How to make the perfect roast potatoes
This recipe makes the perfect roast potatoes! These roast potatoes, with fluffy middles and super crispy edges, are definitely the best ever.
Firstly, I apologise for the slightly arrogant title! Obviously everyone has their own idea of what makes perfect roast potatoes, but in my opinion, this is it. Soft and fluffy inside, super crispy on the outside – absolutely perfect.
Now, I definitely don’t make roast potatoes this way every time – they’re a bit more labour-intensive than my usual method. I usually roast my potatoes the quickest way possible – just cut up some unpeeled potatoes, then stick them in the oven. They’re still great when they’re cooked the lazy way (it’s very hard to make a roast potato anything short of delicious), but they don’t even come close to these perfect ones.
When I have a little more time on my hands, or I want to make something extra special, here’s how I make absolutely perfect roast potatoes:
How to make perfect roast potatoes
Making roast potatoes is really easy. There are a couple of steps, but none of it is remotely difficult.
Step 1: Wash and peel potatoes
Step 2: Boil potatoes until fluffy
Step 3: Roast potatoes in plenty of oil
That’s it! Very straightforward really.
Here’s a bit more detail!
What are the best potatoes for roasting?
Whichever variety of potato you use, you’re probably going to end up with a delicious roast potato. However, some varieties do work better than others.
Ideally, you want to use a type of fluffy potato, which will help your potatoes to fluff up around the edges. This means they get nice and crispy!
The best potatoes to use for roasting include:
- Rooster potatoes
- Yukon Gold potatoes
- Maris Piper potatoes
- King Edward potatoes
I generally use King Edward potatoes, which give a wonderfully fluffy centre. You can find out more about different varieties of potatoes here.
Should I peel my potatoes before roasting?
In short – yes.
As I said, I usually don’t bother peeling my potatoes. Potato skins actually contain a lot of nutrients, and it’s quicker not to peel them, which is always a plus for a lazy cook.
But – this isn’t a recipe for the most nutritious roast potatoes, or the laziest roast potatoes. It’s a recipe for the best tasting roast potatoes. So for these, you’re going to need to peel.
Peeling the potatoes allows the flesh to get nice and fluffy when boiled, which leads to the super crispy exterior when they roast (which we all know is the best bit). So peel away!
Should I boil my potatoes before roasting?
Again, when I’m in a rush / feeling lazy, I usually don’t bother boiling.
But, boiling the potatoes before putting them in the oven is what creates the crispy bits on the outside, so it’s a must if you’re aiming to make perfect roast potatoes.
If you boil them until they’re nice and soft, the flesh will start to break down (especially if you give them a quick shake in the pan!), and will make lots of crumbly edges to crisp up. In all honesty, I probably over-boiled mine a little (they were very, very soft), but in the end it was a blessing in disguise, because I ended up with a tray full of crispy bits!
If you’d prefer your roast potatoes to keep their shape a bit more, just boil them until they’re nice and soft, but still holding together.
How much oil should I use on my roast potatoes?
I’ll say again: this is not a recipe for healthy roast potatoes. In other words, the more oil, the better!
Okay, perhaps you don’t want to use an entire bottle, but don’t be too stingy – you need every single piece of potato to be well coated in oil to give those nice crispy edges.
(I’m getting hungry just thinking about those nice crispy edges…)
In my opinion, roast potatoes are almost always the best part of a Christmas dinner (or any other roast dinner really), and with these perfect roast potatoes, there will be absolutely no chance of any leftovers!
How to make the perfect roast potatoes
- 1 kg potatoes
- Cooking oil
- Black pepper
- Peel the potatoes, and cut them into chunks (depending on your preferred size).
- Place the potatoes in a large pan of water, and boil until just soft. Drain the potatoes, and return them to the pan. Holding the lid on tightly, shake the pan to fluff up the edges of the potatoes. If your potatoes are very soft, make sure you don't shake too hard or they'll break up into mash! If they're firmer, you can shake pretty hard.
- Transfer the potatoes to a baking tray, and toss in a generous amount of oil. Spread them out into a single layer if possible – use two trays if needed. Season generously with salt and black pepper.
- Roast at 200°C (Gas Mark 6 / 400°F) for around 25 minutes, then turn each piece of potato over. Return to the oven for a further 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are golden brown and crispy.
Note: Nutritional information is approximate, and will depend on exactly what ingredients you choose. Information above is for 1/4 of the recipe.