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What is a good way to roast potatoes in the oven in a way that they get crispy ?

At the moment this is how I do:

  • I start from row potatoes (I never got why I have to boil them first).
  • I put them in a baking tray, and some oil, and turn them many times, and take care that are all covered by oil.
  • Put the oven on the maximum (482° F) with ventilation.
  • After 15 min I take them out and turn them
  • After 15 min I turn them again, put the oven on 390° F, switch on the grill and put them on the last floor of the oven.
  • Here the last 10 minutes I open the oven door 3-4 times to make the steam go out and make them a bit less umid.
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    This is, in effect, a 'recipe request' which is off-topic for Seasoned Advice. No single answer can be 'correct' & there are as many ways to make roasties as there are cooks. – Tetsujin Mar 3 at 13:48
  • How are you doing it now? Do you start from raw or boil a little first? What heat are you using? How long do you roast them? Do you find they are cooked but not crispy, or crispy but not cooked inside? Be clearer about your problem and you'll get a clearer answer – Kate Gregory Mar 3 at 18:21
  • @Tetsujin how you would reframe it? – Davide Casiraghi Mar 3 at 20:58
  • The questions that Kate asks are details that we need to really make it answerable. What are you doing now that you don't like? – Erica Mar 3 at 21:08
  • Are the potatoes not getting crispy using your current method? – Cindy Mar 4 at 12:13
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First you want the right potatoes, a medium starch content works best. Waxy potatoes don't work, they have too much water in them. Maris Piper potatoes work well, in the US Yukon Golds are a good choice.

Next you have to peel them, don't try and get them crispy with the skins on. Crispy skins are great, but you'd use a different method then this to get them.

Boil them in salted water until you can get a fork into them but they aren't completely done. Drain them while still in the pot and then shake them around a bit as it will rough up the outsides, giving a good surface area. This is the real secret, the rough outside of the potatoes.

While the water was heating up you needed to be putting a baking tray in the hottest oven you can manage or just below the smoke point of your oil or fat. Do not use olive oil, butter or anything with a low smoke point. Goose fat, duck fat, peanut oil, canola, sunflower will all work, it all depends on how thick you want your arteries to get ;) . 200C (about 400F) is a good temperature to shoot for with most oils.

Once the potatoes are boiled, drained and roughed up get the hot pan with the oil out and pour the potatoes in, spreading them out. Tilt the pan so the oil pool at one end and use a big spoon to coat the potatoes in the oil, then get them right into the oven. Really crispy potatoes take about 45 minutes, it helps if you take the pan out halfway and turn the potatoes over, then do the tilt and spoon trick again. Once they're done get them out of the oil into a bowl, you don't want them sitting in the oil when you serve.

If you overboil the potatoes you can come back from it, you simply shape the loose potato with your hands and drop them onto the pan, the outside will harden and get crispy, holding it all together. I know people who boil their potatoes until they fall apart on purpose as they like them that way, to me it's too much extra work, but they do get really crispy.

  • Do you really need to cook the potatoes first? I make potato wedges from raw potatoes in the oven; after some 45–60 minutes they start getting crispy but are cooked to the core. While I’ve never tried, I suppose you could substitute some extra time in the oven for the boiling, saves you one step in the process. – user149408 Mar 3 at 21:24
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    @user149408 The pre-boiling is to create that rough exterior when you shake around the potatoes. This increases the surface area for crisping. From Serious Eats: seriouseats.com/recipes/2016/12/… "Parboiling the potatoes in alkaline water breaks down their surfaces, creating tons of starchy slurry for added surface area and crunch." – Fodder Mar 3 at 21:52
  • @Fodder Good to know. My potato wedges recipe involves tossing them in a mixture of oil, spices and flour before they go in the oven, so I get a certain amount of starch on the outside anyway. Might want to try boiling instead… I understand you only need to get the surface in the right shape then, not to cook them to the core? – user149408 Mar 3 at 21:56
  • That's right @user149408, you don't need to cook them all the way through. – GdD Mar 3 at 22:06
  • What temperature do you roast the potatoes at? – Richard Mar 4 at 9:51
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Boil the potatoes first until soft , drain water put lid on the pot and give the potatoes a shake , heat some oil and butter 50 / 50 mix in a microwave until butter has melted cover the potatoes with it season with salt place in hot oven till crispy .

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You will want to boil them first, starting in cold water. When they are well cooked but before they crumble into mash, get them out gently. Then I'd set my oven to about 200/210 degrees Celsius. Coat your potatoes with the fat of your choice. Goose fat is great but you can use veg oil too. Don't use oils that can't sustain high heats though. I'd add some rosemary and thyme too. And salt.

Then give it around 20 minutes, if they're golden turn them over and give them another 5 to 10 minutes. Keep check every 5 minutes after that and take them out when they've reached a nice golden colour.

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The others cover the boiling method, but I want to point to something you are doing wrong in your current method. Namely venting your oven. Your oven should have a vent to release excess humidity. By opening the oven so frequently, which you also do when turning, you are allowing the heat from the oven to escape. For a good crisp potato you need high heat and you need to maintain that heat. You aren't doing that. A crispy dry should be turned only once during cooking approx halfway through.

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Coat your potatoes in a seasoned corn starch blend, then coat them with an oil/fat, and finally roast until done.

You're welcome. :)

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