Potatoes, ever the versatile root vegetable, can elevate any meal from good to great when properly prepared. No matter the form—mashed, baked, or fried—a well-executed potato dish can make for a truly satisfying dining experience.
If you prefer roasted potatoes, we have just the tip for you to take your spuds to the next level. Prepare to amaze your friends, impress your kids, or simply curl up with a plate of delicious crispy veggies perfect for cold autumn nights.
The Key To Perfectly Roasted Potatoes Is Already In Your Kitchen
Yes, really. This kitchen hack is incredibly simple and involves just one ingredient, but you’ll never go back to making roasted potatoes any other way.
Chef Samin Nosrat writes in her award-winning 2017 cookbook Salt Fat Acid Heat that the use of one often-underestimated seasoning “enhances flavor and even makes food taste more like itself … Learn to use it well and your food will taste great.”
So what is this mysterious ingredient that has the power to up your cooking game?
Salt. But hear us out. We know you probably already add a sprinkle of salt to your potatoes before or after cooking. But Nosrat’s trick ensures even flavor and an even more crispy exterior.
All you have to do is boil your potatoes whole in extra-salty water. Throw a handful—not just a pinch!—of salt, kosher or otherwise, into the water until it tastes almost like saltwater. Toss in your potatoes (any kind, but Yukon Gold is our roasting potato of choice) and boil for around 10-20 minutes until they’re tender when pierced.
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While the salt absorbs into the potatoes to add flavor, the soaking works to remove excess starch that could cause the spuds to stick to your baking sheet, allowing them to roast more efficiently.
After boiling, chop the potatoes into your preferred size and shape. Toss with the oil and seasonings of your choice (salt and pepper is a classic go-to combo for a reason), then bake at 425°F for 20 minutes. Flip the potatoes, then return to the oven for 15-20 additional minutes until crispy and brown. Alternatively, you can use an air fryer instead of the oven.
It may sound like a lengthy process, but the time spent will be well worth it when you sink your teeth into the crispy exterior of your potatoes to the soft, cloud-like interior. Bonus tip: with the holidays coming just around the bend, these roasted potatoes make for a perfect Thanksgiving side dish!