Homemade Baked Jo Jo Potatoes

Jo Jo Potatoes are one of the those foods that brings back childhood memories for me. Or not so much childhood, but teenage living in a small town type memories.

I grew up in a very small town, kind of in the middle of nowhere, okay really in the middle of nowhere, in far northwest Oregon. It was, and still is, a small logging town with one small grocery store, one gas station, and no stop lights.

There were some downsides to living that lifestyle, like the nearest mall, shopping, and doctors offices, were all almost an hour away, but there were also some very good things about growing up like that and I would not change it for anything. There is something special about living where everyone knows everyone.

On the main street of town is a gas station/convenience store that used to sell a few deli type foods, pizza pockets, (anyone remember those), and a few other things. The may still sell those things, but it has been years since I stepped foot in that gas station store.

Being as this store was right across from the school it was a common spot for lunch, after school, and game night snacks. In other words local school kids loved to go there because there is only so many places to go in a small town.

Besides pizza pockets and a few other foods that teenagers love, they sold Jo Jo Potatoes. If you have never had or heard of Jo Jo Potatoes they are large potato wedges, that are coated and seasoned, and usually deep fried.

Totally unhealthy, but totally delicious and I ate way too many of them during my teen years.

Being as I don’t live in that same small town in Oregon and most people in Oklahoma have no clue what Jo Jo Potatoes are, I have had to come up with my own homemade version of Jo Jo Potatoes.

Many recipes that I have seen for Jo Jo Potatoes contain bread crumbs, but bread crumbs don’t give the potatoes quite the same texture that I remember. Bread crumbs give it a rough texture and I was looking for something more like the ones I grew up eating that had a smoother texture.

The ones I remember had a flour like crispy coating. This might vary by region or store, but I was out to recreate the ones from my childhood and knew breadcrumbs were not it. I was pretty sure that simply seasoned flour was more what I was looking for.

Jo Jo’s are also usually deep fried, but since I no longer have the metabolism of a 15 year old, I was looking to save calories and fat and thought I could get a similar result by baking.

Most Jo Jo’s that I have eaten also contain the peel, which does give them a more rustic and crispier edge. The day I took the photos though I was using potatoes that had seen better days, so I peeled them and I have not had time to retake all the photos.

Feel free to leave the peels on or take them off, whatever you prefer works here. I also prefer them to be more like wedges, but again the potatoes I used when I made these last had seen better days and I ended up with chunks once I cut out the bad spots. They still tasted great though.

If you have never had Jo Jo’s you really need to give them a try. Jo Jo’s are perfect with hamburgers, hot dogs, and many other things. And they make a great snack as well, especially if you are a teenager.

Now I am curious how many of you have had or heard of Jo Jo Potatoes? 

 

Lynn's Kitchen Adventures

Comments

  1. A local (New Orleans area) restaurant makes them this way but calls them Bo Bo potatoes. Jo Jo sounds a lot more appetizing.

    • Yes, I think Jo Jo sounds better, although I have no ideas where that name came from either. It is interesting how the same food can have so many different names.

  2. We have them here and they are called Ho Joes….isn’t it funny how the same food got different but similiar names.

  3. I am from Arkansas and we call them potato logs-they are in every gas station!

    • I love hearing all the different names these are called. It sounds like they are the same type of thing sold in gas stations across the country, but called by a lot of different names.

  4. I grew up in Portland Oregon and now live in Dallas Texas. I remember Jo Jo Potatoes well! They have potato wedges here that appear to be similar if not the same, sold in Walmart deli cases and gas stations everywhere. But, I never buy them and may have to try your homemade version. Thanks for a good memory!

    • Wal-marts here sell a potato wedge here, but I never thought about them being the same. In fact I am not sure I have ever tried them. You may be right, they may be basically the same thing but called something different.

      • Michele ºÜº says:

        I hope you try the ones in Walmart here in OK because that is what I thought of with your recipe. We had the same thing in VA, but I’ve never heard them called Jo Jo’s and I would love to know if they are the same thing.

  5. I was curious to see these “jo-jo” potatoes–around they’re called potato logs or potato wedges, and you’re right, they’re usually unpeeled, rolled in seasoned flour, not breadcrumbs, and deep fried. Every gas station or grocery store w/ a deli makes and sells these, Interesting to read about the different names.

  6. I grew up in NH and now live in the Boston area and have never heard of these. They look good! I am definitely going to try them!

  7. The local gas station in my small hometown in WV also sells Jo Jo potatoes along with the BEST fried chicken! We usually get it at least once whenever we visit.

  8. I’m from Washington state and moved to oklahoma. I too have the same problem they r called potatoe wedges here but aren’t the same as a Jo Jo!!!! I miss eating Jo Jo’s!!!! I was in a gas station once and asked for Jo Jo’s and the guy looked at me like I was crazy

  9. Hi Lynn,
    I am from Idaho and we still have Jo Jo’s here. I can’t wait to try your baked recipe as all the ones here are deep fried. Keep up the great recipes they are awesome.

  10. I love Jo Jo’s and treat myself to them every now and then. They are easy to find in the deli section of the grocery stores here in Minnesota. (They aren’t always called Jo Jo’s though.) I love the idea of being able to make them myself at home. Thank you!

  11. They were called JoJo’s at the gas station in my town in NW Missouri. You could also get a big bucket of totally unhealthy fried chicken….

  12. We had them at the local “Corner Pantry” gas station in Georgia. We called them Tater Boats–no clue why.

    We’d make a run for a half dozen of those and a cream horn between classes and band practice–all downed with a Coke. I can’t imagine trying to choke down that combination now. Ugh.

  13. Yep!
    They still sell those greasy taters, along with other deep fried foods.
    And……(gasp)……..they now have biscuits & gravy breakfast for the logger types.
    Everything served in a paper sack or plastic foam box!
    Dad

  14. I grew up in a small town in VA, no stop lights either. And used to get potato wedges or potato logs from a gas station quite frequently! A grocery store chain where I live now in VA still sells them with the fried chicken.

  15. Hi! We love Jo jos and live in St. Helens Oregon. I can’t wait to try your version. But I am so curious as to what town you were describing? It’s almost sounds like one not far from here….

    • Hi Melissa,

      I just had to jump in and say that I live in Clatskanie! Small world!

      • Hi Katie, gotta love the web, bringing us all together! Oh and I tried the recipe and lived them!

      • Our son’s family live in Forest Grove. When we’ve been to see them, and then take 26 out to the coast, we go through Clatskanie. Here where we live (Everett, WA) they’re called Jo-jo’s. I found your site because I have a hankering for some, and searched for a recipe. (We have snow today, so not going out to get them – anyway, making my own is healthier and cheaper!)

        • Oops – I know we’ve gone through Clatskanie, but it’s been when we go west out to the coast on 30 (not 26) – sorry about that!

        • I hope you enjoy them! And I grew up right in that area. My husband’s family lived in Forest Grove for several years and I grew up less than 1 hour from Forest Grove. I love that part of Oregon! And the Everett, WA area is beautiful as well. I love the NW and miss it!

  16. Shakey’s Pizza had a potato similar to these called Mojos. Theirs were cut into round disks, seasoned and crispy on the outside and soft potato goodness on the inside! Sadly all of the Shakey’s Pizza Parlors in Wisconsin are gone. I recently found a copycat recipe on food.com, but haven’t tried it yet.

  17. I grew up in NW Washington, and we had Jo-jos! When I moved to Utah, the only other person who knew what jo-jos were was also from WA.

  18. Stephanie says:

    I have a friend who grew up in Missouri and he made these, and called them Tater Logs. They were just cut in larger chunk of potatoes. But way delicious!

  19. I’ve heard of Jojos! We have Fred Meyer stores that sell them at the deli counter. There also used to be a delicious round version called Mojos that were sold at Shakey’s Pizza but they don’t have that place here anymore. Tater babies are similar and pretty darn yummy but sometimes hard to find. I like this idea for making them myself and being healthier for the family. Thanks for posting your recipe.

    • Oh yes I love Fred Meyers stores, but I have never had JoJos there. I hope you enjoy the homemade version.

      • I’m in Alaska. I’ve heard they have a few different things at our Fred Meyer deli (like corn fritters, at least the label says “Alaska only”).

        I’ll be making your Jojos this coming weekend. It looks awesome. I’d make them now but I’m out of potatoes and too lazy to head to the store.

  20. I tried these friday night and they were very good! Here in FL they’re cut in wedges and called tator logs.

    • Thanks for letting me know you enjoyed them. It is so fun to hear all the different names for these!

    • lori hunter says:

      Laugh out loud! I’ve been calling them mountain taters.They used to sell them at this restaurant call the ‘burger tree’ in Manteca,ca and I haven’t seen the same since! they were wedges with a crispy outer seasoning wrapped in this foil packet.you had ur choice of sauce.my sisters and I would fight over them.they were a treat for us.all these years people looked at me like I was nuts as I kept asking for mountain taters!lol.

  21. They sell these at my Vons in So Cal and they are called JoJo’s potato wedges – I love them! Can’t wait to try this at home too!

  22. I remember JoJo Potatoes from the 60′s. My future Mother-in-law used to make them for us when we came up from the cities to visit them in Cloquet, MN, or they would order them from the local chicken take-out. YUMMM!!!! She really liked them. So did I!

  23. Mightypog says:

    I grew up in a very small town in eastern Washington, and sure enough, the gas station that all the teenagers hung out at had Jojo potatoes. But one thing they did that I haven’t seen any one else do is wrap the leftover ones up and sell them cold along with a dipping sauce that I believe was ranch. I loved them, and still do!

  24. I’m from Cleveland; I never figured that anyone outside of Cleveland and Detroit (and maybe Chicago) would be familiar with jojos. I’ll be trying your recipe soon.

  25. I am from Butte Falls OR, also a small logging town, at least one hour away from anything. We had a general store sold jo jo’s, pizza rolls etc, and EVERYONE went there for lunch! It was like you were describing my child hood! I now live in Denver and have just put your version of Jo Jo’s in the oven for my family. Can’t wait to try them.

    GO DUCKS!

  26. Who hasn’t heard of Jo Jo’s? I guess anyone who is from the Western part of the U.S. I’m from Seattle, but moved to a tiny town about 80 miles N.E. of there as a young adult and there was a hamburger joint that made THE best Jo Jo’s; Ever! (a seriously fattening craving during pregnancy!) Anyhoosky, thanks for the post. Plan on making them shortly! Cheers!

  27. Joanne Corbett says:

    I have never heard of them until I moved to Oregon. I just moved from NYC to Portland. My friend suggested a walk to Fred Meyer for some friend chickens and Jo Jo’s. I laughed and said whats? I thought is was humorous since my name is Joanne and everyone calls me Jo. So now I joke with my son and ask if he wants some me me potatoes. Thank you for posting the recipe. I just sliced the potatoes and now will make my first homemade me me potatoes. :)

  28. Lynn,
    It’s a small world we live in! I was looking for a recipe for “Jo Jo’s” – and I found your article!
    You have to be talking about Vernonia…my hometown! I do not live there any more either, but miss the ‘hometown’ feel!
    Thanks for sharing, I’m making these tonight!
    Deb “)

    • I am not sure you will remember me, but I know exactly who you are and have met you many times. I went to school with Jasen. It is a very small world!!

  29. I was hoping someone would have a recipe for a healthier version of Jo Jos! My sister just texted me that she was eating some right now and I realized I haven’t had any since we were kids! Can’t wait to try these. Thanks!

  30. lori hunter says:

    im so glad that I found you along with this recipe..i lost 50 pounds over a long period of time..i didn’t want to gain it back eating the fat version of jo jo potatoes.i love these! I had relatives in Oregon they call them jo jo potatoes up there but over here they call them mountain taters.i had to constantly describe them to people I was searching for the recipe that was lower in fat! thanks for the recipe! love lori.

  31. Yes I am from the pacific NW (Wash) an I love JoJo’s.
    you might check this web site out, she uses corn starch

    http://www.instructables.com/id/No-Fry-French-Fried-Jo-Jo-Potatos-done-on-the-gri/
    Dave

  32. Jeff Kyser says:

    Sounds like you grew up in Vernonia, same place I grew up! Going to try these either tonight or soon!

    • Small world! Yes same place. These are not quite the same, but they still remind me of the ones I had growing up. I recognize your name, but I don’t think I remember who you are exactly. We probably know of each other or at least each other’s family.

  33. Love the recipe! I grew up in Portland and love jojos. Great to connect with some other NorthWesters over this much loved recipe. I live in South Carolina and I’m passing on my love of jojos to my family here. They are hooked. We’ve been eating them all summer long with our weekend BBQs. Don’t forget the ranch dressing:)

  34. They have these here, but they just call them potato wedges. I’ve thought to recreate them myself as they are a family favorite fin the deli, so thanks. They’ll go on my rotation right away.

  35. jo-jo’s in Lowell Mass…..I loved them! thanx for the recipe.

  36. I think we grew up in mirror image towns (I grew up down south in Riddle, OR, also a no stoplight one store/gas station town. And yes, we ate far, far too many jo-jos with our school lunches…and every other time.

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