Queen’s chef shares trick to make crispy roast potatoes with extra crunch

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Roast potatoes are a part of a traditional roast dinner along with vegetables and Yorkshire puddings. With Easter coming up this weekend, a chef has shared how to get flavoursome and crispy roasties – and he’s cooked for the Queen.

Roast potatoes have been a part of a traditional roast dinner for several years. 

Nowadays, there are many ways to cook roasties, and you can even buy pre-cut ones as well as frozen.

While there are many ways to cook them, it can be hard to achieve the perfect crunch on the outside as well as the light and fluffy texture on the inside

Although, they tend to hold more flavour when homemade.

Expert Jeff Baker, Executive Development Chef at Farmison & Co, has shared top tips on how to perfect your roasties.

The chef, who has cooked for the Queen, explained: “It may sound obvious, but having fresh potatoes to make roasties is the first step to perfection.

“You should never try to use old potatoes when cooking as they could be rotten which is sure to make you very, very ill. 

“When you buy your potatoes, you should inspect them for any signs of damage and then place the perfect potatoes in a cardboard box or paper bag – this ensures the best ventilation. 

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“To store, put your potatoes in a cool and dark place that is approximately 45 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure to check your potatoes whilst they are being stored, as they may become soft and shrivelled and will, therefore, need to be thrown away.”

There are many different potatoes on supermarket shelves these days but according to the expert there are perfect ones for roasting

He said: “By choosing the best potato for the job you can ensure that you will get the gorgeous crispy edges and fluffy middle that we all dream of. 

“I would recommend King Edwards or Maris Pipers. However, your standard white potatoes will also work, you just may need to give them a good shake in a sieve after par-boiling to fluff them up.”

Fluffing them up before cooking will help them to crisp up in the oven.

Jeff added: “A mistake can be made in trying to crisp up your potatoes by almost drowning them in oil, leaving them burnt on the outside and undercooked on the inside. 

“This is why it is important to fluff up your potatoes before roasting by partially boiling or using my preferred method of steaming. 

“You can parboil your spuds for ten minutes in salted water or steam for 15 minutes (depending on the size of the potatoes). Be sure to allow your potatoes to dry and cool slightly before roasting.”

Although Britons will be having a smaller gathering to those in previous years, potato lovers need to make sure that they are using a dish big enough to give them space.

The royal chef explained: “If you’re making more than usual, several trays are recommended instead of forcing them all on one tray. 

“This is because the potatoes need the space to crisp up in the oil or you run the risk of them becoming soggy as they sit in the oil. 

“So make sure that you grab an extra roasting tray or two so that all your hard work does not go to waste!”

How long to cook the roast potatoes for all depends on how you like to eat them.

Those who like extra crispy roasts should cook them for longer but the expert recommends cooking them for at least 30 minutes.

He said: “I would recommend at least 30 minutes at 200 degrees whilst checking every 10-15 minutes and giving them a shake to increase the crispiness.

“If you are still unsure after the 30 minutes, take a potato out and give it a try. Not only can you check whether they are ready but you get first dibs on the crispiest roasties.” 

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