Crispy and golden on the outside, soft and fluffy in the middle – this is how to make Perfect Roast Potatoes
Do you always wonder how some people just seem to get amazing roast potatoes that are so beautifully crispy on the outside while still keeping them soft and fluffy in the middle. I realise perfection is entirely subjective but in this post I’m going to give you the tips and tricks I use to make what I consider perfect roast potatoes. Give it a try and I promise you’ll love the results.
Perfect Roast Potatoes just need a little love
Just a heads up here, perfect roast potatoes take time and a little TLC. They aren’t difficult – not one little bit – but they do take a little more effort than just throwing some potatoes in a baking dish with a splash of oil and hoping for the best.
But you’re here because you want perfect roast potatoes, right? You aren’t here for ‘good’ roast potatoes or ‘ok, they’ll do’ roast potatoes. You want the best roast potatoes you can find. The ones that come with all those golden crispy bits in the pan. The ones that have a crunch around the edges when you bite into it. The ones that aren’t greasy and fatty but are full of flavour. You want comforting, hot roasties (as they’re known in my household) to feed your family. Well, check check, check and check – you’re in safe hands, my friends.
It’s simple to make the best roast pototoes ever but you just need to follow a few golden rules;
- You need to use the right potatoes (more below)
- They need to be twice cooked – aka boiled first, then roasted
- They need to be drained, dried out and given a shake to rough up the edges and get all those broken bits that get all golden and crispy
- They need to be cold before going into the oven
- You only need to add a little oil but make sure it’s hot before adding the potatoes
- Add a little salt
- Roast in a hot oven
That’s it. Easy right?
Which potatoes make the best crispy oven roasted potatoes?
So, first let’s start with which potatoes you should use. It does depend on which potatoes you have available where you live. My absolute favourite potato to use for roast potatoes is Royal Blue. They have a perfect combination of great flavour and fluffiness when baked. Other varieties that work well are Coliban, Sebago, Desiree, Yukon Gold, Russet. Many grocers or supermarkets will have signs showing which type of potato is best for which purpose, so keep your eye out for those.
Waxy potatoes are a no-no. So no red skinned varieties, no fingerling potatoes. They won’t get and hold a nice crisp exterior like the others above.
Step by Step – ooh baby
Yes, I’m of that vintage, haha 🙂
Once you have the right potatoes for the job, you need to peel them. You can certainly roast an unpeeled potato but the texture we’re going for here calls for naked potatoes.
Once peeled, chop them into chunks roughly 1.5 inches and make sure they’re all about the same size. Put them in a large saucepan and cover with cool water straight from the tap. Put them on the stove over high heat and bring to the boil. Once they are boiling, the potatoes take around 7 minutes to be cooked to the point we want them – fork tender. Still just slightly underdone, but the edges are soft.
Now, drain them in a colander and return them to the saucepan. Turn the heat to low and sit the saucepan over the heat, shaking every few seconds. We do this for three reasons
- Putting them back over the heat, dries them out so you don’t have soggy potatoes (soggy potatoes won’t get or stay crispy)
- Shaking them roughs up the edges and breaks off little bits that will get all golden and crunchy later.
- Shaking them stops them from burning while having them back on the heat.
This part should take only about 30-40 seconds and then you’re done.
Next, place them in a dish, uncovered, in the fridge to get cold (in the freezer if you’re in a hurry). Why? The only science I know behind this is that the fridge has a natural way of drying things out. The drier the potatoes are, the crispier they get.
On that point, this tip works for any roast where you’re after some crispiness like roast chicken, roast turkey or roast pork and even chicken wings. I like to sit these things in the fridge, uncovered, for a good 3 hours before I roast them (overnight is even better).
Now preheat your oven to 230C / 440F / 210C fan, place a couple of tablespoons of vegetable oil into the pan and place it in the hot oven for 5-10 minutes to get super-hot. Now, carefully add your potatoes, including all the little fallen off bits, sprinkle with salt and turn them over through the hot oil.
Place them in the oven to roast for 30 minutes before touching them. Turn them, scraping bits off the bottom of the pan, then roast for at least another 20-30 minutes until golden and crispy to your liking. You should roast them no less than 50 minutes.
Change it up
Here’s some ideas for jazzing up your roasties;
- Rosemary and parmesan
- Spanish spice – add some paprika, cumin, mustard powder and pepper
- Herb and garlic – add some dried oregano or thyme and roast alongside some garlic
- Cajun – similar to the Spanish spice mix but also add some onion powder, garlic powder and dried oregano
- Bacon and cheddar – for a decadent side, crisp up some bacon in a pan and sprinkle it over with some cheese in the last 10 minutes or so.
What other ideas can you think of?
Crispy and golden on the outside, soft and fluffy in the middle - this is how to make Perfect Roast Potatoes
- 1 kg 2 ½ pounds potatoes
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil (notes)
Peel the potatoes and chop into 1.5 inch chunks all about the same size.
Place the potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with cool tap water. Bring to the boil over high heat and cook for approximately 7-8 minutes until fork tender (the edges should be soft and break away easily)
Drain in a colander, then return the potatoes to the saucepan over LOW heat. Shake them around a little to keep them moving in the pan while they dry out, and to rough up the edges – only for about 30 seconds. Don’t worry if lots of bits break off, they’ll crisp up beautifully in the oven.
Place in a dish in the fridge uncovered until completely cold.
Preheat your oven to 230C / 440F / 210C fan forced.
Pour the oil into a baking dish and place the dish in the oven for 5-10 minutes until it’s very hot.
Tip the potatoes into the baking dish, taking care not to let the hot oil splash. Turn the potatoes over through the oil to cover. Sprinkle with salt to taste.
Bake for 30 minutes without touching them, then turn them over and scrape any stuck bits off the bottom of the pan.
Bake for at least another 20 minutes or up to 30 until the roast potatoes are perfectly golden and crispy.
I use an Australian standard 20ml tablespoon (equiv. 4 teaspoons worldwide)