I Tried the Viral Trick for Super-Crispy Roasted Potatoes and I’ll Be Making These Forever
Peruse social media or any of your favorite food publications and you’ll quickly see that we, as a culture, are obsessed with crispy potato recipes. We’ve tried ultra-spiced, meticulously scored spuds that claimed to be the best in the world; light and crispy mashed potato puffs; and, of course, the Parmesan-crusted baby potatoes made famous on TikTok, just to name a few. And are we done? No, because the quest for crispy potatoes does not sleep.
The latest buzzy spud recipe comes from the U.K., via chef and self-proclaimed “Potato Queen” Poppy O’Toole. Her crispy lemon-roasted potatoes are garnering a massive number of fans, thanks to some simple tricks that claim to make them extra crispy. A recipe created by actual potato royalty? Now this we gotta try.
How to Make Super-Crispy Lemon-Roasted Potatoes
To start, peel and quarter 4 to 6 medium potatoes. Poppy suggests Maris Piper potatoes, which are a popular variety in the U.K., but if you can’t find those (they’re not easy to find in the U.S.!), just reach for your favorite medium-sized roasting potato.
Transfer cut potatoes to a pot and cover them with cold water. Season the water generously with salt, then bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Cook until potatoes are tender all the way through, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain potatoes into a colander, then cover the colander with a clean kitchen towel (which Poppy notes to be the key to getting your spuds the crispiest), letting the potatoes “steam dry” — or cool — for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, add vegetable oil to a high-sided baking pan and place in your oven before preheating to 350°F. Gently toss the potatoes in the colander to give their exteriors a rough, uneven surface.
When the oven is preheated, carefully remove the baking pan and place on a heat-proof surface. Transfer your potatoes to the tray and toss gently to coat in oil. Return the pan to the oven and roast for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine lemon juice, dried oregano, minced garlic, and, optionally, fine semolina in a small bowl and stir to combine. Thinly slice a lemon as well.
When the potatoes have roasted for 30 minutes, remove the baking pan from the oven and add the lemon juice mixture and sliced lemons. Give everything a good toss and return the pan to the oven to bake 30 minutes more. When you’re ready to serve, season potatoes to taste with salt and pepper and garnish with freshly chopped parsley.
My Honest Review of Super Crispy Lemon Roasted Potatoes
Creamy on the inside, with a hearty, crisp exterior, these potatoes definitely deliver what their name promises. Are they the crispiest potatoes I’ve ever had? No, but it’s a trade-off you make for that super-tangy lemony flavor very reminiscent of Greek lemon potatoes. The dried oregano provided plenty of herby, earthy flavor, and the semolina added a pleasant subtle crunch (although it’s not at all necessary if you don’t have any on hand).
I loved that even though the pieces of potato were quite large and had a thick, crisp exterior, they were still tender all the way through. Be sure to test your potatoes with a paring knife or fork to ensure that they’re completely cooked before draining them. Cooking them to this point also makes it very easy to achieve those crispy-craggly golden edges — just give them a quick toss in your colander to rough up their exterior.
4 Tips for Making Super-Crispy Lemon Roasted Potatoes
- Up the garlic. If you’re a garlic-lover like me, you’re going to want to throw in another clove or three. Garlic definitely plays well with lemon and oregano, so don’t worry about the flavors clashing.
- If you want them crispier, cut down on the lemon. Adding the juice of one lemon and an entire sliced lemon adds a lot of flavor and a lot of moisture. All that moisture is going to hinder your chances of the potatoes getting super crispy, so if you’re aiming for a shatteringly crunchy exterior, pull back on the lemon a bit. If you’re still pining for that zesty flavor, you can finish your potatoes with lemon zest and/or lemon juice once they’re roasted.
- Be sure to use a large, high-sided baking sheet or roasting pan. There are lots of liquids (hot oil! Lemon juice!) and lots of tossing required in this recipe. Choose a pan with sides that are high enough to contain all the ingredients, with a little extra room for tossing. Also, be sure your pan is large enough to accommodate all the potatoes in an even layer, with some space around them to encourage browning.
- Don’t skip the “steam drying” step. As Poppy notes, the key to getting these potatoes the crispiest is to cover them with a kitchen towel to dry them out before placing them in the oven. Be sure to keep this in mind while cooking!