Extra-crispy roasted potatoes

The best potatoes I’ve ever made!

I love it when cooking involves a bit of a science experiment. In this case, research suggested adding baking soda to the pot when parboiling potatoes; having water of higher alkalinity than usual helps the outside edges of the potatoes break down more, opening up the possibility of a crisper outside texture. It works!! Using an air fryer to roast the parboiled potatoes is so simple and effective. They could, however, also be roasted on a metal baking tray in a 450F oven for about 50 minutes (leave them undisturbed for the first 25 minutes then use a thin metal spatula to pry them off the sheet and flip them before returning the tray to the oven). Have fun experimenting with seasoning for this recipe – you can use any dry herb mixture you like, such as a combination of basil, oregano and thyme, or Herbes de Provence. For a fun and unexpected flavour twist, you could also use taco seasoning or Montreal steak spice. I don’t recommend using chopped fresh herbs as they will burn during the roasting process. Alternatively, you can use a flavoured olive oil with great results.


  • 2 pounds (900 g) potatoes (I like Yukon Golds or Russets for this)
  • 1 tablespoon coarse sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons seasoning blend of choice
  • Few pinches fine sea salt, to serve


  • Wash potatoes and peel then cut into pieces about 1 1/2 inches or 3.75 cm in size. Fill a large saucepan with water; add the tablespoon of salt and the baking soda. Cover and bring to a boil, then add the potatoes. Return the water to a boil then reduce heat to medium; cook potatoes for 8-10 minutes, until centres are still a little bit firm and edges have softened.
  • While potatoes are parboiling, whisk together the olive oil and seasoning blend. Set aside.
  • Thoroughly drain the cooked potatoes then let them sit in the pot placed over low heat for one minute, shaking every 15 seconds or so, to allow some of the remaining moisture to evaporate.
  • Drizzle with the seasoned oil and stir the potatoes so they are evenly coated. Next, put the lid on the pot and vigorously shake it so the potatoes start to break down a little – you should see the outer edges of the potatoes get coated in a thick paste-like layer.
  • Set air fryer to 400F; preheat if your model requires it.
  • Transfer the tossed potatoes to the air fryer basket(s). Let cook for 10 minutes then give the basket(s) a good shake. Cook for 10 – 12 minutes more, shaking once more during that time, until potatoes are dark and crispy on the outside.
  • Transfer crispy to a serving bowl; sprinkle with salt and serve hot.

Serves 6.

Author: Paula Roy

Welcome to my kitchen! I love simple dishes prepared with passion and am always seeking to find new methods to make food as fun and flavourful as possible. If you enjoy this space be sure to check out my Rogers TV Ottawa cooking show, Paula Roy's Favourite Foods, available on local cable, streaming and a dedicated playlist on Rogers TV's YouTube channel.

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