How to cook “really crunchy” but “fluffy” fried potatoes – it’s not in an air fryer
Roast potatoes can be coated in whatever you want, from herbs and spices to hot sauce – but one thing many can agree on is that they should always be crispy on the outside. While everyone has their own way of cooking earthy spuds to perfection, one keen home cook has encouraged people to ditch the ovens and deep fryers and try using a slow cooker instead. Facebook user Ria McCllough posted on a slow cooker recipe tips page and shared the hack which she described as “an absolute game changer”.
Ria wrote that discovering this simple slow cooker recipe made her wonder if she’ll ever cook roast potatoes in the oven “ever again”, prompting other members of the Slow Cooker Recipe & Tips Facebook page to try it themselves .
She recommended using Navan potatoes – a form of the popular Maris Piper variety which can be bought in Sainsbury’s, Asda and other popular UK supermarkets.
While you can leave the spuds unseasoned, Ria added a mixture of pepper, sage, flour, onion granules and salt to the mix for extra flavor, along with a generous amount of olive oil.
Although she didn’t specify exactly how many people the recipe served, the home cook noted that you should avoid “piling” the potatoes on top of each other and instead stick to one layer in the slow cooker for maximum crunch.
READ MORE: Six tried-and-true methods to stop onions making you cry
Ria wrote: “Place them in the hot oil, turn to coat and leave on high for four hours with a tea towel under the lid, turning twice in between.”
While the tea towel may seem like an odd addition to the slow cooker, the avid home cook notes that it “catchs condensation and keeps the potatoes crispy.”
She added that you simply spread the tea towel flat over the top of the cooking pot and put the lid back on.
Of course, you should be careful when removing this when turning the spuds while they are cooking, as they will be hot.
READ MORE: 12p food ‘absorbs odour’ and removes unpleasant odours
While the recipe itself is easy to follow, Ria shared some extra tips with other slow cooker users who had shared their thoughts on the hack.
She explained that sticking to a single layer of potatoes in the pan is key to producing “really crunchy” roasts with a “fluffy” middle, as they’re likely to sweat rather than crisp if you stack them up.
In response to a Facebook user who commented on the long cooking time, Ria noted that you should “put them on early” to “free up time for other things” and of course provide extra oven space.
While the unique roasting method was a hit with some, one person noted that when they tried the hack themselves, the potatoes shrank in size.
She warned other slow cooker users to “add more than you think” when filling up the pot with parboiled roast potatoes to avoid disappointment when it comes to serving.
Another commented that they tried them over Christmas and they turned out “great”, adding that a “kitchen towel is a must”.
If you’re still conflicted about whether to use an air fryer, slow cooker, or stick to traditional oven cooking when it comes to roast potatoes, there are a few things to consider. Air fryers are much healthier as they do not require oil, although slow cookers work marginally cheaper than air fryers and both are significantly cheaper than using an oven.
In fact, according to estimates from John Lewis, a deep fryer costs about 32p per day if you use it for half an hour while using a slow cooker for eight hours averages 38p per day – compared to £1.43 to run an oven for two hours .