Roasted vegetables are the cream of the crop when it comes to vegetable preparation. There’s no easier and more delicious way to sneak veggies into your diet than with golden, crispy, and caramelized veggies. Nevertheless, it’s disappointing when your sheet pan full of vegetables comes out of the oven less crispy than expected.
Roasting vegetables isn’t a high-maintenance endeavor, but sometimes you don’t get the desired results even if you think you did everything right. And with Thanksgiving right around the corner, avoiding limp and soggy vegetables will help you make this side dish the star of the show.
An opulent roasted vegetable medley bursting with crispy Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, red onions, and carrots sounds divine, but how do you ensure it has the right amount of crunch? Cookbook author Carolynn Carreño has the answer, and it’s all about where you place your sheet pan in the oven.
No More Soggy Veggies
Carreño claimed she’s cracked the code on roasting vegetables perfectly and uniformly every time. Instead of using the wire racks as you normally would, Carreño suggested setting the roasting pan on the oven floor. Although slightly unconventional, she shared this simple tip she learned from a fellow chef in her cookbook Bowls of Plenty.
According to Carreño, this method consistently yields ultra-crispy vegetables due to the direct and constant heat. “The oven floor provides the hottest, most even. and direct heat possible,” she explained. “Which means you can get your vegetables nice and caramelized without overcooking them.”
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For best results, Carreño recommended placing the sheet pan on the oven floor and setting the oven to 500°F for 20 minutes, as well as flipping the veggies halfway through. However, she also warned roasted veggie enthusiasts to scope out their individual oven situations before trying this hack.
Prior to placing anything on the bottom of your oven, Carreño suggested making sure your oven is capable of handling the weight of the pan. If you can’t find physical oven instructions, you can search for them online or even contact the manufacturer. In addition, Carreño recommended starting out with a smaller batch of vegetables.
If you’re not comfortable placing your sheet pan on the bottom of the oven, an alternative method is to place a wire rack on the lowest rung. If you have a pizza stone, you could also allow it to heat on the lowest rack for about an hour, then place your sheet pan with the veggies on top. Similarly crispy results will be achieved with any of these techniques.
Finally, in order to get the most caramelized vegetables, Carreño recommended not lining your baking sheet with parchment paper or foil and instead putting your veggies directly on the sheet. For even crunchier results, try placing your sheet pan in the oven while it preheats.