The Kitchn: The super simple secret to the crispiest oven-roasted potatoes
If there’s one thing that my colleagues and I here at Kitchn know, it’s that our readers absolutely love themselves some potatoes — baked, boiled, mashed, skillet-fried, you name it. As a result, we’ve amassed hundreds of recipes involving potatoes in some shape or form over the years. But is anyone really surprised? It seems to me that our readers just have good taste!
While I enjoy making all sorts of fun and creative potato recipes from the site, like crispy salt and vinegar potatoes and hot honey butter smashed potatoes, sometimes all you really want is a heap of simple, crispy roasted potatoes. No muss, no fuss! That’s what this recipe is all about. These roasted potatoes will simply play a supporting role, so that your standing rib roast or honey garlic pork chops can really steal the show.
Tips for the crispiest oven-roasted potatoes
- Boil them first. The best way to crisp up potatoes is to boil them, then roast them. Cooking them until tender on the stovetop means that all they need to do in the oven is get caramelized and crispy. Boiling the potatoes also softens the skin, allowing the butter or oil to better penetrate the skin, resulting in the crispiest possible results.
- Start the potatoes cut-side down. To achieve golden-brown perfection, you’ll want the part of the potato with the most surface area (the cut side) to have direct contact with the super-hot pan.
- Don’t overcrowd the pan. Not allowing enough space between the potatoes can prevent hot air from circulating and lead to steaming.
- 2 pounds baby or fingerling potatoes, any color
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary, or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for the water
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1. Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil over high heat. Meanwhile, arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 475 F.
2. Halve 2 pounds baby or fingerling potatoes. Add the potatoes to the boiling water and cook until fork tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Meanwhile, pick the leaves from 1 fresh rosemary sprig and finely chop (about 1 tablespoon) and place in a small bowl (if using dried rosemary, place 1 teaspoon in the bowl). Add 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne, if using.
3. Drain the potatoes and run under cool water; let sit in the strainer. Melt 2 tablespoons unsalted butter in the now-empty pot over medium heat (dry the pot first if needed). Remove the pot from the heat, add the rosemary mixture, and whisk to combine.
4. Add the potatoes and toss until evenly coated in the butter mixture. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet and arrange in a single layer cut-side down.
5. Roast until the cut sides of the potatoes are golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Flip the potatoes over and roast until crisp, about 15 minutes more.
Recipe note: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to four days.
(Nicole Rufus is an assistant editor at TheKitchn.com, a nationally known blog for people who love food and home cooking. Submit any comments or questions to email@example.com.)