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Does anyone have any tips for roasting sweet potatoes? Since - seems to me - they cook and break down much faster than normal potatoes I skipped the parboiling stage and just stuck them (peeled) in the oven to roast for 45-60 minutes.

However they still came out a somewhat soft and squidgy result. Roast for shorter time or some other methodology?

I suppose I am looking for a crisp texture something like a normal roast potato but keeping the orange colour and distinctive sweet taste of the sweet potato itself.

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3 Answers 3

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Are you oiling them before roasting? Also, you mention peeling, but not cutting it up vs. roasting it whole.

I cut mine into chunks (maybe 1"/2.5cm), a toss in oil, and roast in a fairly hot oven (375 to 425F / 190 to 220C) to try to get the outside to get some browning.

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The cells of the sweet potatoes (like all plants) are held together by pectin, which gets destroyed at high temperatures and makes the potato fall apart.  To cook the potatoes one just needs to break down the tangles of starch, which starts to happens at 70°C/158°F.  If you have a sous-vide machine you have probably heard of the magic 85°C/185°F for cooking vegetables, but you can get similar effects in a an oven set to that temperature.   

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I am a fan of parboiling.

cut into chunks of your favorite size

Start in cold, salted water

bring to a boil

let them boil for 3 minutes

strain

(extra work step: but on a pan in a 500F/250C oven for 5 mins to remove moisture)

coat in oil salt pepper

on sheet pan in preheated 500F/250C oven until brown on outside and give when pinched.

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