Sticky roast potatoes

Recently I've been roasting potatoes in approximately 1" cubes and then making a salad with green beans and dill-cucumber-yogurt sauce. Delicious, but my potatoes are seriously sticking when I roast them. I usually chop them up, douse them in olive oil and salt, toss them, and put them in a 400 oven (really similar to Tad's Roasted Potatoes, which Amanda linked to in her squashed potato recipe this week). Even if I stir a lot or put in more olive oil, they always leave bits of potato behind when I remove them, and they're always fused to the pan. I'm using an enameled cast iron pan. How can I prevent this?

  • Posted by: LucyS
  • July 20, 2011


seabirdskitchen July 26, 2011
I parboil the spuds first, then when I drain them rough them up and make sure there is no moisture left. The outsides become a bit floury like. Sheet pan in 450 oven 15 minutes prior to adding potatoes. I use butter and not oil - especially not olive oil. However, I would probably use grape seed or peanut - something without assertive flavour of its own.

Agree with the "don't touch them for a while" advice. I always use starchy varieties too.
amysarah July 21, 2011
Yes, preheat the baking sheet, toss the spuds in oil/seasoning before putting them on there, and most important - resist the urge to turn them too soon. Like meat on a grill, or pan frying, if you wait for the outside to get a good sear/caramelization, it will release from the surface much easier.
jenmmcd July 21, 2011
Try preheating your cookie sheet. Throw it in the oven when you turn it on. Then when the olive oil coated potatoes hit the sheet they start to sear right away. You will great great, crispy spuds this way.
AntoniaJames July 21, 2011
I've had this problem and find that if you just wait a few minutes after you take them out of the oven, the steam the hot potatoes create while sitting there works like a charm. After they've sat for a few minutes, just use a thin spatula to lift them off. If you want to serve them very hot, just leave the oven on -- perhaps even cranking the temperature up at bit -- and once you've flipped the potatoes over, pop the baking sheet back in the oven for a few minutes to reheat the potatoes. Incidentally, I use a regular baking sheet for roasting potatoes. I don't see any advantage in using a heavier roasting pan. The lighter weight baking sheets are easier to handle; they take up less room (vertically) in the oven, as well. I don't know whether simply allowing the potatoes to sit works with a heavier pan.
Droplet July 21, 2011
I add just a tad of water to the pan and ,also,stir once after a while into the roasting, before they have started to soften so as not to break them while stirring, then add a bit more butter or oil (whatever you use) after that stir and let them finish.Also, your over temperature may be too high or you may be putting the rack lower. Cast iron retains heat well once heated so you can turn the oven down a bit once the desired temperature is reached.
Esther P. July 21, 2011
It depends what you want the inside of your roasties to be like.... If you want soft and fluffy, go with starchy potatoes, otherwise a salad/firm pot will provide a creamy inside.
Panfusine July 21, 2011
Silpat as frontalgirl says.. or in a pinch line the sheet with parchment paper, that works well too. roast potatoes works best with the red or peruvian purple variety.. the starchy idaho ones tend to soften & disintegrate contributing to the sticking..
Esther P. July 21, 2011
Have you tried heating the oil so it's very hot, then adding the potatoes? You'll get a head start on the crispy outside forming, and less likely to stick.... English roast pots are done this way (although they're parboiled first) I use an enamel pan and don't tend to have any sticking problems.
SKK July 21, 2011
Frontalgirl is right on, oven roasting is the best. If you don't have silpat parchment paper works also. The stickiness may also depend on the kind of potatoes you are using. Some potatoes work best if put in the refrigerator in water before roasting.
Frontalgirl July 20, 2011
Have you considered roasting them on a sheet pan lined with a silpat sheet? That may solve the problem. If you don't have a silpat, I highly recommend them. Once you have one you'll wonder how you got along without.
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