9 Tips for Cooking Perfectly Crispy Oven-Roasted Potatoes

Finally, all the *golden* rules to roasting the most delicious sheet pan spuds.

Roasted potatoes are an incredibly simple side dish to cook. They're also the ultimate crowd-pleaser, pack plenty of notable health benefits, and pair perfectly with every type of protein.

But preparing sheet pan potatoes with the perfect, crispy-crunchy coating and a fluffy, tender interior is an exact science. Like other simple comfort foods, cooking the perfect roasted potatoes is more about technique than finding fancy ingredients or equipment. Follow these easy roasting rules.

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1. Start with a floury, starchy spud.

Russets and Yukon Golds both get well-crisped crusts when roasted, and their insides have a fluffy, creamy texture.

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2. Cut them into large, bite-sized chunks.

Rather than dicing them into itty bitty bits, bigger potato pieces will better showcase the contrast between the soft centers and crunchy outsides.

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3. Parboil the potatoes first.

This helps soften the potato insides before the roasting begins, so you won't be tempted to burn the outsides in exchange for less undercooked insides. About eight to 10 minutes of boil time should work. The best way to check if done is by poking a knife into a spud—if it meets little resistance (but doesn't melt right in), you're done.

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4. Drain well.

Make sure you let your potatoes sit for a bit to steam dry before putting them in the oven.

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5. Don't overcrowd the pan.

The potatoes should be spread in a single layer on the baking sheet with sufficient space for the oven's heat to distribute uniformly. If you're in search of a great sheet pan, those by Nordic Ware heat up super evenly.

RELATED: How You Arrange Your Oven Racks Can Make You a Better Cook

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6. Preheat your pan.

This helps the outsides of your potato chunks get nice and crispy right away, so you'll be less likely to overcook them. See our complete guide to preheating your pan before roasting.

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7. Roast them hot.

The ideal oven temperature is 425 F to 450 F. If your oven has a convection setting, use it. (This will help them get crisper and brown more evenly.) Keep in mind that the convection fan circulating hot air inside will amp up the temperature, so set it closer to 400 F if you're using convection heat.

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8. Give them a few tosses.

Wait approximately 20 minutes so your spuds will be less fragile, then flip or shake them around (this encourages even roasting) about every 25 minutes. If they stick, use a thin metal spatula to gently move the pieces on the pan.

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9. Pre-cook your garlic and herbs.

This is a little bonus for those who like to add aromatics (we love rosemary and garlic) to roasted potatoes. To avoid ending up with burnt-on garlic flavor, sauté minced garlic with herbs just until it starts to take on a golden color. Strain the oil from the solids; this way, you can toss the flavored oil with your potatoes and add the aromatics to your perfectly crispy potatoes once they're done.

Now that you're inspired to cook perfect roasted potatoes, Real Simple has a variety of easy recipes for spuds: garlic roasted potatoes, paprika pork tenderloin with roasted potatoes and dill cream, parmesan roasted potatoes, sheet pan salmon with potatoes and broccolini, and of course, melting potatoes.

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