Crispy on the outside, fluffy and light on the inside – the perfect roast potato is an integral part of a winning Christmas dinner. We’ve compiled our top tips from Facebook, Twitter and our very own Good Food experts to help you make the ultimate festive roastie.
What our experts say:
Tom Kerridge’s top tip…
‘Drain the boiled potatoes really well and leave them for a good long while afterwards to sit and cool. If you want to get ahead, why not boil them in advance, then toss in a little oil and store in the fridge until you’re ready to roast them. There’s no need to bring them back up to room temperature, just toss them into hot fat straight from the fridge. Make sure you cook them for as long as possible to get a really crisp result.’
Try Tom Kerridge’s recipe for the best ever roast potatoes.
Top tips from our cookery team
1. Cook the potatoes until they’re fluffy
Food writer Caroline Hire: ‘I use Maris Piper potatoes and cook them until fluffy but not quite done all the way through.’
2. Leave them to roast
Skills and shows editor Barney Desmazery: ‘I go for red-skinned potatoes or King Edwards. Once the potatoes have gone into the oven I leave them alone for at least 40 minutes. Some recipes say to turn them regularly but I’m a firm believer in leaving them alone for a good long while.’
3. Shake in the pan
Food writer Sarah Cook: ‘Par-boil spuds, then steam-dry back in the pan (after draining), for a few minutes until really dry. Then pop the lid on and shake! The more you ruffle the edges, the more lovely and crunchy they will be at the end.’
Food writer Chelsie Collins: ‘Make sure you give the potatoes a really good shake in the pan after you’ve drained them but before roasting.’
4. Choose your oil or fat wisely
Barney Desmazery: ‘I use a mix of sunflower oil and goose fat – goose fat alone won’t give you crispness.’
Chelsie Collins: ‘Some chefs I know swear that using a mix of beef dripping and chicken fat is the secret to a delicious roast potato.’
5. Don’t cut the potatoes too small
Barney Desmazery: ‘If you’re cooking for a crowd or lack confidence in the kitchen, keep the potato pieces fairly large and cook them for as long as you possibly can. This will ensure they won’t break up during roasting.’
6. Turn halfway through cooking
Food writer Adam Russell: ‘When in the oven, turn them with a spatula or fish slice halfway through the cooking time to get a nice browning all over.’
7. Get ahead to save space (and time)
Food editor Cassie Best: ‘I always freeze my roasties before the big day to save hob space. I boil the potatoes for 10 mins, drain and leave to steam-dry, then toss in salt, pepper and duck fat or vegetable oil. Freeze in a single layer on a baking tray, then on the big day, just tip into hot oil and bake until golden and crisp.’
8. Add a crunchy coating
Sarah Cook: ‘Cheat by tossing spuds in flour, cornmeal, or polenta first. It will combine with the oil – a bit like a crunchy batter.’
What our fans say:
@angelamalik I do roasties in cold pressed rapeseed oil at a high burn point, healthier & veggie friendly – finish with a sprinkle of garam masala.
@karenpinchin Finishing roast potatoes in the oven with parmesan makes them glossy and extra delish!
Kieran Buchanan Add butter, salt, oil, fresh rosemary and thyme… then add the juice to the gravy base. Gorgeous!
Rebecca Taylor Whichever fat you use, drain the fat off for the last 15mins – they go really crispy.
Marianna Oliveology Extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, oregano, salt and pepper! Greek style!
Try these tips with our collection of roast potato recipes. Share your advice with us below…