Take the 2-minute tour ×
Seasoned Advice is a question and answer site for professional and amateur chefs. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Which oil or fat is the best option for crispy on the outside fluffy on the inside roast potatoes?

share|improve this question
6  
The usual suggestion for flavour reasons is Goose Fat, which does seem to produce a decent crispness. Be sure to bang the potatoes about after blanching before roasting them, that helps a lot. –  Orbling Jan 22 '11 at 15:04
2  
I bash them about good and proper :) –  bcmcfc Jan 22 '11 at 15:05
    
Duck fat brings a lot of flavor too :) –  Magnus Nordlander Jan 22 '11 at 16:53
    
related : cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/6667/… –  Joe Jan 23 '11 at 17:18

7 Answers 7

up vote 11 down vote accepted

I think it's more about technique than what fat you use when you're looking for crispy outsides (I'm sure there is at least one question here already that has the technique answers).

About the only solid advice I would give is that you need to find a fat that tastes good to you, or is neutral if that's your preference, and make sure the one you use won't burn at the temperature you're using.

Beyond that, it's all about taste and technique.

edit: I looked for questions that might have solid technique answers, but didn't find any. So I looked out on the greater web and found some advice from Cook's Illustrated. Crisp Roasted Potatoes

It doesn't have the recipe for free, but the advice is good: Parcook at a fast simmer, get a little rough with the parcooked potatoes to rough up the outside, choose the right potatoes (they liked Yukon Golds).

share|improve this answer

Duck or goose fat is good for flavour, but any fat will do for crispiness. As bikeboy says, crispiness is down to technique.

Parboil for 6 minutes (i.e. 6 minutes once the water is up to the boil). Drain well, then put back on the heat for a few seconds to help steam out some more moisture; you want to dry the outside of the potatoes as much as possible. Put the lid on the pan and shake it around to break up the edges of the potatoes. This will allow them to crisp up nicely. If you want to go super-crispy, sprinkle a tablespoon or so of flour into the pan and shake around.

Roast in the oven, preferably nestled around the meat, until they're crispy, which should be about 1-1.5 hours depending on how hot you have your oven.

share|improve this answer
    
+1 for Duck/goose fat. But I would always cook mine separately to the meat so they cook uniformly. –  5arx Feb 16 '11 at 9:55

I've had good luck by using duck fat (as it's been suggested in the comments above), and by also tossing the potatoes a bit after par-boiling them. I've found that gives extra fluff and crispness to the potatoes.

This recipe has a good of explanations of the mentioned techiques: http://mattikaarts.com/blog/vegetables/roast-potatoes-sauce-gribiche/

share|improve this answer

Part of the problem is keeping the fat on the potato. There are a few tricks that can help here (I'll skip the parboiled hint above):

  • Wrap the potato in foil + oil until cooked, then place under the broiler for 10 minutes
  • Use cold butter, and score potato (or cut slices into it): cold butter stays on the potato longer, and the slices/score marks help keep it on the surface longer
  • Pan fry (or deep fry), then bake off the remaining time
  • Marinate in oil overnight after washing + drying: a small amount of oil will remain in the skin, making it crispier
  • Bake slowly (this encourages a more cooked exterior, for a given amount of interior doneness)
  • Baste with oil every 15-20 minutes (this refreshes the oily exterior)
  • Re-salt + season during the cooking process
share|improve this answer

I would agree with bikeboy389 on it being a technique issues -- but one thing that hasn't been mentioned is that it's important not to pack them too tightly when roasting.

As with making home fries, you want the potatoes to be in a single layer, with space in between them so any moisture given off has space to evaporating without steaming the potatoes.

I don't know that the fat selection matters that much, so long as you don't choose something with such a low smokepoint that you end up smoking yourself out of the kitchen. (for crispiness, at least; for flavor, yes, it matters)

share|improve this answer

The technique I've always used for roasting potatoes is:

  • Preheat the oven to 200'C/395'F/Gas Mark 6
  • Add quite a thick layer of your choice of oil (we use Extra Virgin Olive Oil) to a deep roasting tin/tray. Enough oil so that you can use the oil to baste the potatoes.
  • Add the tray to the preheated oven.
  • Parboil the potatoes for about 8/10 minutes in a saucepan of water
  • Drain them off completely
  • Put the lid back on the saucepan and shake the potatoes about little bit to rough them up
  • Then add salt and shake a little more
  • Take the roasting tray out of the oven and add the potatoes to the oil, which will be smoking hot by now. The potatoes will sizzle when you add them to the oil.
  • Roasting them for 1 hour until golden brown and crispy.

I've heard that Goose Fat is very good for roasting potatoes, but I've always used Olive Oil and they always come out brilliantly.

share|improve this answer
    
I'm told (and believe) that it's a waste of money to use extra virgin olive oil in cooking. The extra flavours in the virgin pressing are destroyed by heat. So use ordinary olive oil for frying/roasting, and keep the extra virgin for salad dressings, drizzling pasta etc. –  slim Jan 24 '11 at 15:48
    
@slim: The problem with extra virgin olive oil and potato roasting in my mind is the low smoking point, around 375F for a typical extra virgin, compared to about 470F for canola. So it's hard to get the oil hot enough for effective crisp roasting, that and the flavours stand some change of getting through and tend not to be desired. Aside from cooking aspects, it's quite expensive comparatively! I note you mention using canola (rapeseed) oil in your answer too. –  Orbling Jan 24 '11 at 18:40

I use what is sold in the UK as "vegetable oil", which I believe is primarily rapeseed oil. This has a very neutral flavour, low water content, and can get very hot without smoking or boiling.

For crispness:

  • heat the oil on its own in the oven
  • use floury potatoes
  • peel, and cut such that there are lots of pointy wedge shapes
  • parboil for 10 minutes, drain and shake about to scuff up the surface
  • place in the oil, and spoon hot oil on top too
  • roast until crispy

This works for parsnips too; you can do parsnips and potatoes in the same pan.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.