The Best Crispy Roast Potatoes Ever Recipe

Why It Works

  • Large chunks of potato maximize the contrast between exterior and interior.
  • Parboiling the potatoes in alkaline water breaks down their surfaces, creating tons of starchy slurry for added surface area and crunch.
  • Offering you the choice of oil, duck fat, goose fat, or beef fat means you can get whichever flavor you want.
  • Infusing the oil or fat with garlic and herbs gives the potato crust extra flavor.

The Brits get a bad rap for their cuisine, and in some cases rightfully so—the beef cooked until grey and the gravy-made-from-granules that I ate every Sunday while staying in England were not the stature of culinary greatness— but dang if there are n’t a lot of things they do better than about anyone else. I ‘m talking savory pies, fried pisces, Yorkshire puddings, and roasted potatoes. The british method of roasting potatoes is one that I ‘ve taken a impregnable like to. It ‘s childlike, and it produces perplex results. Boil chunks of potato until they ‘re just bid, toss them none-too-gently with fat ( ideally beef drippings ) to rough up their surface, then roast them until they ‘re crispen and crackle .

The churn and roughing-up steps are the real keys. They create a dilute slurry of chat up potato that clings to the surface of the potato chunks, which ends up crisping beautifully in the oven as the potatoes knock. It ‘s the technique I use for the Ultra-Crispy Roast Potatoes recipe I published back in 2011, and the technique I use for reasonably much every vacation.

This year, I decided to reexamine the method from the earth up with the idea of completely maximizing that crisp-to-creamy contrast in each chunk of roast potato, testing and retesting every variable star, from cut size to potato type to boil and roasting methods. The result is this recipe, which I securely and un-humbly believe will deliver the greatest knock potatoes you ‘ve ever tasted : incredibly crisp and crunchy on the outside, with centers that are creamy and packed with potato relish. I dare you to make them and not love them. I double-dare you .

here ‘s how the test went gloomy .

Choosing the Right Potato Size and Variety

First things first gear : Let ‘s talk about size. In my original roast-potatoes recipe, I cut the potatoes into smallish, two-inch chunks. This prison term around, I wanted to maximize the contrast between the center and the outside even more, so I decided to leave the potatoes in truly big chunks. A full quarter of a potato each. That means each chunk turns into a two-biter, but it makes it easier to crisp them up .

For variety show, I tried the three most common supermarket types : russet, Yukon Gold, and red .

Comparing browning of roasted russet, Yukon Gold and red potatoes.
Russets get the crispest crusts and roast up a pale golden brown. Their interiors are downy and mild .

Yukon Golds roast a little dark owing to their lower starch content and higher boodle content. This leads to more flavor, but it besides means a slenderly less chip crust. Their interiors are nice and creamy, with batch of spirit .

Red potatoes roast up very dark because of their very low starch content, but have difficulty getting crisp. They come out of the oven crunchy, but soon lose that crunch, turning cushy and crank .

This is what happens when you press on a russet and a bolshevik potato about two minutes after they come out of the oven :

Pressing a finger into roasted russet and red potatoes to compare firmness.
Moral of the report : Skip the reds. Stick with russets or Yukon Golds ( or a shuffle ! ).

Playing With ph : Why You Should Add Baking Soda to Your Water

In my previous roast potato recipe, I recommended adding a splash of vinegar to the urine for the initial boil. The idea is to control the dislocation of pectin, the cellular glue that holds vegetables together. think of it as the mortar between bricks .

pectin begins to break down at around 183°F ( 84°C ), but its dislocation is besides greatly affected by the relative ph of the cook metier. The lower the ph ( i.e., the more acidic ), the less it breaks toss off. conversely, the higher the ph ( i.e., the more alkaline ), the fast it breaks down .

To demonstrate this, I cooked four potatoes in urine at versatile ph levels, ranging from slightly acidic to neutral to very alkaline. You can intelligibly see that the potatoes boiled in more alkaline water have started to break down more than those boiled in acidic water .

Comparing the texture of potatoes boiled in acidic, neutral, mildly alkaline, and more alkaline water.
Which direction is better ? Well, with the smallish potato chunks in my original roast potato recipe, adding a spatter of vinegar can help prevent the potatoes from by chance falling apart completely while you are tenderizing them. similarly, I add a squelch of vinegar to my french fries to get them to cook in full without collapsing .

But with a different form factor comes a different set of rules. Is vinegar still the best ph modifier for the job with the huge, chunky potatoes I ‘m using hera ?

I roasted those boiled potatoes to gauge the dispute .

Comparing crispness of roasted potatoes that were boiled in acidic, neutral, mildly alkaline, and more alkaline water.
As it turned out, the potatoes boiled in alkaline water were actually superior to those boiled in acetose water. Because the chunks are indeed large, falling apart is not as big of a problem as it is with smaller potatoes. interim, the alkaline body of water helps the exteriors of the potatoes break down more, creating much more of the starchy slurry that leads to an extra-crisp exterior. About a one-half teaspoon of baking sodium carbonate for two quarts of water was the right amount .

Boiled potatoes with a soft, mashed potato-like exterior.
That ‘s the level of starchy glue you ‘re looking for on the outside of these potatoes after roughing them up.

cold Starts Leave Me Cold : Starting With Cold Water vs. Boiling Water

Another element deserving considering is the manner in which the potatoes are boiled. In most potato recipes, I recommend starting potatoes in cold water system and bringing them up to a seethe. This helps ensure that the exteriors do n’t turn to mush before the insides have a gamble to cook through. It ‘s particularly on-key for larger chunks of potato, because heat can take a good conduct of time to travel through to the core .

But here we ‘ve got a wholly unlike ball plot. We actually want the exteriors to break down more than the centers. That means starting the potatoes in already-boiling water. I made sure to salt the water system well ( about an snow leopard of kosher salt for two quarts of water ) to season the potatoes as they cooked.

How Long Should You Roast Your Potatoes ?

Comparing two batches of roasted Yukon Gold potatoes.
now for the actual roast piece, which happens to be the easiest separate to do but besides the hardest part to prescribe, because potatoes vary thus much. For example, take a look above at two Yukon Gold potatoes that I boiled and roasted in a completely identical manner. The merely remainder was the store where I bought them. In the time it took the one on the impart to brown completely, the one on the right was still picket. This has to do with the starch and sugar message in potatoes, which vary not only seasonally but besides depending on how long the potatoes were stored, and in what manner .

Do n’t worry—you can make bang-up oven knock potatoes careless, but this does mean that you ‘re going to have to rely on your eyes and nose, using a timer only as a identical rough guidepost .

I found that roasting the potatoes nice and hot, at 450°F ( 230°C ), was ideal, though with convection turned on, they came out even better. ( When using convection, I dropped the temperature down to 400°F ( 200°C ) to prevent the edges from singeing. )

At the start, the potatoes are a small delicate, and trying to shake them or move them besides early can result in the bottoms sticking to the sheet pan .

But roasting them without any moving at all leads to mismatched fudge. I found that if I left them alone for the foremost 20 minutes or therefore, I could then use a sparse metallic spatula ( or my fingertips ) to pry them up off the pan and give them a flip. From there, they take another 30 minutes or so, with the periodic flip and rock in the middle. I like to let them get dainty and colored to maximize that contrast between crisp outside and creamy center.

Adding Flavor to Your Potatoes

Parsely, rosemary, and garlic resting on a cutting board alongside a knife.
The final mistreat in the process is adding some aromatics to make them a small more matter to. Simply tossing the boiled potatoes with chop herbs and garlic works all right, but it ‘s not ideal. The high estrus and long ridicule fourth dimension tend to burn the garlic, giving the potatoes a slightly pungent flavor. But tossing them in chopped garlic and herb at the end gives them only a superficial relish. So what ‘s the solution ?

Roast potato with burned garlic and rosemary on its exterior.
I decided to heat up the solid aromatics ( minced garlic and rosemary are my favorites ) in some olive oil, cooking them just until the garlic started to turn fortunate, then strain it, separating the infuse oil from the solids. That way, you can use the season oil to toss with the potatoes, building in plenty of relish, and add binding the garlic and rosemary ( along with some minced fresh parsley ) at the end. Best of both worlds .

You end up with ridicule potatoes that have an fabulously chip crust, with batch of textural kind and lots of microscopic nooks and crannies for flavorful bits of garlic and herb to plant themselves .

Did I mention that these are the greatest knock potatoes you ‘ll ever make ? I meant it. Take a closer look at their surface texture .

A close up of the crispy roast potatoes showing off the micro blistering on the surface.
serious Eats / Vicky Wasik
Micro-blistering !

And how about these creamy centers ?

Cross-section of a roast potato on cutting board with fork.
Oh ! sol damp ! then flavorful !

The best crispy roast potatoes ever in a blue bowl on a blue background.
good Eats / Vicky Wasik
still on the fence about making them ? Come on over and join me on this side, where the delectability runs bass and there ‘s batch to go around for everyone.


The Best Roast Potatoes Ever

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