Roast Potatoes
Roast Potatoes

Golden and crisp on the outside and soft in the middle, roast potatoes can be the highlight of a roast dinner.

However, potatoes do not always come out of the oven this way – failing to crisp, change colour, or still being hard on the inside.

Try this method for more consistent results.

Watch How To Make Roast Potatoes

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Roast Potatoes
How to roast potatoes

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Roast potatoes can be the highlight of a Sunday lunch, but they do not always come out of the oven the way you would like. The ideal being a crispy golden colour on the outside and soft flesh within.

There are many methods for the perfect roastie, but I think the most important factor is not the method at all, but the choice of potato. Some varieties are much easier to roast than others. My favourite variety is a pink skinned potato called Desiree. The middle softens naturally during cooking, whilst the outside turns a perfect yellow gold colour. It is easy to grow, but the variety is also readily available from the shops too.

Start by peeling the potatoes. During peeling, I place the peeled potatoes in a bowl of water to help keep them clean.

Once all the potatoes are peeled, drain them in a colander and rinse them through with cold water. Now is the time to cut them to size. Small potatoes don’t need cutting, whilst larger potatoes can be cut into halves or thirds.

Place the potatoes in a saucepan filled with cold water, move to the hob, and bring to the boil over a high heat. This will take around 10 to 15 minutes.

As soon as the potatoes start to boil, remove from the heat and drain. Some recipes suggest simmering the potatoes for a few minutes. I don’t like to do this as the potatoes can start to fall apart. Also, I find there is no need to rough them up with a fork.

Leave the potatoes for a minute or two to allow the water to steam off.

They are now ready for the roasting tray. Tip them inside the tray and cover with lashings of oil – but there is no need for the potatoes to be swimming in it. At this stage I grate over some salt, and toss the potatoes so that they are covered all over in salty oil.

My favourite oil for roasting is rapeseed oil. I like its good reviews for its health benefits, and it does roast potatoes well.

The potatoes need to roast for 50 minutes in total. This is divided into three parts. The first two periods are 20 minutes each in a fan oven set to 180 degrees C, turning the potatoes at the end of each period. The turning helps keep the potatoes covered in oil, which helps the skin to turn an even golden colour.

During this time, the potatoes can be cooked underneath the meat or vegetarian loaf.

However, for the final 10 minutes I turn the oven up to 210 degrees and remove anything cooking above them. This final hot blast in the oven helps crisp up the potatoes and deepen their colour.

If cooking meat, I spoon over the roasting juices just before placing them back in the oven for the final 10 minutes.

Serve straight away. If any potatoes are left over, they can be reheated the next day in a dry frying pan over a medium heat. They will cook in the oil already contained in the skin of the potatoes. Enjoy!

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