2 Genius Hacks for Crispy Roasted Potatoes Every Time

Roasted potatoes are a classic side dish beloved by many for their golden, crispy exterior and soft, fluffy interior. Achieving that perfect texture can be tricky, but with these two genius hacks, you’ll get crispy roasted potatoes every time. Let’s dive in!

1. Parboiling with Baking Soda

One of the key secrets to achieving crispy roasted potatoes is parboiling them before roasting. Parboiling partially cooks the potatoes, breaking down their starches and making the edges rougher, which leads to more surface area for crispiness. Adding baking soda to the water enhances this effect even more.

Why Baking Soda?

Baking soda is alkaline, which helps break down the potatoes’ pectin and draws out the starch. This results in a rougher surface, allowing the potatoes to crisp up better in the oven.

How to Do It:

  1. Choose the Right Potatoes: Starchy potatoes like Russets or Yukon Golds work best for roasting.
  2. Cut the Potatoes: Cut them into even pieces to ensure they cook evenly.
  3. Boil the Water: Fill a large pot with water, add a teaspoon of baking soda, and bring it to a boil.
  4. Parboil the Potatoes: Add the potatoes to the boiling water and cook for about 5-7 minutes, until the edges start to soften but the centers are still firm.
  5. Drain and Rough Them Up: Drain the potatoes in a colander and give them a good shake to rough up the edges. This creates more surface area for crispiness.
  6. Season and Roast: Transfer the potatoes to a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt, pepper, and your favorite herbs. Roast in a preheated oven at 425°F (220°C) for about 30-40 minutes, turning occasionally, until golden and crispy.

2. Using a Hot Baking Sheet

The second hack is to use a preheated baking sheet. Starting the potatoes on a hot surface gives them an immediate sizzle, which helps them develop a crispy crust right from the start.

Why a Hot Baking Sheet?

When the potatoes hit the hot baking sheet, they begin to cook and crisp up instantly. This method ensures an even distribution of heat, promoting a perfectly crispy exterior.

How to Do It:

  1. Preheat Your Oven and Baking Sheet: Place your baking sheet in the oven while it preheats to 425°F (220°C). Allow it to heat up for at least 10 minutes.
  2. Prepare the Potatoes: Follow the steps for parboiling and roughing up the potatoes as described above.
  3. Carefully Transfer Potatoes: Once the baking sheet is hot, carefully remove it from the oven. Use oven mitts and be cautious as it will be extremely hot. Quickly drizzle some olive oil on the sheet and spread it around.
  4. Add the Potatoes: Place the parboiled potatoes onto the hot baking sheet in a single layer. You should hear a satisfying sizzle as they hit the surface.
  5. Roast: Return the baking sheet to the oven and roast for 30-40 minutes, turning the potatoes halfway through to ensure they crisp up evenly on all sides.

Final Tips for Perfect Roasted Potatoes

  • Don’t Overcrowd the Pan: Ensure the potatoes have plenty of space to allow hot air to circulate around them. Overcrowding can lead to steaming instead of roasting.
  • Use High Heat: Roasting at a high temperature (around 425°F or 220°C) is crucial for getting that crispy texture.
  • Toss in Fresh Herbs: For added flavor, toss the potatoes with fresh herbs like rosemary or thyme during the last 10 minutes of roasting.

By incorporating these two hacks—parboiling with baking soda and using a hot baking sheet—you’ll achieve crispy, golden-brown roasted potatoes every time. Happy roasting!

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