Perfect Roasted Potatoes in 5 Steps
For as long as I can remember I’ve been addicted to potatoes. Fries, mashed, coins, hash browns, you name it, I was into it! Sometimes I feel like I’m the pickiest eater – because everyone has always told me this – so I’ve acquired a taste for the finer things in life, like potatoes. Perfect, perfect potatoes. The opposite of bland, and no questionable textures!
When I was younger I was confined to the potatoes that were immediately available to me – AKA frozen fries – and if I was lucky, my mom’s mash or coin potatoes. These were great, they kept me feed all throughout my childhood and adolescence and all. BUT I had yet to experience the truest potato form, that is properly seasoned and roasted to perfection.
That’s right, the ultimate form of potato is roasted. Fight me if you disagree. Roasted potatoes are crispy on the outside, and tender and fluffy on the inside, what more can you want?! With roast potatoes you get the best of both worlds, the creamy, buttery texture of mash on the inside, and the crunchy texture of a french fry on the outside.
I’ve done a lot of experimenting with roasted potatoes over the last few years, and surprisingly, I’ve learned a lot. I’ve cooked so many roast potatoes in my life that I know how to make them exactly how I like them, every single time. This is why it’s so hard for me to choose to eat at a restaurant; they can never make potatoes that leave me feeling satisfied, and not disappointed!
Because I know how good potatoes can be, I get sad when I see them prepared poorly… they just have so much potential! This is why I wanted to share my top tips for getting the perfect roast potatoes every time! Everyone deserves perfect potatoes! You shouldn’t have to suffer through the trial and error of bad potatoes like I did!
perfect roasted potatoes in five steps
After experimenting with various ways to cook potatoes, I realized roasted potatoes are truly the ultimate form. But that’s just the beginning. Not every roasted potato will turn out perfectly, there’s actually some technique to each step of the process. You need to pick the perfect potatoes, seasonings, and cooking method! Here’s my simple guide to perfect roasted potatoes in 5 steps.
1. Picking The Perfect Potatoes
Not all potatoes are equal… I mean, they all have their time and place, but they’re certainly not ALL suited for roasted potatoes. I find the best potatoes for the perfect roasted potato experience are petite yellow and / or red potatoes, here’s why.
Petite potatoes aren’t actually a specific variety of potato, they refers to any tiny and small version of regular potato varieties, like russet, red or white. They tend to be creamier, and have a more concentrated flavour than large potatoes.
Petite potatoes are perfect for roasting since their texture is creamier and more buttery than large potatoes. Safe to say, petite potatoes are my preference when making roasted potatoes. But since petite only refers to the size, it’s also important to consider the different varieties and how they affect the taste and texture!
Russet are the most classic french fry potato ever! They’re the potatoes everyone – even Apple – pictures when they think of potatoes! These potatoes are light and fluffy, and have a chewy skin. Their texture makes them great for roast potatoes! Especially if you’re into potato skins with a ton of texture!
The only downside to russets is that I don’t see the petite ones very often! I usually see the large ones at grocery stores here and I don’t like using massive potatoes as much. I prefer more potato skins in the ratio, it makes for a crispy texture!
If you want to cut your potatoes into larger chunks, or even wedges, russets are the way to go. But if you want the classic small cubed roast potatoes like we make, smaller is better I find!
Yellow- petite – potatoes are probably my favorite potatoes to use when I make roasted potatoes. Their skin is thinner and more delicate than that of russets. Plus they have a really creamy, velvety and rich texture. These are the perfect potato for roasting!
Red potatoes are waxy, they retain their shape really well when cooked. These also make for great roasted potatoes. You can boil them for a long time to get them nice and tender without them falling apart! The potatoes I usually use are a mix of petite yellow and red potatoes from The Little Potato Company.
Sweet potatoes are super sugary and starchy. They have a really soft texture, and thanks to the high sugar content they don’t really get too crispy. Since sweet potatoes stay soft even when cooked, they aren’t my favorite potato for making roast potatoes.
I will say though, I do enjoy a few sweet potato chunks mixed in with regular potatoes. If you’re going to roast sweet potatoes you should chop them up really small and cook them longer than you would regular potatoes!
Overall, I think the best potatoes for making the perfect roasted potatoes is a mix of yellow and red petite potatoes! They’re extra creamy, buttery and flavourful. Plus having the mix of two kinds creates variety in the texture.
2. Cutting The Perfect Shape
The shape you cut roast potatoes into plays a huge role in the consistency of the final product. It also changes how you’ll have to cook them to get the desired, soft and tender insides.
I prefer to cut roast potatoes into small bite sized chunks. For mini potatoes I usually cut them into 4 pieces. With a large potato I might cut it into 8 or 10 small cubes. It depends on your preference.
I find small pieces have a better crispy to soft ratio compared to bigger chunks. Bigger chunks will sometimes burn on the outside before the inside gets tender! If you want to cut bigger chunks you’ll have to cook them longer and at a lower temperature to avoid burning and drying out.
3. Pre-Cooking The Potatoes
The single most important step in getting the perfect, fluffy, roasted potatoes is pre-cooking. You can’t just stick a bunch of raw potatoes in the oven, cook them at high heat, and expect them to not be hard and dry. I know the extra step of pre-cooking can seem time consuming, but it really is my most important tip here! You need to pre-cook the potatoes!
My preferred method of pre-cooking is boiling the potatoes. This is super easy and relatively quick. I find it takes about 10 minutes for bite sized chunks. A few less for french fry or wedge shaped potatoes. You can also steam the potatoes if you have a big enough steamer basket!
4. Seasoning The Potatoes
If you follow us on Instagram, you’ll know we LOVE well seasoned potatoes. This is one of the most important lessons I learned when perfecting roast potatoes. Potatoes are super bland on their own, so if you want your potatoes to have flavour, you really have to season them! Don’t be afraid of using too many spices, I don’t think I’ve ever used too many!
My favorite spice combo is made up of 7 different flavours. I use this combo on potatoes in pretty much every form. Even if I add different things to it – like ketchup seasoning- I usually keep the same base spices.
I never measure the spices I put in, I usually just eyeball it. Which means, I keep adding spices until there’s no potato flesh in sight! In terms of ratios- because this is also a key factor – I use mostly salt, pepper, onion, paprika. Slightly less garlic powder, and parsley. And very little oregano. I’m not a huge fan of oregano, but it does work well with these spices.
Lately I’ve been a huge fan of adding ketchup seasoning by FlavorGod to the mix. It’s basically a mixture of some of the spices I already use, plus lemon peel, and coriander. See how to make ketchup roasted potatoes here.
Once you have a flavourful base of spices, like the 7 I listed above, you can add other spices in to create unique flavours. One we sometimes like to add to roast potatoes is Frank’s Buffalo Seasoning. It’s a nice boost of heat! I’ve never tried this, but you could also try adding nooch for a cheesy potato!
Disclaimer: We are NOT affiliated with FlavorGod, we just love their seasonings!
5. Roasting The Potatoes
I usually use the oven to roast my potatoes. It takes a while, and required flipping the potatoes frequently, but it’s so worth it!
Temp: I find the best temperature to roast potatoes at is between 420 to 440.
Time: It usually takes anywhere from 25 to 40 minutes to thoroughly roast potatoes, when they’re pre-cooked.
They key to a consistently crispy skin is to flip them frequently! If you don’t flip them, they’ll be crunchy and burnt on one side, yet soft and squishy on the other! It really is worth it to turn them lots!
Since they’re precooked, you only have to roast them to your crispy preference. If you prefer softer potatoes, or are in a rush, you don’t have to cook them for the 40 minutes!
If I’m making smaller batches of potatoes (for one) the air fryer is an awesome roast potato machine! It makes the outsides way crispier than the oven ever could, and in no time! The only drawback is that it works best with tiny chunks of potatoes, so it can be limiting!
Temp: It’s important when air frying potatoes that you turn the temp down to medium for the first half (10 ish minutes) of the cook time. Since air fryers are so hot, they can burn the outside of the potato before the inside gets soft enough! After flipping the potatoes, turn the temp up to high to get the crispy outside!
Time: For small cubed potatoes it usually takes about 15-25 minutes to roast thoroughly. It largely depends on the size of your potato chunks. Tiny ones cook best, and big, thick chunks tend to take forever (30 min+) and not even have the great of an inside texture! Adjust according to potato size.