Hot, crispy roast potatoes normally have very short lifespans. By the end of a good meal, the only evidence of their existence is the mouth-watering aroma still wafting around the table and the cheeky family member with his fingers in the dish trying to scrape out the last crunchy bits!
But if dinner is delayed or there are leftovers, is there any way to keep those roast potatoes crispy?
Roast potatoes can be kept crispy when a meal has been delayed or even when leftovers are served at the next meal. For slight delays in a meal, the potatoes can be left in the oven at a low temperature. To reheat cold potatoes, one can broil them for a short while, taking care not to burn them.
The flawless roast potato is golden and crunchy on the outside, not too oily or too dry, and soft, white, and fluffy on the inside. When tastebuds are on high alert for that delectable meal, the roast potatoes need to be the crowning glory, not an anti-climax because they’ve lost their crunchiness.
It is entirely possible to make those crispy spuds and to keep them that way, as you will see.
Keeping Roast Potatoes Crispy After Cooking
Ideally, roast potatoes should be served immediately after cooking, but 9 times out of 10, there are reasons why the timing doesn’t coincide. Guest are late, other food takes longer than anticipated, or you have to take the potatoes wherever you are eating.
Life happens, and even the most perfect specimens will soften as they cool down.
Keeping Potatoes Crispy After a Short Delay
If your potatoes have only stood for a short time but aren’t as crispy as you would like them to be, all that needs to be done is broil them for 2 or 3 minutes. Pop them onto a baking sheet under a hot broiler and leave them for a few minutes until they turn golden and crispy on the outside.
Now would be a bad time to multitask because you do not want to make a burned offering out of your potatoes.
Crispy Potatoes with a Longer Delay
If you plan to serve your roast potatoes an hour or two later, you can keep them in the oven with the temperature turned down to its lowest setting. They must be served within this period, though, or they will be dry and tasteless.
Reheating and Crisping Leftover Potatoes
In the rare event that you have potatoes left from a previous meal or whether you’ve cooked them in advance, allow them to cool down to room temperature and then pop them into a sealed container or plastic bag. Put them in the fridge within 2 hours of taking them out of the oven.
When you are ready to reheat your potatoes, don’t despair when you see that they’re soggy – it comes with being refrigerated. Set your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and lay your potatoes on a baking tray.
Cover the tray with foil and roast the potatoes for 10-15 minutes. Take off the foil and roast them for another 5 minutes until they are crispy.
Tips for Making the Perfect Roast Potato
If you are going to the trouble of putting roast potatoes on the menu, then it is worth trying for perfection. Here are some tips for making irresistible spuds:
- Dinner and guests should be ready when the potatoes come out of the oven. Although it is possible to reheat and re-crisp, the perfect potato should not require it.
- Not all roast potatoes are created equal – a floury and dry potato is better than a waxy one.
- The best specimens come from potatoes about the size of an avocado, with a more cylindrical shape that can be cut into about 8 pieces.
- Flat pieces roast well, with corners and edges becoming crispy.
- Run cold water over the potatoes for about 5 minutes until it turns milky – this is the starch coming out. Afterward, the water will run clear.
- Put the potatoes straight into boiling water and cook until they are almost ready to break up.
- Use a slotted spoon to move them over into a colander and let them dry out.
- Cracks will form if the potatoes are cooked enough. If not, use a fork to roughen them up.
- The crispiness comes from fat going into the cracks of the potato, and animal fat works very well for this purpose.
- Don’t be shy with the oil or fat. It needs to seep into all the little cracks to crisp up. You can turn the potatoes 2 or 3 times while cooking.
- You can season them after cooking.
Things That Go Wrong with Roast Potatoes
Roast potatoes don’t require a recipe. It’s a vegetable and oil or fat, so what could go wrong? There are a few things that could make them go pear-shaped.
Soggy Roast Potatoes
Potatoes can become soggy for a few reasons:
- You haven’t fully cooked off the potato’s water content. Each type of potato has a different percentage of water. Russets are great for fries and roast potatoes – they retain their crispiness once the water has cooked out.
- Potatoes can also soak up excess oil and become soggy.
- You must dry the potatoes well before adding the oil or fat. Too much water will increase the roasting time, and this could make your spuds soggy.
Dry Roast Potatoes
Strangely, there is an optimal size range that affects the dryness of the roast potatoes. Chefs recommend that potato pieces be cut ¾ inch or larger.
If they are smaller than this, they could cook too quickly, and this would leave you with a dried-out roast potato. If chunks are too large, the lack of cut surfaces upsets the delightful mixture of fluffy interior and crispy crust.
Potatoes Can Be Frozen
Did you know that one can freeze ready-cooked potatoes? Pop them onto a baking sheet, ensuring they don’t touch each other, and put them into the freezer.
When the potatoes are hard, place them in a sealed container or freezer bag. You can defrost overnight in the fridge and reheat them the following day, crisping them up to finish off that special meal.
Roast potatoes are a favorite worldwide, especially when they are hot, crispy, and in excess! Keeping them crispy should always be a priority. Playing with the heat, the timing and, choosing the right type of potato can go a long way to serving those crispy, fluffy bits of heaven at your next dinner party.