Queen's former chef reveals top mistakes when cooking roast potatoes

Follow these five top tips for cooking the perfect roast potatoes from Michelin star chef, Jeff Baker. 

There is much debate about the perfect roasties, should we be drenching them in goose fat, is par-boiling necessary and what’s the perfect spud to use?

Jeff Baker, who has previously cooked for the Queen, has revealed the most common mistakes people make when preparing roast potatoes. So, for the perfect roasties, with a fluffy centre with a perfectly crisp outside follow these top tips.

1. Choose fresh potatoes

Old potatoes can contain dangerous toxins, make sure the potatoes you use are still firm, he told The Sun. When buying potatoes inspect them to check there is no mould or damage. It’s best to store potatoes in a dark place at a temperature of 7-10C. Keep them in a paper bag or cardboard box to ensure the best ventilation.

2. Pick the perfect variety

Jeff recommends King Edwards or Maris Pipers for the ultimate fluffy centre while maintaining a crisp outside. White potatoes can work too, but will require par-boiling and a toss in a sieve to fluff up the outside to help them to go lovely and crispy when cooked.

3. Fluff ‘em up

Don’t drown your roasties in fat to give them a crisp edge. Instead parboil potatoes for ten mins in salted water, drain and fluff the edges by tossing in a sieve. Allow the par-boiled potatoes to dry and cool a little before roasting.

4. Don’t crowd them

If there are too many potatoes on the roasting tray sat in oil they will become soggy, so give them some space, and if cooking for a crowd maybe even use a couple of trays.

5. All in good time

The key for a perfect roast potato is in the timing. This will vary on the size of the potatoes, so make sure all yours are all cut roughly to the same size. Jeff recommends at least 30 mins at 220°C/Gas 7. Give your potatoes a quick shake every 10-15 mins to increase the crispiness.

Rose Fooks
Deputy Food Editor

Rose Fooks is Deputy Food Editor at Future Publishing, creating recipes, reviewing products and writing food features for a range of lifestyle and home titles including GoodTo and Woman&Home. Before joining the team, Rose obtained a Diplome de Patisserie and Culinary Management at London’s Le Cordon Bleu. Going on to work in professional kitchens at The Delaunay and Zedel.