potatoes are usually sliced and cooked in a pan, while "baked potatoes" are cooked whole (and often wrapped in foil).

To avoid confusion I would say that the potatoes were baked in the coals, but roasted would certainly get the meaning across.

  • I see. I thought there might be a separate entree to this because we express it in our dialect with a different word so bake is cosidered a more general word comparing to that. Thanks. I'll wait a bit more to see other answers before hitting the vote.
    – Yuri
    Commented Apr 18, 2017 at 19:05
  • 2
    Cooking SE question about the difference between baking and roasting, in general. Conclusion? They're really the same, technically. Which word to use is based on convention, and varies based on which food is being cooked.
    – R.M.
    Commented Apr 18, 2017 at 21:31

Where I grew up, we used to do this with potatoes as part of a barbeque. They were invariably wrapped in tin foil before being put into the coals. We wouldn't have said they were being barbequed, though, as this would have suggested cooking them on top of the coals, but rather 'baked'.


I would use the verb "char". I don't believe this is exactly a cooking method, but it communicates an effect which would be a primary result of the cooking method we're trying to describe, and which you don't want to happen.

I have previously heard it referred to as an aspect of cooking steak, in direct contact with coals. ("Charring the steak" or "charring the steak on [the] coals".)

I would therefore say "Please don't char the potatoes; I want them fried."

  • "Char" in this cooking context means to burn slightly. A charred steak has black stripes on it from the grill. This is good for steaks but not so good for other foods. "Don't char the potatoes." means "Don't over cook the potatoes so much that they have a blackened skin." not "Don't cook the potatoes on the fire."
    – user5505
    Commented Apr 19, 2017 at 7:11
  • You're right, of course. And I was imagining people cooking the potatoes in direct contact with hot ash / coals without the use of tin foil.
    – X Goodrich
    Commented Apr 19, 2017 at 20:21

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