As a Brit living in the USA, people always ask me how to make roast potatoes! You might think it's difficult, but making the best British roast potatoes is surprisingly simple. In this post I share all the tricks to making perfect crispy roast potatoes every time, in just a few easy steps.
The key to making English style roast potatoes is to ensure they are crispy on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside. The trick to this is parboiling the potatoes first and then giving them a rough up in the pan. This breaks the outer skin and ensures that crispy bite.
Despite being cooked in oil, the perfect roast potato should be in no way greasy. Getting both the roasting pan and cooking oil to a high temperature before you add the parboiled potatoes is key.
Any time I make these crispy roast potatoes, they are devoured by friends and family. Everyone loves them, although I do try and keep a few aside, as the leftovers are great the next day.
- What is so good about British roasties?
- British Roast Potatoes Ingredients
- How to Make British Roast Potatoes - Step-By-Step
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Variations & Substitutions for Crispy Roast Potatoes
- Tips & Tricks For Making Perfect Roast Potatoes
- Pin This Best British Roast Potatoes Recipe For Later
- What Do You Think?!
- More Easy Side Dish Recipe Ideas
- Printable Recipe
- Best British Roast Potatoes
- Reader Comments & Ratings
What is so good about British roasties?
- Not only do they taste great, but they are made with just a few simple ingredients most of you will already have in your kitchen.
- With an extra-crisp exterior and creamy inside, they really are the ultimate modern comfort food.
- Get ready for amazing results with minimal effort. These potatoes are the perfect side dish that will go with everything!
- These crispy roast potatoes will elevate any roast dinner!
British Roast Potatoes Ingredients
Find the full list and quantities in the recipe below.
What kind of potatoes are best for making Crispy Roast potatoes?
You need a potato that is going to crisp up but will also taste creamy on the inside.
In the USA I'd opt for Russets as they crisp up well but are fluffier on the inside. I also like to use Yukon Gold potatoes which go crispy but also have a creamy center.
In the UK, King Edward and Maris Pipers are favored and will also give great results.
What is the best oil for roasties?
You need to use an oil with a high smoke point. When it comes to vegetable based oils I like to use avocado oil. You can also use a mix of olive oil and another higher smoke point oil.
Yes I do use also goose fat, duck fat and beef fat (also called beef dripping) from time to time. This is a wonderful treat and makes super crispy Christmas roast potatoes. It also allows you to add flavor, depending on what else you are serving.
It is really important to season the potatoes properly using sea salt. Firstly you need to par boil to potatoes in salted water, then further sea salt is added to them before roasting in the oven.
I tend to keep my potatoes simple, I don't add any spices as they tend to burn and can become bitter in the very hot oil.
How to Make British Roast Potatoes - Step-By-Step
Find the full printable recipe below.
Preheat the oven and vegetable oil on a sheet pan.
Peel and cut large potatoes into rough 2 inch chunks. It doesn't matter if the shapes are rough and ready.
Bring to the boil in a large pot of cold salted water over a high heat and boil for 7 minutes. The potatoes won't be fully cooked.
Meanwhile place the oiled baking sheet in the oven. The oil should be smoking hot when the potatoes are added.
Drain the potatoes then allow them to steam dry for a couple of minutes. Give them a shake to rough up the edges then add them to the sizzling oil.
Carefully turn the potatoes to coat them in the hot oil then make sure they are evenly spaced in a single layer. Season well with sea salt.
Bake for around 50 minutes turning once with large metal spatula or until golden brown and crispy.
Serve tossed with fresh rosemary if you choose.
Frequently Asked Questions
How big should you cut the potato pieces?
Be careful not to cut British roast potatoes too small. The reason they're so good is the contrast between the crispy exterior and the creamy interior.
Is it necessary to parboil potatoes before roasting them?
Yes! Parboiling the potatoes not only give them a head-start but also breaks down their surfaces, creating added surface area for maximum crunch.
How much roast potato should I serve per person?
Roast potatoes are usually served as part of a larger meal. I usually plan on one medium potato per person (cut into pieces), which is around ⅓ pound or 150g.
Variations & Substitutions for Crispy Roast Potatoes
You can also make British roast potatoes in an Air Fryer. Just ensure you get it nice and hot as roast potatoes need a high roasting temperature.
If you want crispy roast potatoes but are pushed for time, I suggest cutting the potatoes into smaller pieces, that way they will cook quicker. But not too small, as you want that lovely soft and fluffy center.
I have added fresh rosemary to the potatoes before serving, but you could also add other herbs like a sprig or two of fresh thyme or freshly chopped parsley.
For added flavor, fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme and garlic can also be added to the potatoes while they are cooking, then discarded before serving. Just leave the skin on the garlic and crush it, this will stop the garlic from burning in the hot oil.
Tips & Tricks For Making Perfect Roast Potatoes
Here are my 5 tricks for crispy roast potatoes:
- Parboil the potatoes first.
- Shake the potatoes so the surface breaks up a little.
- Always use a hot oven.
- Preheat the fat in the oven before you add the potatoes.
- Turn the potatoes during the cook to ensure the potatoes crisp up.
How To Serve British Roast Potatoes
English roast potatoes are a key component of any traditional Sunday roast. They go perfectly with roast beef; chicken; lamb or pork.
They also work perfectly with a Thanksgiving or Christmas Roast Turkey.
If you want to go for the full British experience try making homemade Yorkshire Puddings. Chloe from Feast Glorious Feast has you covered with her Proper Yorkshire Puddings.
Can you reheat roast potatoes?
Yes and I do this all the time! The best way to reheat roast potatoes is in the oven at 400F for around 20 minutes.
You can also heat them up in the Air Fryer or microwave, although the microwave doesn't crisp up the outside in the same way.
Can you freeze roast potatoes?
Yes, place into an airtight container in a single layer to stop them sticking together. Place in the freezer and store for 3-4 months. When ready to serve you can either defrost them or place them straight into a hot oven from frozen.
Pin This Best British Roast Potatoes Recipe For Later
What Do You Think?!
I'd love to know what you think about this recipe! I'd be so grateful if you scroll down to the bottom of the page and leave a star rating and comment.
More Easy Side Dish Recipe Ideas
Best British Roast Potatoes
- 3 lbs Potatoes - look for large potatoes
- 3 tbsp Vegetable Oil - I like to use avocado
- 1 tsp Sea Salt - plus more for seasoning
- 2 sprigs Rosemary - optional to serve
- Preheat the oven to 425ºF/210ºC
- Peel and cut the potatoes into even pieces. The pieces should be around 2 inches square but don't worry if the shapes are uneven.
- Place in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Add 1 teaspoon of sea-salt to the water and bring to the boil over a high heat.
- Boil for 7 minutes.
- While the water is coming up to the boil, add the oil to the baking sheet and place in the oven to preheat. The oil needs to be sizzling hot when you add the potatoes.
- Drain the potatoes in a colander and let them sit and release their steam for a couple minutes to get rid of any excess water.
- Tip the potatoes back into the saucepan and shake well to rough up the edges. This will help them crisp up.
- Next carefully take the sheet pan out of the oven and add the parboiled potatoes to the hot oil.
- Turn to coat them in the oil then make sure they are evenly spaced in a single layer. Be careful not to splash yourself with hot oil.
- Season well with sea salt.
- Bake for 25 minutes, turning once with large metal spatula.
- Roast for a further 25 minutes or until potatoes and golden brown and crispy.
- Serve tossed with fresh rosemary if you choose.