French fries and potato mash typically get all the attention, but the classic roast potatoes offer a satisfying taste. They’re crispy on the outside but soft and fluffy inside when appropriately cooked. But how can you ensure an excellent roast every time?
To achieve this goal, we tested seven well-known techniques for roasting potatoes. Although many are variations on traditional potato roasting methods, One has a surprising ingredient, while others include an additional step to produce a flawless roasted potato. Find out more about the outcomes of this carby competition. The winner comes with a few surprises worth incorporating into your routine of roasting.
A Few Notes About Methodology
PotatoesFor the tests, we utilized Yukon gold potatoes. As per their name, they feature golden yellow flesh with a rich buttery taste. Although an adaptable, all-purpose potato, Yukon golds are ideally suited to roasting. Their skins are thin; therefore, they were left on while giving the potatoes a thorough scrub. To ensure consistent cook time, we cut the potatoes into approximately 2-inch pieces, which generally involves slicing up an average Yukon golden potato.
Seasoning While some methods recommend adding additional seasonings to taste, for comparability, we used just olive oil and kosher salt.
Tests: All tests were completed simultaneously using the identical oven and stove, the same baking sheet, and other essential equipment. We tasted the different methods immediately after roasting.
Timing Time for preparation is included for every method, including boiling and soaking times.
Evaluations We wanted to find a technique that produced crisp, golden brown exteriors and soft, fluffy interiors with a rich potato taste throughout. Our final ratings include the convenience of cooking and appearance.
Potato Roasting Method: Steam First
The method is described as Bon Appetit promises “perfectly roasted potatoes” by using this two-step method. The potatoes first need to be steam-cooked: Place them on a baking sheet with a small amount of water and then wrap the pan with two layers of aluminum foil, then place it on the lower rack of an oven at 425 degrees. The potatoes are cooked until tender, removed from the range, and cooled to room temperature. Then, they’re coated with salt and oil, then roasted, cut-side down and without disturbance, and placed on a baking tray on the bottom rack in a 500degF oven for 20-25 minutes.
Results: The fundamental difference between this recipe and a variety of other potato recipes that roast is the substitution of steaming over boiling. This seems like a great concept, but we found the procedure complicated and risky — and the result could have been better. Tests of the steamed potatoes to determine their doneness require poking holes in your foils to “feel around” for potatoes and then placing hot water on the baking sheet. These steps can be tedious and challenging to master without causing burns or exposing your face to a lot of steam. The roasting process is said to take between 20 and 25 minutes. However, our potatoes turned brown on the bottom within less than 20 minutes, most likely due to the oven being hot, the oven rack being too low, and the potatoes weren’t removed or turned. Although this method has a lot of positive reviews on the internet, we would not recommend it again.
Potato Roasting Method: Soak First
The Pasta Queen of TikTok fame popularized this potato roasting technique. The method begins with soaking the potatoes for 30 mins to soften the potatoes. The second tip of the Pasta Queen is to heat the pan to stop the potatoes from becoming stuck and falling to pieces. She also provides recommendations regarding how you can flavor your potatoes. However, we only used salted and olive oil. Ultimately, the potatoes are cooked in a 375-degree oven for about 45 mins.
Test ResultsIn Regarding additional processes, the method is low-effort — preheating and soaking take nearly nothing extra effort; however, the results were relatively uninteresting. Despite the Pasta Queen’s assertion that they should be cooked, these potatoes didn’t stay on the pan during our test. They were crunchy and tasty but nothing more than other versions that require roasting only. Additionally, the potato skins separated from the flesh during roasting, which wasn’t an issue, but it wasn’t as appealing as other methods we tried.
A potato Roasting Method: Squash with a Fork
We first learned the method in Lifehacker, and it’s a recipe of the One Pot Chef in Australia. After roasting the potatoes and cooking, one Pot Chef uses the fork to scuff them to give them a crispy appearance. He also covers the baking sheet with foil, which he claims will reflect heat, helping make the potatoes crisp and cooked and reducing the need for cleaning.
Results: Scuffing potatoes takes only a few seconds. However, these potatoes were less crisp than the unscuffed ones cooked similarly. They were among the more delicious spuds, and this could be because the rough edges provided the salt and oil something to hold onto. But all those fork lines give the potatoes a somewhat strange appearance. We prefer the rustic, simple look of traditional roast potatoes. The foil can mean practically no cleanup. However, it also means that the potatoes will come out of the oven with a darker brown rather than golden.
Potato Roasting Method: Toss in Oil
Cookbook author and expert in roasting Molly Stevensis, the expert for Fine Cooking’s straightforward method of roasting potatoes in the oven. A 375degF oven, an unlined baking sheet, and a few times of tossing are all you need, making this the most hassle-free method. Stevens’s recipe calls for waxy potatoes. However, we used all-purpose Yukon golds to ensure consistency. We also omitted the fresh herbs and pepper and used olive oil, though Stevens states you can use butter, oil, and duck fat.
The results: This easy method produced crisp potatoes, though not as crisp as other methods. It can be accounted for because we utilized Yukon gold and olive oil. However, these potatoes stood up to their own. Due to the large quantity of olive oil, the potatoes were incredibly flavored, and with frequent tossing, they became uniformly golden. While this isn’t the best way to cook them, given its simplicity, it’s one that we’ll probably revisit.