If you like your roasted potatoes extra crispy, you may want to have a bowl of ice water on standby during the cooking process. Soaking your sliced potatoes in the ice water before roasting them in the oven can draw out extra starch, allowing the spuds to cook up extra crunchy on the outside.
As you slice up your potatoes into bite-sized cuts, simply toss each piece into the cold bowl. Then, allow them to rest and chill. Soaking for a few hours will draw out quite a bit of starch, though even just a few minutes will work to remove some starch. You can mix the potatoes and water around to loosen the starch, or rinse the potatoes in fresh, cold water once they've finished soaking. Once the bowl has been drained, the potatoes can be dried and prepped for roasting.
Soaking sliced potatoes in ice water is often used for cooking up the crispiest French fries, but it can be beneficial for any kind of cooked potatoes. Removing the excess starch can help you avoid soft, sticky potatoes.
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What Does Starch Do To Potatoes?
The starch in potatoes is activated by heat and moisture. As it heats up, the starch softens in a process called gelatinization, according to a study published by the National Library of Medicine. Those starch granules then enlarge, burst, and thicken, which makes the potatoes sticky and gummy. The cold temperature of ice water might help those starch cells to close up prior to cooking, which is just one way you can achieve crispier potatoes.
Too much starch can even prevent potatoes from cooking evenly if the starch is more concentrated in one area. So if there's less starch present in your potatoes, they won't just turn out crispier — they'll cook a little better, too. To ensure that every potato piece cooks up correctly, you'll want to make sure the slices are evenly sized. Otherwise, some larger pieces may take longer to cook, while smaller bites might burn.
If you don't have time to let the potatoes soak, you may be able to use that starch to your advantage. If you boil your potatoes before roasting, the starch may turn into a crust on the outside of the spuds.
Other Ways To Crisp Up Potatoes
If you're really craving some crunch with your roasted potatoes, there are a few other ways to ensure the exterior is ultra-crispy. You can coat the potatoes to achieve a crunchier texture. To make parmesan crusted potatoes, mix together grated parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, and seasonings in a bowl. Coat the potatoes before roasting, and the coating will crisp up in the oven.
Adding some extra starch may seem counterintuitive after soaking the sliced potatoes, but cornstarch may be just what your potatoes need. Cornstarch can create a barrier between the outside of the potato and the exterior oil. As the potatoes roast, the outside will crisp up, while the interior potato remains soft and fluffy.
While both of these additions will help to crisp up the exterior of your roasted potatoes, soaking in ice water is still an important step to take when prepping your roasted potatoes. The process will draw out extra starch, ensuring every bite is nice and crispy.
Read the original article on Daily Meal.