When it comes to some of the most well-loved dinner foods, there is no doubt that many people are fond of potatoes.
After all, potatoes are widely regarded as one of the most versatile vegetables out there, being used in countless different forms for hundreds of years. It’s quite common to have a dish of potatoes, in one form or another, as a side dish to one’s meal.
Because there are so many different kinds of potatoes and potato recipes out there, it also goes without saying that there are also many different ways to cook potatoes. Potatoes can be cut and cooked in plenty of different ways.
One of the most common methods by which people prepare their potatoes is by roasting them.
By roasting a potato, the outside of the potato becomes crisp, which is a texture that many people can appreciate alongside savory flavorings. The interior of the potato remains soft, and the clash of textures makes a filling, tasty, and enjoyable side dish (or even a main course) to any meal.
When you are roasting potatoes, it is generally expected that the potatoes will be eaten in a timely manner shortly after they are taken out of the oven. However, there are plenty of situations where you may find that you do not want to eat all of the potatoes immediately after they come out of the oven.
In these situations, you might begin to wonder how you can keep the exterior of your roast potatoes sufficiently crispy, even after the potatoes have finished cooking.
The way you go about preserving the crispy outside of a roast potato will depend entirely on how long you need to keep the potatoes crisp and how long you are going to be waiting to eat them. If you only need to wait a little bit, the method that you use to keep the potatoes crisp will vary drastically than if you need to wait several hours.
In some cases, you may also find that it will be best to simply reheat the potatoes when you are ready to eat them. It is important to keep in mind that when you do this, you are going to lose some degree of crispiness by the nature of letting the potatoes cool down and sit.
However, there are still some ways that you can keep your roast potatoes’ perfect texture, no matter how long you need to wait to eat them.
Keeping Potatoes Crispy for a Short Amount of Time
If you know that you need to keep your potatoes warm and crispy, but you expect that it will only be for a short amount of time, one of the best things that you can do is keep them in the oven at one of the lowest heat settings.
By keeping the potatoes in the oven, you can make sure that their exterior remains crispy and crunchy, even strengthening how crispy it is because of the heat of the oven. You also won’t have to worry about the idea of needing to reheat the potatoes with this method, as they will remain warm in the oven.
Ideally, the oven should be set at the lowest heat setting possible. This will ensure that the potatoes do not end up overcooking and getting burnt.
It also ensures that you will be able to keep the potatoes in the oven for a longer period of time, as the lower the heat is, the longer you can keep them in the oven without them burning.
This method should only be done when you have a good idea of how long you are going to wait before eating the potatoes, and it should only be done when there isn’t much time before you are ready to begin eating.
Keeping the potatoes in the oven for much longer than an hour or two will end up causing them to cook further, thus altering their texture, taste, and appearance.
If you need to wait to eat your potatoes for longer than a few hours, or you do not have access to an oven (such as when travelling), there are other methods that you can try to keep your roast potatoes as crisp as possible.
Keeping Potatoes Crispy on the Go
Part of keeping your potatoes crisp has to do with keeping them warm. Unfortunately, most methods of keeping potatoes warm are also going to trap the steam rising from the freshly roasted potatoes, which will have the opposite effect that you want for your potatoes.
Generally, when you put tin or aluminum foil over something, it will keep the object warm. However, when you do that with food that is steaming, you are actually trapping in the steam from the food.
Because the steam has water and the steam also has nowhere to go, the steam will condense on the tin or aluminum foil, turning into water. Because the foil is touching the food that you have wrapped, this will then bring the water down into the food, rendering any and all efforts to maintain crispiness moot.
Instead of struggling with this, you will want to try a slightly different method. When using foil to keep food warm when you cannot keep an oven on low heat, you will want to make sure that you leave just enough room for the rising steam to escape.
This method will take some of the worst from both methods, meaning that there is a chance that some condensation will get on the roast potatoes, and the potatoes will also lose some heat, but they should retain most of their crispiness.
You will want to make sure that you place the foil over the majority of the container of the potatoes, but you should leave at least two of the sides open for steam to escape.
The openings shouldn’t be too big, or you will lose more heat than you want, but the openings shouldn’t be too small either, as this will lead to the steam becoming trapped. It is a delicate balance to manage, and it may be hard to get right at first.
However, when you arrive at your destination with your crispy potatoes, you should have access to a place where you can reheat them, bringing back some of the lost heat. This will leave you and your family with a plate of warm, crispy roast potatoes that everyone can enjoy, no matter how far you had to drive to bring them.
Reheating the Potatoes
There are a few things that you should remember when it comes to reheating potatoes.
For one, you should never, ever use the microwave if you want to preserve the crispiness of the potato. You should always use the oven when you can, as this will provide the most efficient form of heating while still keeping the outside crisp.
Using the microwave, while it can effectively heat up the potatoes, will also alter the texture of your roast potatoes to the point where they will no longer have the crispiness that you once intended them to have. This is not what you want to do after you have attempted to preserve the crispiness of your potatoes.
Instead, putting them in the oven for a little bit has the best chance of both reheating the potatoes and keeping the exterior of the potatoes just as crispy as they were when they first came out of the oven.
Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.