The Easy Method That Will Give Your Potatoes Ridiculously Crispy Edges

A crispy potato is easy to love, but not always easy to make — at least not to the degree of satisfaction one might find in a restaurant. The internet abounds with vetted tips for achieving the perfect texture (shatteringly crisp on the outside and creamy on the inside), from pre-cooking potatoes in water before frying to roasting them in a pizza stone to coating them in a slurry of their own starch, à la British Sunday roasties. Those are all well and good, but we may have found one of the easiest and crispiest methods to date.

These satisfying spuds take peeling and slicing out of the equation, which is great news for the prep- and dish-averse among us. By ripping up fork-tender baked Russets into bite-sized pieces after they've cooled, you'll be left with beautifully irregular models of starchy goodness whose craggy exteriors are perfect for whipping up a ridiculously crispy and golden-brown side dish.

Tear into superior texture and flavor

The texture of these potatoes is similar to that of the more laborious crispy smashed potatoes, another terrific technique that also forgoes any kind of knifework. What makes them even easier? You break them apart with your bare hands instead of whacking them with a heavy skillet. Whether you deep fry these spuds after baking or toss them with oil and spices and roast them in the oven, those perfectly imperfect pieces with their ragged edges will soak up flavors more efficiently than your average sliced potato.

If you've never had a smashed potato, think of the way Asian cucumber salad uses smashed cukes to increase the surface area (which allows more sauce to sink in). It's the same reason tearing potatoes with your hands is the key to the most flavorful potato salad

For optimal crispiness, don't shy away from fat. A neutral oil would do the trick, but these potatoes are an excellent excuse to use up any leftover rendered fat you have lying around. An ultra-crispy take on duck fat potatoes would be most excellent. For bonus points, serve some flavored mayonnaise or malt vinegar on the side. 

Go the way of the Russet

All potatoes are created equal in theory, but when it comes to these potatoes, Russets reign supreme. Their low-moisture content allows their skin to get delightfully crispy — the raison d'être of this particular dish — while their interior remains light and fluffy. Likewise, Russets tend to hold their shape better than other types of potatoes, which is why they're the answer to the crispiest homemade french fries.

Yukon Golds are the next best bet for these potatoes. While they won't get quite as crispy as Russets, their buttery, slightly sweet flavor might just make up for it. Avoid red potatoes, whose low starch content makes them better suited to boiling or gentle roasting. 

If you opt for frying your Russets over roasting, be sure to pre-cook your potatoes in the oven first. They can take to cool completely, but the end result is well worth the time commitment.