Foolproof Crispy Roast Potatoes

Crispy Roast Potatoes guaranteed everytime with this technique.

If you Google ‘why are my roast potatoes not’…. Google will autosuggest the word crispy. So that seems to be what many home cooks have trouble with.

English Roasted potatoes are parboiled and then roughened up on the outside so the rough edges will crisp up in their oil coating. This approach goes one step further.

Browned crispy English Roasted Potatoes fresh from the oven.
English Roasted Potatoes

With these you parboil the potatoes and leave a couple of chunks in the water to become fully cooked. Set the remaining potatoes aside to cool. Reserve a 1/2 cup or so of the potato boiling water and drain the remainder. Mash or rice the fully cooked potatoes mixing in just enough potato water to make a paste or really thick batter.

You are going to coat the potatoes with this paste and cool overnight. I think this helps set the coating. And… here you have another make ahead recipe! How good to get all that prepped and out of the way so you just have to pop them in the oven the day you want to serve them!

I have not tried going on to roast them immediately after coating. Let me know if you try it!

A little oil in the bottom of your baking pan, roast in a hot oven and flip halfway. Perfect potatoes every time!

Crispy, roasted, whole potatoes on a serving plate.

Foolproof Crispy Roast Potatoes

Prepare these the day before for easy entertaining.
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Sides
Cuisine: British
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
Resting time: 8 hours
Total Time: 9 hours 55 minutes
Servings: 6 servings


  • 8 large Russet potatoes peeled and halve 2 of them
  • 1 Tsp salt for seasoning
  • vegetable oil for baking pan


  • Add potatoes to a large pot. Almost cover potatoes with salted water. Bring potatoes to a boil. Boil about 20 minutes. Check the whole potatoes. You want them to be fork tender. Do not over cook. Allow more boiling time if they are still hard.
  • When whole potatoes are fork tender, remove all but the 4 halves of potatoes and set aside to cool. Continue to cook the remaining 4 chunks until they are very well done.
  • Reserve 1 cup of the potato water (you may not need it all). Drain the 4 chunks and mash or rice them finely. Add as much of the potato water as necessary to make a thick paste.
  • When the par boiled potatoes are cool enough to handle, roll them in the paste to cover completely. You may want to use your hands to form the paste around the whole potatoes. Transfer coated potatoes to a parchment lined tray and refrigerate overnight.
  • The next day preheat oven to 350°. Add a splash of vegetable oil to the bottom of a baking dish. Heat the pan in the oven and when oil is sizzling hot carefully add the potatoes in a single layer and turn them carefull to coat with oil.
  • Lightly season with salt if desired and roast undisturbed for 40 minutes. Turn the potatoes, increase the oven to 400°. Roast a further 10 – 12 minutes, turn the potatoes again and roast a further 10 – 12 minutes or so until they are golden all over. (Check potatoes at 400° after 10 minutes. If they are golden go with the shorter roasting time.)
  • Transfer to a platter and serve.


Calories: 409kcal | Carbohydrates: 89g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 412mg | Potassium: 2052mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 5IU | Vitamin C: 28mg | Calcium: 64mg | Iron: 4mg
Foolproof Crispy Roast Potatoes

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