How to make the ultimate roast potatoes

Discover how to make roast potatoes perfectly every time. Our top tips will help you to get that crisp, golden, crunchy exterior with a fluffy centre.

Roast potatoes in a roasting tray

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.

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.'

Roast potatoes in a serving bowl

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.'

Really good roast potatoes

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.'

Semolina roast potatoes with garlic & thyme

What our fans say:

From Twitter:

@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!

From Facebook:

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!

Now try

Christmas roast potato recipe collection
Hasselback potato recipes
Video: 4 days with roast potatoes

Try these tips with our collection of roast potato recipes. Share your advice with us below...

Comments, questions and tips

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3rd Oct, 2018
Jo Oct 2018 Best roasties are made with Maris Pipers , steamed until a knife will pentrate them reasonably easily and then dried. After drying toss in a bowl to fluff the edges and then add a tablespoon of semolina - or a but more if there are lots of spuds - toss again so some of the semolina sticks to the surfaces. Roast in oven ( 220C) in hot duck or goose fat turning occasionally , until golden and crisp .
4th Dec, 2017
May sound like heresy, but I bung them in the chip pan for a minute after boiling before roasting. This will dry out the spuds for sure and firm them up a little so they don't break up in the roasting pan. Also, this guarantees they're completely coated in fat.
6th Dec, 2016
Fairly saddened that "Senior Food Editor" Barney Desmazery thinks that all red-skinned potatoes are the same and suitable for roasting; this shows such a fundamental lack of knowledge of the subject. The best potatoes for roasting are those which have a higher dry-matter and are fluffier; they also make the best chips and a fluffy, dry mash [if that's your bag]; King Edwards definitely, but not just any old red!! A visit to the AHDB Potatoes website might do you some good Mr Dezmazery.
11th Oct, 2015
While Tom Kerridge has the steps, he's not explained *why* it's good to drain the spuds, here's the reasoning that is regularly omitted: Since oil and water don't mix, any oil added to a wet spud simply slips off into the roasting tray. Hence the need to dry your parboiled tatties.
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26th May, 2015
how do you stop roasties from getting a sort of hard skin around the edge? My brother swears i put too much oil in the pan and says that too much will wreck the potatoes - i dont think he is right! so who is right? please help - roasties are one of my worst nightmares!! :0!
3rd Jun, 2015
I found that parboiling the potatoes - about 7 minutes - before roasting them solved that problem. You do need a generous amount of oil but don't use olive oil as that burns at the high temperature you need for crisp roast potatoes.
15th Dec, 2016
For those watching the waistline, put large pieces of potato into boiling water and boil for about 10 minutes. Drain well, return to pot and shake (as i have seen in other hints) but now put into a not stick roasting tin, which as a good teaspoon of salt sprinkled on the base. Sprinkle a little more on the top. Then toss around a bit to make sure salt is spread around. Put on top shelf of pre heated oven, 220/230 degrees for about 35 to 40 minutes, turning once. If they are sticking leave the tray on a cooling rack for a few minutes and they will release themselves. Then return to oven. They will roast up lovely and crisp and brown without ANY fat at all.
4th Dec, 2016
For healthier roast potatoes, I parboil them, steam dry and brush with sunflower oil. Then place on rack in preheated oven. They are lovely and crisp and fluffy inside. No need to douse in loads of hot oil.
11th Oct, 2015
Once par boiled. Put a tablespoon of good mustard into spuds then a shake of semolina. Put at a high heat for at least 45 mins - yummy!