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Not very experienced cook I have mastered a normal roast where the meat is cooked about gas 6-7 for a couple of hours but I want to try a slow cooked pork roast (6 hours first hour on a high heat then gas 3).

The issue I have is that I only have 1 oven and will need to roast all my veg. Normal wisdom would tell me this needs to be at a higher heat, can I still get crunchy roast poatatoes at the lower heat, or will this need some clever timing with me starting the veg off as the meat finishes cooking and then turning the heat up as I let the meat rest?

2 Answers 2

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You can actually get beautifully crunchy roast potatoes in a slow cooker [I didn't believe it either until I tried it] so you can also get them in a low oven. You just need time.

To get this to work at lower temperatures, par-boiling becomes essential [I don't always if I've got the oven at the 'right' temperature. You need to par-boil to very nearly 'done' [maybe 10 mins], then be careful as you shake them to fluff them up.

First attempt, I'd give them two hours. You can always pull them early & put back for a quick refresh if that's too long. Next time you'll know for certain based on your particular oven & can adjust accordingly.

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  • That's really surprising. Caramelisation of sucrose starts to occur at about 160C (320F), which I wouldn't expect a slow-cooker to reach. Some web searches suggest a max temperature of 140C or at most 150C (300F). But maybe crunchiness does not depend on caramelisation ... Can you distinguish your slow-cooked crunchy roast potatoes from those baked the normal way in a hot oven? Dec 10, 2022 at 13:43
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    @MarkWildon - I'd never considered the chemical process before, but wouldn't have thought caramelisation would be part of it. I found an article that explains it's the starches cross-linking then drying - washingtonpost.com/food/2020/12/18/crispy-potato-tips and, tbh, you can make good or bad roasties by both methods. When you get it right, you can't tell the difference. I've done the slow-cooker method even without par-boiling & eventually you do get something close if not identical,
    – Tetsujin
    Dec 10, 2022 at 13:54
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    Maillard reaction takes place at much lower temperatures than caramelization, and is the primary process in browning potatoes.
    – Sanchises
    Dec 10, 2022 at 16:28
  • Spoke to a chef friend of mine and asked him this and he confirmed that potatoes can be roasted at a low temp. His advice was make sure, as well as the potatoes being fluffed up, the oil in the pan is as hot as it can be when the potatoes go in.
    – Richard C
    Dec 10, 2022 at 22:22
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    And now cooked them myself, gas 3 took 2 hours or so crisped up lovely with a really fluffy interior.
    – Richard C
    Dec 12, 2022 at 23:02
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Turning up the heat while the roast rests works wonderfully. When I do a roast turkey, I let it rest a full hour, which gives me lots of time (and oven space) to do the roasted vegetables entirely during that resting time.

When I do a smaller roast, that rests maybe 15 or 30 minutes, I put the potatoes in with it at a lower temperature, and get them cooked, then give them 15 minutes or so at a hotter temperature to get crispy and browned. It works great.

You don't need "clever timing". You give the potatoes 30-45 min at the lower temp, and 15 or so at the hot. Or if the meat is going to rest a long time, then just go with however long you cook potatoes at the hot temp.

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  • But to be clear, you're never going to get crunchy roast potatoes at gas mark 3. Dec 9, 2022 at 22:21
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    I work in F, but yeah, I turn it up to "good and hot" which for me is 425-450, I think that's gas mark 6 or 7. You can however get potatoes completely cooked at those lower temperatures. You just need a hot time at the end for crunchy. Dec 9, 2022 at 22:24
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    Kate & @KevinArlin - you really don't. Google 'slow cooker roast potatoes'. I didn't believe it either until I tried it.
    – Tetsujin
    Dec 10, 2022 at 15:40
  • @Tetsujin Ugh, if only when we learned that the Maillard reaction only takes place over 350 degrees that could be straightforwardly true…I see some crispy photos but I don’t understand them! I guess maybe this is just dehydration-crispiness without Maillard-browniness? Dec 11, 2022 at 16:03
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    @KevinArlin - see my comment & link under my own answer. I really don't know the chemistry of all this, but the article never mentions maillard, just cross-linked dried starches.
    – Tetsujin
    Dec 11, 2022 at 16:06

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