how to get crispy roasted potatoes

Skip right to the recipe. (I totally think you should read the post though)

Sometimes I worry for the children of today.  Curled up on their couches, tablets in hand, spending hours on end texting friends like BiglipsKylie1765499 and Gah!Gah!RainbowSprinkles,  while they could be doing far more meaningful and interesting things.  Like playing Tetris.  But they don’t.  They click and swipe and selfie.  They have thousands of apps to be entertained by without having to move anything more than a thumb and possibly 3.4 brain cells.

When we were kids you know what we played with?  A potato.  A f*cking potato.  We’d shove a nose on it and maybe a set of ears if we could find both of them and we PLAYED WITH A F*CKING POTATO.  And we the potato players grew up to be Steve Jobs and Stephen Hawking and Bjork.  BJORK!  She wore a ridiculous cosplay Swan costume to the Oscars before cosplay was even invented and she looked like an idiot but she also looked like someone with at least a modicum of imagination.  You know what today’s kids are going to wear to the Oscars when they grow up??!  Probably something pretty cool they found online but STILL, you get my point.

We developed imagination, and resilience, and night terrors about vegetables with faces.  All because of that one toy.   We. Kick. Ass.

We also love potatoes.

how to get crispy roasted potatoes

Roasted potatoes seem like an easy thing to make but in reality it’s really hard to make them well. You want them crispy on the outside and light and fluffy on the inside. The light and fluffy isn’t too difficult but getting potatoes crispy by roasting them is actually kindda hard.

The first thing you have to do is:

  1.  Cut the potatoes.  It’s the cut part that’ll get crispy, not the skin.

This means you’ll get crispier potatoes if you take a large potato and cut it into chunks.  Smaller potatoes (like these I’ve used) that only get cut in half only have one cut side to get crispy. Whereas a large potato that you’ve cut into chunks often has 3 or even 4 sides without skin that’ll get nice and crispy.  I learned that little trick from a Heston Blumenthal recipe.

how to get crispy roasted potatoes

2.  Boil the potatoes with salt and baking soda to cook them.

The salt adds flavour and the baking soda helps break down the potatoes which is what you want. I learned that little trick from a Serious Eats recipe.

3.  Drain the potatoes then transfer them back to the pot with some olive oil or my favourite … duck fat.  The residual heat in the pot/pan will melt the fat.  Duck fat gets potatoes crispier than anything else I’ve tried.  Now shake the pan.  Shake it and shake it and shake it.  You can use a spoon to stir it all as well.  You want to create kind of a potato slurry that coats the potatoes.   THIS is the stuff that’ll get crispy.   At the very least you want to rough up the cut surfaces of the potatoes.  A flat clean surface won’t get crispy, a roughed up, bumpy surface will.  If you potatoes absolutely will NOT rough up, run a fork over them.

how to get crispy roasted potatoes

4.  Pop the potatoes into a 425 degree oven. I like using a cast iron skillet for the boiling portion so I can put it directly in the oven and only dirty one dish.  Stir the potatoes around every so often.  When the potatoes are crispy they’re done.  Depending on the size of the potato chunks this can be anywhere from 15 – 30 minutes.

*** Do NOT add salt to the potatoes before roasting them.  Salt draws moisture out and you want the potatoes to stay as waterless as possible.  This is true of most roasted vegetables.  Add your salt at the end.***


Mustard dill sauce

5.  Meanwhile, make your grainy mustard dill sauce.

Mix together equal parts mayonnaise, grainy dijon mustard and dill weed.

Crispy roasted potatoes with dill sauce

6.  When the potatoes are done and immediately prior to serving toss the potatoes in the sauce.


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Author: The Art of Doing Stuff


  • Potatoes
  • Baking Soda
  • Salt
  • Mayonnaise
  • Grainy Dijon Mustard
  • Fresh Dill chopped with some reserved for garnish.


  • Preheat oven to 425.
  • Cut potatoes into chunks so there are as many cut surfaces as possible.
  • Boil potatoes in water with salt and 1 tsp. baking soda.
  • Drain potatoes when they're easily pierced with a fork.
  • Return potatoes to pan and add 1-2 Tablespoons of olive oil or duck fat.
  • Swirl and shake the pan to rough the potatoes up.
  • Put in 425 degree oven, stirring occasionally until done. (15-30 minutes)
  • Mix together equal parts mayonnaise, grainy dijon mustard and fresh dill.
  • Remove potatoes from oven and toss in dill sauce. Sprinkle with reserved fresh dill.

You can increase or decrease the amount of mustard depending on how tangy you want the potatoes.

And since these are potatoes and they might trigger certain memories, feel free to play with your food.


  1. That Guy says:

    Krazzee K! Great plan with the potatoes. Turns it into a no fail, although I was not aware of your fondness for spudlingers. I figured the resmblance of my cranium to an Idaho Russett was a drawback. Unrelated, found one of Savannah’s legs in the freezer. Any thoughts as to utilizing a ten year frozen goat leg in combo with crispy taters?

  2. Alice says:

    Made these tonight — not sure what the problem was; they never crisped up (although some of the slurry that detached itself from the potatoes and attached itself to the skillet did). Still tasted delicious, but cooked way longer than 30 minutes with no luck. Maybe I shouldn’t have stirred them (which I did perhaps every 5-10 minutes)…maybe I should have drained them more thoroughly — any more suggestions?

    Btw, added a little freshly ground pepper and fresh time leaves before roasting.

    • Karen says:

      Hmm. I’m not sure what could have gone wrong Alice. What did you use as an oil? And what kind of pan did you cook them in? ~ karen!

      • Alice says:

        Olive oil (2 Tbsp, plus more later, when I noticed they weren’t crisping up), cast iron skillet. I will try draining them more thoroughly.

        And of course it was *thyme*, not *time* leaves (although I wish I could find some of those!).

  3. Nicole says:

    Actually, the good news is that there are less abductions, etc. than there used to be. The difference is that we now know about every one of them even if they are in another state so it seems like more.

    Send those children outside! Be careful, though, or an overzealous neighbor will call the police if your little darlings are all alone in the park even though they are 10yo! Then you’ll be accused of being a “free-range” parent. lol

  4. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    Fresh dill is a wonderful thing!

  5. Tracie Berry says:

    Well, who would have thought I would learn lessons about roasting potatoes?! I knew most of it, but there are some damn fine tips here, thank you Karen! I have been a bit absent lately, due to relocating, and lots of changes. For the good. But I’m back, and ready to dive in to some great posts that I’ve either missed or merely skimmed due to lack of time. So I will be very busy going back to your time at Lynne’s tree house, and drooling over the pics. You and Lynne are really the only bloggers I follow these days, so it’s so awesome that you made it over there. What I wouldn’t give!!

  6. Dale R Lacina says:

    1. Preheat oven to 425.
    Why do all recipes start with this?
    Especially when you yet have to boil potatoes for 10-15 minutes AFTER getting it to a boil. THEN we put it in that oven for another 15 – 30 minutes.
    So we are standing in our AC kitchens for 55 or so minutes with the oven at 425 degrees.
    So much for fighting Global Warming!!!!!!

  7. Kristina says:

    Have you ever tried making these in a grill pan on the BBQ? It’s about eleventy-one here in Central California today (not kidding), and the thought of turning on the oven makes me kinda queasy, but I feel like I need these in my life right now.

  8. Elen G says:

    Smacks lips. Falls down. The end.

  9. Josephine says:

    I suggest that lady with the chicken carcass take some of the meat and make the Best Curry Chicken Salad You’ll Ever Eat recipe of yours. I made it a couple weeks ago and wondered how it would taste with your homemade mayo recipe. Probably amazing because that really is the best chicken salad recipe!

  10. Alena says:

    You forgot to explain where to get some duck fat. Unless you suggest I keep a duck in my back yard to slaughter it when it’s fat enough. That would not work too well because I would get attached to the duck and probably move it to the house to live with me. In which case I would not be able to kill it.
    I have not roasted a duck in ages (although I promised my neighbours that I will invite them for a roasted duck with red cabbage and dumplings (and a lotta beer, of course). Maybe for Thanksgiving, because I don’t like to turn the oven on in summer.

    Your potatoes look delish but I am not into grainy dijon at all. I make my roasted potatoes in a remoska (I, too, prefer to dirty only one dish). I brush the remoska with a bit of avocado oil (I stopped using olive oil and I use avocado oil for everything), place raw potatoes cut into about 1 cm thick slices in there (as many as I can fit in there in a single layer), and I also brush the potatoes with a bit of oil. I put the lid on, turn it on and I walk away for about 40 minutes.
    The potatoes are very crispy by then so I remove them and combine them on the plate with lots of crushed garlic. A glass of milk and dinner is ready. This is my ultimate comfort food and I always, I mean ALWAYS, lick the plate.

    • Sherri says:

      Oh, dear. That thing where you misread something and get to laughing about it.
      I did not read I have not roasted a duck in ages(…………….
      I read- I have not trusted a duck in ages- then proceeded to wonder why you would invite them to dinner. 102 degrees and not enough fluids, I guess.

  11. Mary W says:

    I have nothing in this house to eat at the moment. Your post has me drooling and I have nothing to eat. So, I poured a bowl of wheat chex, added milk and am drinking water while pretending that I’ve just dropped in to visit you and are nibbling bits of crunchy tater bites. Your driving me crazy with the yummy food posts and I sure didn’t have far to go.

  12. Patti says:

    crispy tatties….the family loves them! and the cast iron pan can go on the bbQ without a worry! I will have to give the dill sauce a try!

  13. Meredith says:

    I’ve made a similar recipe where I’ve done the parboil and fluffing up before hand AND THEN, put them under a chicken to roast at 450, so they are roasting in chicken fat! They were big potatoes sliced into one inch thick slices. OMG they were good. Served with that beautiful crispy crackley chicken skin, and a little dijon for everything. So very bad for you, but seriously good.

  14. Eileen says:

    well, these certainly make last night’s sort of crispy ‘taters seem like a dismal failure…now I know better!
    Love Teri’s story of cooking in a heatwave…ask me about the scratchy wool knitting I’ve been doing all through July’s heat and humidity. : /

  15. Laurie says:

    I saw this same tip on a Jamie Oliver Christmas special. He also recommended duck fat, but he tossed the potatoes in a colander to get that slurry. He said it should almost look like they’re covered in sugar. It dirties another dish, but it works every time!

  16. deb says:

    Duck fat is indeed the bomb, but hard to find around here. So I keep a jar of bacon fat drippings in the fridge and truly, that works as well. Texture is the same, makes the same sort of slurry Karen talks about, doesn’t get sucked in like oil would, and potatoes are divinely crispy. So don’t hesitate to make this just because you can’t find duck fat.

  17. Sandy says:

    Sounds yummy.

  18. Carrie says:

    Hmmmmmm, I think everyone should take all devices away for at least 1-2 hours and make their children go OUT and “play” and actually verbally communicate with others/friends!
    I know its a different time and there’s a lot more freaking crazies out there but there has to be some kind of balance! The more I see, this generation has no social skills whatsoever! Its sad.
    Now back to those yummy potatoes of yours! Thank you for the baking soda tip. Neat! I see the colors of your potatoes. Are they ones you grew?? The purple are so delicious!
    I agree with the use of pan. Nothing better than a well seasoned cast iron pan.
    Now to go get some grainy mustard!😀👍

    • Nicole says:

      Actually, the good news is that there are less abductions, etc. than there used to be. The difference is that we now know about every one of them even if they are in another state so it seems like more.

      Send those children outside! Be careful, though, or an overzealous neighbor will call the police if your little darlings are all alone in the park even though they are 10yo! Then you’ll be accused of being a “free-range” parent. lol

  19. Ev Wilcox says:

    Going to try getting these past Mr. Picky-they sound tasty! Thanks Karen.

  20. Lori A. says:

    These look wonderful!

  21. Ritz says:

    F*%#@ ing Fabulous Food Shots! I’ll bet the recipe is good, too!

  22. Teri says:

    ARGHHHHH. One day too late, Karen!!!!!!
    I had one last chicken in the “freezer from gone-away boyfriend”…. however it was a chicken specifically grown on Sweet Maggie’s Farm (my farm) to be put in the freezer – meaning that I could thaw, sprinkle with poultry seasoning, and – on the hottest day on record in Cowichan Bay – (wait until Thursday when today will look like an igloo) I decided to roast the sucker.
    OK, now I know why you folk from hot country think that running an oven from June to September is a sin.
    Then, after s/he was in the oven I realized that a loving mom would provide veggies so I chopped potatoes, onions, carrots and celery (does it SOUND or FEEL like January here? NO!!!) and piled them around the chicken. Too late, as the chicken (via the thermomememterithing) was already done.
    I eventually stuffed some tongs into the chicken and transferred him/her to a tray. then dumped the mixed veg back into the roaster. Put the oven up to 450. Covered said cooked hen/rooster for 30 minutes until I figured it was set (and #2 son had to go to work ) so it was partially dismembered.
    Meanwhile, the Veggies went into the roaster and did their thing, so #2 got a chicken and roast veggie dinner on August 1.
    The plan, you see, is to have leftovers and disguise chicken for daughter #1 into a chicken caesar salad. Which actually worked. Protein and Veggies into a kid? awesome.

    Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the mixed veggies are supposedly roasting but are 1/4 inch deep in chicken drippings and a few bits of leftover chicken broth basting liquid. In the chicken roasting pan (where is the crispy coming from?).
    While the chicken sat covered to ‘set the juices’ (Whaaaa?). R
    oasting veggies in a leftover roasting pan won’t produce the crispy (I LOVE crispy) but will produce some maighty fine veggies. Feasted.
    Now, at close to 10 PM {PT} I am going to attempt to take the remaining Chicken Carcass and make things that teenagers think are instant foods.
    Tell me I am not crazy.
    I should have just chopped up a buncha potatas, rolled them in oil, and baked until they were at MY level of crispy…
    and Now I Get To Tear The Carcass Apart. lucky me

    • judy says:

      this was hilarious! you are Karens sister from anotha motha………

    • Karen says:

      What a perfect, quick, easy summertime meal. ;) ~ karen!

      • Teri says:

        #2 son came home from work at 8 PM, starving again.
        Ate a chicken sandwich.
        the rest has been cut into ‘ready to use’ bits or sandwich slices.
        The broth has been made, strained and now I am girding my loins to pressure can it TODAY so it is done. I love having pint jars of my own chicken broth, but often don’t get around to canning it….silly me.

      • Susan says:

        You’re not silly, Teri — canning is a lot of (hot!) work! Since I only make 8 qts of chicken broth at once, I just freeze it. Your veggies sound very yummy! And someday your kids will appreciate all your loving efforts on their behalf. They really will!!

  23. Brenda says:

    I liked the mention of Tetris + that you let us know you boiled those f*ckers in the cast iron pan and saved on doing another dish (and the bit about putting the salt on after – and about the duck fat) … that’s a lot of mustard – I’m going to try it though

  24. Tina says:

    I have always used duck fat for my potatoes and anything else I want to roast or fry. Yum! One of my British friends insisted that, after boiling the potato chunks, they needed to be tossed in flour before being put in the duck fat. But I never had a lot of luck. Your recipe looks great!

  25. Jani Wolfe says:

    Thanks for the tips on boiling the potato first and the added baking soda. Your look so yummy!!

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