Potatoes are a very versatile snack, side dish, or main dish. There is so much to love about the humble potato! However, I struggled to get consistently browned potato cubes in my oven. Here are the four tips that I've found most helpful.
- Cut up your potatoes evenly. When all of your diced potato pieces (or wedges, or slices) are the same thickness, they cook at the same rate.
- Use parchment paper. I love this stuff - it keeps all kinds of things from sticking to bakeware, and potatoes are no exception.
- When I've cooked a baking sheet full of potato cubes to the point where they're almost perfectly tender, I switch my oven from bake to broil and put the sheet about 4 inches from the top heating element. This is the most efficient way I've found to evenly brown the tops.
- Practice, practice, practice! As with everything I've been learning in the kitchen, I've had to try several times and keep making adjustments to my process and techniques. Practice is the only way to get used to the nuances of your oven and develop proficiency with your kitchen tools.
Easy Oven-Roast Potatoes
- about 5 medium sized potatoes
- a few tablespoons of cooking oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C).
- Clean the potatoes (and peel if desired) and dice them.
- Toss the diced potatoes with oil and seasoning.
- Spread the potatoes on a parchment-lined baking sheet. There should be enough space for all the pieces to lie in a single layer.
- Bake until the potato pieces are easily pierced through with a fork, but still firm enough to hold their shape under gentle pressure (about 15 - 20 minutes).
- Switch the oven to broil and place the baking sheet about 4 inches from the broiling heating element until the tops of the potatoes are golden (about 7 minutes).
Notes and Options
- If doubling this recipe, keep in mind that your two trays of potatoes may cook at slightly different rates if you put them both in the oven at the same time - my lower oven rack was a little hotter and cooked faster. It may be easiest for you to cook one tray at a time. You'll only be able to brown one tray at a time under the broiler anyway.
- Try red potatoes with olive oil and rosemary.
- Try sweet potatoes (or yams) with oil, cinnamon, and chili powder or a tiny amount of cayenne.
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