How to Make Perfect Roast Potatoes




Introduction: How to Make Perfect Roast Potatoes

About: Inventor and Emergency Doctor.

In this Instructable I will show you how to make perfect roast potatoes. Becca loves roast potatoes so I like making them so she can try them out. I always make them this way and find it reliably gives amazing roast potatoes every time.

Know your ingredients! Whenever you cook it is always worth using ingredients you know and love. This means that when you cook for others on a special occasion you already know what you are doing and can adapt if you need to.

Difficulty; easy peasy.

Time; depends on oven; 1 hour for fan-assisted, 2 hours for conventional or Aga.

Step 1: You Will Need

Decent potatoes. The red varieties tend to better for roasting. There were four of us for dinner so I did three each and one extra in case someone was hungry.

Olive oil.

Vegetable oil.



Step 2: Bring a Large Pan of Water to the Boil

Bring a large pan of water to the boil.

Step 3: Peel the Potatoes

This is the bit you need to find a willing volunteer for. Peel the potatoes and cut them into the size you want them. Whether they are small or large try to make them all about the same size so they cook with an even colour. If there is a large difference in size some of the smallest will be burning when the larger ones are still hard in the middle.

Step 4: Preboil the Potatoes

This is the bit I never used to bother with but it makes a huge difference to the texture of your potatoes. Put the peeled, chopped potatoes into a pan of boiling water and bring to the boil. Simmer for five minutes, stirring occasionally. Other recipes suggest simmering for ten minutes and don't suggest stirring; I found the potatoes at the bottom turned to mash when the ones at the top were still hard.

Drain the potatoes, either by putting the lid on and tipping the water into the sink, (be careful!) or in a colander (safer but makes more washing up). If you use a colander put the potatoes back into the pan, put the lid on and shake vigorously for 3-4 seconds as shown in the video. This breaks the corners down and creates a good crispy coating.

REMEMBER; you can always shake more but you can't unshake them. Bit like life really.

Step 5: Put in Pan and Add Oil

Add them to your choicest roasting tray and add the oil. For these thirteen potatoes I used 3 tablespoons of olive oil and three of vegetable oil. Combining the two improves the crispiness of the potatoes.

Step 6: Add Salt and Pepper and Stir, Roast Until Golden

Add salt and pepper to taste and gently stir the potatoes in the oil, making sure they are all coated. If you have a fan oven cook at 200 degrees centigrade for an hour, turning a couple of times or until beautifully golden brown. I cook mine in the Aga for 2-3 hours, depending on how loaded it is. If there's just the potatoes in there and it's turned up high it would probably do them in an hour but if I am doing a ten item roast I might need to allow 2-3 hours so that all the items are ready at the same time. Preheat the serving bowl if you are going to serve the potatoes on the table.

Serve with chicken, beef or nut roast and vegetables. Take time over the gravy; I might share my gravy recipe with you if you are lucky...



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20 Discussions

In your instructable you state to add the potatoes to the pot of boiling water and bring to a boil, so is it bring the water to a boil before adding the potatoes, or after?

Great photos that result in literal mouth watering. Nicely done! :)

1 reply

Excellent work, I make my roasties pretty much the same way. The 5 minutes in boiling water and the shaking about before they go in the oven is where the magic happens. I'll have to try the combining of the oils though, I usually use duck or goose fat.

Now what I really need is that gravy recipe..

1 reply

I have seen some recipes which recommend 10 mins preboil but I find this is too long and you end up with 10% mashed potato. It is worth giving the potatoes a gentle stir a couple of times so they heat evenly.

I add lots of salt to the water when parboiling- the potatoes absorb it and they get seasoned inside. I also add a few sprigs fresh rosemary- again flavour absorbed into the potatoes (throw away before roasting). When shaking up, I add course semolina - give extra crunch. And use goose fat rather than veg oil.

1 reply

Good idea! Goose fat is traditional but is a matter of taste; I prefer the crisp you get from vegetable oils, we are also on a reduced dairy diet!


5 months ago

Using oil and not a delicious grass-fed butter seems almost criminal.

But these look great.

1 reply

This is a matter of taste; I prefer the crisp you get from vegetable oils, we are also on a reduced dairy diet!

thanks for you instuction those potatos I will enjoy ,may I offer an alternative seasoning

American chip spice or Australian chicken salt

either lifts any meal

If I have offended please delete my comment

1 reply

The more variations the better! I kept it simple so people can add their own variations.

And/or garlic!

Seriously outstanding recipe!!! Thanks for the posting, and I will be trying this later, as we love entertaining.

1 reply

Thanks! Hope everyone enjoys them! In our family the roast potatoes are the most important part of the dinner.

Marvellous! This is how I do them and never had a complaint. Interesting to combine the oils, I'll try this. Also, if I'm cooking a roast in the Weber kettle I place the spuds under it, they get the added flavour of the roast.

1 reply

I find that a 50:50 combination of vegetable oil and olive improves the crispiness of the potatoes. I will add this to the recipe.