You Should Always Boil Potatoes Before Roasting Them. Here's Why

Ah, the humble potato. There are so many ways to prepare the starchy root vegetable. You can bake them, fry them, boil them, mash them. Or you can roast them. If you go with the latter option, you'll be rewarded with crispy yet caramelized nuggets of potato goodness that pair perfectly with almost any main course. Plus, according to Livestrong, roasting veggies can be a healthier alternative to other forms of cooking (like frying or mashing with calorie-dense cream and butter).

If you've ever roasted potatoes before, you've probably followed the same steps as most other home chefs: chop them up, toss them in some olive oil, spread them out in a pan, and pop them in the oven. Easy peasy. However, if that's your usual M.O., you're missing one crucial step that could take your roasted potatoes from good to great. All you need is a pot, some boiling water, and a few extra minutes.

It prevents your potatoes from drying out in the oven

The one risk of roasting potatoes is ending up with dried-out, shriveled-up chunks that have the texture of leather and the flavor of absolutely nothing. Yuck. If you want to avoid that, Southern Living recommends boiling the potatoes before you put them in the oven. Because your potatoes will already be fully cooked before you roast them, the oven's heat will go towards crisping up the outside rather than cooking the inside. The result? Those perfectly-roasted potatoes that you crave with a soft and mushy interior but a crispy and golden exterior.

While Southern Living doesn't go into all of the science and specifics, their test kitchen cooks do say that it's ideal if you boil the potatoes (like Yukon, new, or red potatoes) whole and let them cool before you chop them up to roast. They add that this hack works on roasting any type of root vegetable, too, like carrots or turnips.