I Found the Secret for the Crispiest Smashed Potatoes Ever|Recipes Spots

  • on February 4, 2023
Crispy smashed potoates

Crispy smashed potoates
Simply Recipes / Mihaela Kozaric Sebrek

I am no stranger to making smashed potatoes. I’ve made them time and time again for low-key family dinners, I’ve developed countless recipes for them, and I often include them on menus when I am cooking in other people’s homes as a private chef. If smashed potatoes were a language, I would consider myself proficient, perhaps even a native speaker.

Every smashed potato that I have ever made follows this basic method: To start, I boil small, waxy potatoes in heavily salted water until they’re easily pierced with a knife. Then I use the bottom of an oiled measuring cup to gently smash them down. I arrange the smashed taters on a sheet pan, drizzle them with oil and spices, then blast them in a hot, 450°F oven until they’re golden brown on both sides. Simple, effective, and easy.

Crispy smashed potatoes
Simply Recipes / Mihaela Kozaric Sebrek

The thing about cooking is that there’s always room for improvement—it’s an insanely maddening yet simultaneously beautiful thing. My smashed potato confidence was flipped upside down when I assisted a fellow personal chef with a private dinner. There were smashed potatoes on the menu, and I noticed that he roasted the potatoes instead of boiling them. This initially struck me as a minor difference. However, as I mulled over this subtle deviation from my go-to technique, I realized that his method made way more sense than what I have been doing for all these years. Sigh.

Roasting the potatoes instead of boiling makes more sense for a handful of reasons. For starters, the former dirties less dishes and it eliminates any need for the stove, thus turning this into an oven-only endeavor. Good cooks don’t just make good food–good cooks also add the least amount of stress on themselves and their kitchens. These whole roasted potatoes cook on the same sheet pan that you’ll then use again after the potatoes are smashed. No need for a pot to boil the potatoes or a colander to drain them. It’s a small win but a good one, at that.

Efficiency reasons aside, the roasting method is also superior because of the results. The advantage to boiling potatoes is that it evenly cooks and seasons the potatoes so that they’re sufficiently creamy and salty when it comes time to smash them. The disadvantage of boiling potatoes is that it introduces a ton of moisture, and moisture is the enemy when you’re trying to create a crispy texture.

In my boiling method, I usually let the potatoes sit for 5 minutes in the colander after I’ve drained them to allow any residual water to steam off. However, by skipping the pot of water altogether and opting to roast them whole, you’re relying on a dry heat cooking method entirely. I can confidently say that this is the only way to make smashed potatoes. 

How to Make Perfectly Crispy Smashed Potatoes

Toss small, whole potatoes in oil and season them generously with salt and pepper. I would recommend roasting them at 400°F, then when it comes time to cook the smashed potatoes, crank your oven up to 450°F. 

roasted whole potatoes
Simply Recipes / Mihaela Kozaric Sebrek

You’ll know the potatoes are done roasting once the largest one is fork tender. They’ll get a subtly golden brown exterior before they’ve even been smashed. The sheet pan will already be nice and hot when it comes time to roast the smashed potatoes, which will shave off some of the cook time. Hot pans yield crispy food, you feel me? Efficiency, baby.

smashed potatoes
Simply Recipes / Mihaela Kozaric Sebrek
roasted smashed potatoes
Simply Recipes / Mihaela Kozaric Sebrek

There is a part of me that feels super bummed that I just had this spud epiphany recently. I can’t make up for lost time, but hopefully I can prevent my fellow smashed potato enthusiasts (you!) from making the same mistakes as me.

Article Categories:
Dishes · Spices

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