How do you make perfect roast potatoes? From cooking in an air fryer to celeb tips

Make them the best roasties they've ever tasted...

Roast potatoes served on a dish
(Image credit: Future PLC)

The turkey may be the star of the show, but we love a good batch of roast potatoes as much as the next person and we've got to admit that they can make or break a meal.

Whether you're opting to go the traditional route of whipping them up in an oven or have decided to give cooking Christmas dinner in an air fryer a try, there are guaranteed ways to ensure the perfect roasties every time.

So for delicious results, why not follow Jamie's advice, along with Mary Berry, James Martin and more, as we answer the question, how do you make perfect roast potatoes? And you're in luck because we've also got our own foolproof recipe for delicious potatoes to help take the load off of your plate.

Roast potatoes served on a dish

(Image credit: Future PLC / Sean Calitz)

How to cook roast potatoes in an air fryer

As you've probably gathered, air fryers have been the talk of the town. As everyone has rushed to get their hands on the best air fryer, it only makes sense to test it out for whipping up the perfect roast potatoes.

Amongst the few foods you should avoid cooking in an air fryer, trust us when we say that roasties are definitely not on the list and thrive when cooked in the air fryer. If you were looking for a fail-safe method, our Ecommerce Editor, Molly Cleary is stacked with tips to help you achieve the perfect roast potatoes.

Molly Cleary
Molly Cleary

Molly is the Ecommerce Editor for Ideal Home and is always on the lookout for the next must-buy product for your home. Covering all things appliance related, with an emphasis on floorcare and air fryers, she regularly joins Millie at Future's Test Facility in Reading to thoroughly put products through their paces. She's the proud owner of the Tower T17072 Vortx Vizion Digital Air Fryer, and uses it every single day while cooking at home. 

turkey air fryer

(Image credit: Future / Millie Fender)

'My method is to peel and chop them, then put the potatoes into a pot covered with cold water and boil for 12 minutes. When the water starts to boil, I add a teaspoon of baking powder and then let the remaining time finish before I drain them and then add flour,' Molly explains.

'Afterwards, I preheated the air fryer and added the potatoes after letting them rest under a tea towel for 10 minutes. I then cooked them for about 15 minutes (might have even been less) and then applied a lot of oil using a spray bottle.'

'The roast potatoes came out nice and crispy. Near the end, for a few minutes, I add butter which has garlic, salt, pepper, and rosemary in it.'

air fryer christmas dinner

(Image credit: Future / Millie Fender)

If you wanted to try out this method for yourself but are struggling on finding an air fryer in stock, we've got you covered with a live blog on where you can shop the best air fryer deals.

How to cook roast potatoes in the oven

Jamie Oliver

'I've discovered that the humble potato masher is the secret to the perfect roasties,' says Jamie. He recommends using Maris Piper potatoes, peeled and cut into even chucks – 'twice the size of a squash ball is about right,' he advises.

Remove the starch by washing the peeled potatoes, then pop in a pot of water, season generously and bring to a boil. Cook for 6 to 7 minutes, drain, then shake up in the colander so they'll fluff up nicely in the oven.

Jamie recommends cooking your potatoes for 30 mins at 190ºC/375ºF/gas 5 in your chosen fat – for 1.5kg of potatoes, try a good couple of lugs of olive oil, or 50g butter, diced, or 2 tablespoons of goose fat. Then take it out of the oven.

Roast potatoes in serving dish

(Image credit: Future PLC / Charlie Richards)

'Now's the time for my new trick. Gently squash each potato with a potato masher to increase the surface area – the more of your potato that's in contact with the pan, the crispier it will be.'

Pop back in the oven and then cook for a further 40 mins. Before you do so, you could add extra flavour with a mix of red wine, oil, seasoning and herbs – you can see Jamie's favourite roast potato combos here.

Mary Berry

'If you know you’re going to be pushed on Christmas Day, then half-roast the potatoes the day before,' says Mary, who, like Jamie, is a fan of using Maris Pipers.

'On Christmas Day they just need to be re-roasted in a hot oven for about 20 minutes.'

Roast potatoes in serving dish next to cranberry sauce

(Image credit: Future PLC)

James Martin

'Don’t try to roast your potatoes at the same time as your turkey,' warns James Martin. 'The turkey creates too much steam in the oven and your potatoes won’t roast. Take the turkey out and wrap it, then put the potatoes in.'

The Hairy Bikers

'Nothing beats perfect roast potatoes,' say the Hairy Bikers. 'It makes all the difference to your Christmas lunch.' they have a recipe that guarantees spuds that are soft on the inside and super crunchy on the outside.

Like Jamie, they peel and then parboil their potatoes for a few minutes, then drain and shake in a colander to roughen the edges – but their trick is to sprinkle with 2 tbsps of polenta, plus salt and pepper.

They also recommend you pour the potatoes into a tin where the fat is already 'sizzling' hot. 'Goose fat is a must to make the tastiest, crispiest roasties ever,' they say. The oven should be set to 220C and the recommended cooking time is 45 minutes.

Roast potatoes in serving dish

(Image credit: Future PLC)

How do you make perfect roast potatoes? Try this recipe

Straight from the Ideal Home test kitchen, our recipe roast potatoes and parsnips serve eight and will be ready in 1 hour and 20 minutes. Why not give this a try alongside our Christmas dinner hacks?

Roast potatoes, parsnips and vegetables in serving dishes

(Image credit: Future PLC)


  • 1.5kg even-sized potatoes, peeled and halved
  • 500g parsnips, peeled and halved
  • 175g goose fat
  • 2tsp sea salt
  • 1tbsp mustard seeds
  • Sprigs of fresh thyme


1. Put the potatoes in one pan and the parsnips in another. Cover with cold salted water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, cook the potatoes for 8 mins and the parsnips for 6 mins. Drain and toss each in a colander to rough up the edges.

2. Spread out the potatoes and parsnips on two baking trays. Cool, cover with cling film and freeze.

3. Heat the oven to 200C/ Gas 6. Put the goose fat in a large roasting tin, then heat for 4 mins, until it's sizzling. Add the potatoes and cook for 30 mins, then turn and push them to one end of the tin. Add the parsnips. Sprinkle with salt, mustard seeds and thyme and cook for 30 mins more, until everything is crisp and golden, turning as needed.

Roast potatoes served with ham and vegetables on serving dish

(Image credit: Future PLC / Sean Calitz)

Serve, with turkey and all the trimmings – and treat yourself to a glass of something bubbly for your efforts. Will you be trying out any of these methods this hosting season?

Amy Cutmore

Amy Cutmore is an experienced interiors editor and writer, who has worked on titles including Ideal Home, Homes & Gardens, LivingEtc, Real Homes, GardeningEtc, Top Ten Reviews and Country Life. And she's a winner of the PPA's Digital Content Leader of the Year. A homes journalist for two decades, she has a strong background in technology and appliances, and has a small portfolio of rental properties, so can offer advice to renters and rentees, alike. 

With contributions from