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Find out how to make perfectly roasted potatoes with a crispy, crunchy outside and a tender, pillowy inside.

By Stacey Ballis
February 25, 2021
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Roasted potatoes are a particular joy. That simple pleasure of a crispy outside with fluffy creamy interior is just fundamental. But there is a difference between a potato that has a slight crisp on the exterior and one that is truly crunchy. And that small bit of extra texture can mean the difference between a good potato experience and a great one. So, it is good to have some secrets to making those perfect spuds!

Here are some of our best tips and tricks for getting that great crust on your potatoes every time:

Use the right potato

Baking or russet style potatoes with higher starch content will always roast up crispier than waxy style potatoes like red or white skinned.

Up the heat

Cooking potatoes at a minimum of 400 F, but even up to 475 F will cook them faster, which means the natural steam will get out quick and the exteriors will dry enough to begin crisping earlier in cooking. Cooking hot and fast will always get you a better exterior, if they start to over-brown before they are finished inside, you can lower the heat to 350 to finish cooking.

Use enough oil

Fries are crispy because of the exposure to hot oil. So, be sure your potatoes have a reasonable slick on all sides to create that oven-fried texture.

Rough em up

That smooth surface on a cut potato can be resistant to crisping. The way to ensure that great exterior is to pre-cook your potatoes by boiling the cubes in water for about 10 minutes, so that they are still firm in the middle, but starting to be tender on the exterior. Drain well, put a lid on the colander, and give a good shake. This will rough up the exterior of the potatoes and make them look a bit fuzzy. Then toss in oil and roast, that rough exterior will crisp up extra crunchy for you!

Go for a smash

If you prefer baby potatoes to cubed, roast until tender, then use the bottom of a glass to gently smash them so that the skins break open and they flatten slightly. Spray or drizzle with more oil and then return to the oven to finish crisping up. Those jagged edges will get all kinds of texture for you!

Add a coating

If you are a fan of seasoned-style fries, you can get the same sort of result by tossing your potato cubes in seasoned corn starch or flour before roasting. The starch will create a crispy coating on the outside of your potatoes.

Add some cheese

Roasting baby potatoes halved and cut side down on a layer of cheese like parmesan or cheddar will create a surface that is fused to a crunchy baked cheese layer for crispy that is also deeply flavored. Just be sure to keep an eye on the cheese to ensure it doesn't burn, this is a technique that benefits from either par- or pre-cooked potatoes.

Roasted Garlic Parmesan Fingerling Potatoes in a skillet
Roasted Garlic Parmesan Fingerling Potatoes in a skillet
| Credit: France C

Cook twice

Roasting, by its nature, is a cooking environment that can get things crispy, but not extra crispy. If you want that roasted flavor but with extra punch, give your finished potatoes a fast extra bit of love by tossing in a nonstick skillet over high heat to finish that last little bit of cooking with direct access to the heat to get them super crispy.

Check out our collection of Roasted Potato Recipes.