Best Pan For Crispy Roast Potatoes (Material and Size)

Whether roasting potatoes alone or creating an entire roast meal, having the best possible pan can go a long way in making your roast a success. The best pan for crispy roast potatoes depends on your needs and there are a few aspects you should consider before purchasing one.

Roasting pans can be made from metals, glass, cast iron, enamel, foil, or ceramics. The best pan for roasting potatoes is large enough to place all the potatoes in one layer so they get crisp. Metal pans transfer heat well and evenly so are efficient at roasting.

Check out this heavy-duty steel roasting pan on Amazon which is a good size and will last a long time.

Some swear by using only metal pans for roasting potatoes. However, all of those available have their benefits.

Let’s uncover the best materials, sizes, and shapes of roasting pans to help you make the crispiest roast potatoes.

Is It Better To Roast Potatoes In Glass Or Metal Or Ceramic?

Choosing between glass, metal, or ceramic can become a little tricky since there are so many great roasting pans to choose from.

While there are glass and Pyrex roasting pans on the market, I prefer to roast potatoes in metal dishes. The reason for this is that metal is a good conductor of heat. The heat from the oven is conducted evenly over your metal roasting pan, resulting in evenly and well cooked roast potatoes.

Some metal pans can be placed on the stovetop to heat up the oil or to make gravy if you’ve roasted meat. This might not be possible with glass or ceramic pans which may crack with direct heat.

If you have a glass roasting pan, all is not lost. You might need a slightly longer roasting time and some turning to give even cooking. Be sure to pour enough oil on the bottom of the dish before placing the potatoes inside. The oil will help prevent the potatoes from sticking to the bottom of the pan.

Ceramic or stoneware roasting pans are typically treated to withstand the heat needed to roast in them. They are generally great at transferring and keeping in heat and have the added benefit of looking beautiful on the serving table.  

If you are using a ceramic pan that is not explicitly designed for roasting, check the maximum heat the pan can withstand to avoid having it break.

Should Roasting Pans Have Deep Or Shallow Sides?

Deep roasting pans are needed for roasting with lots of hot oil or meat that will release juices. It’s safer to remove from the oven and will avoid splashes and bubbles inside the oven.

The depth of your roasting pan makes a difference in how your potatoes and other ingredients cook. The ideal depth for a roasting pan is around 2-3 inches like this pan from Amazon. This is deep enough to keep any oil and juices in, and shallow enough to allow optimal airflow while roasting.

The depth of your roasting pan can also vary depending on what you are roasting. Items that create a lot of juice, like meats and turkey, need deeper sides (3 inches). Potatoes, vegetables, fish, and other ingredients that do not generate a lot of juice do better in a pan with shallow sides (2-3 inches).

Look at what you are roasting and determine if it will fit in your pan and if the juices are likely to spill when you are removing them from the oven. Once you have this in mind, you will be better able to decide about the depth of your roasting pan sides.

Should You Boil Potatoes Before Roasting?

Boiling potatoes before roasting is recommended as it allows you to rough up the edges before roasting which gives extra-crispy potatoes. Boiling first also makes the insides soft and fluffy as it absorbs some water.

Some roast potato recipes call for you to boil your potatoes before roasting them and some do not. While some cooks say this is not a necessary step, I do like to parboil my potatoes before roasting them. Another question is whether peeling potatoes is necessary – I answered that in a previous post so check it out.

When we parboil peeled potatoes, several good things happen. Firstly, some of the starch within the potatoes is released. Too much starch leads to mushy potatoes, so if you are looking for firm, crispy potatoes with a soft center, you should consider boiling them before roasting.

Another reason to parboil potatoes is to help with the crispy outer layer. Starch and soft potato from the boiling process get roughed up and a new outer layer is formed around the potato. This new outer layer is what becomes crispy when roasted.

The last reason we will give here for parboiling your potatoes before roasting is the time element. Roasting is a lengthy process, and if you parboil your potatoes before roasting them, you cut down the cooking time. 

Since parboiled potatoes can be kept for up to two days before roasting, it is also helpful to boil them as preparation for cooking and serving the whole meal. You can also roast potatoes ahead of time and reheat them as I wrote about.

If you parboil your potatoes the day before you roast them, store them in a container or clingwrap with some oil and herbs. Place the potatoes in the refrigerator until you are ready to roast them and enjoy all the flavors the potatoes have soaked up all night.

Be careful not to parboil them for too long. It is tough to roast a potato that is soft and breaking apart. The best option is to boil them for around ten minutes, depending on the size of the pieces and how much you are boiling at a time.

Test your potatoes to see if they are ready by piercing one or two with a fork. If the fork slides in easily but the potato is still compact, they are ready. If you try to insert the fork and the potato is too hard, keep them boiling for another three to five minutes, then test again.

Why Do Roast Potatoes Stick To The Pan?

If your roast potatoes are sticking to the pan, it could mean that there is too much starch present, you aren’t using enough oil or your roasting pan is of poor quality.

Try to select low-starch potato varieties. Another good way to avoid having your potatoes stick because of starch is to rinse them and/or parboil them before roasting. The interaction with water allows much of the excess starch to leave the potatoes before they get to the roasting pan.

Another reason your roast potatoes could be sticking is the oil you use. Try to use oil or fat that has a high smoke point. Olive oil has a lower smoke point, so the potatoes are still likely to stick even if you add a large quantity. Try vegetable oils like you might use for deep frying for better results.

Make sure to use a nice non-stick roasting pan. An old pan that has lost its cooking surface will likely get food stuck to it. Spending a little more on a pan will ensure it lasts longer. Try this one from Amazon.

The last reason I will give here for roast potatoes sticking to the pan is the cooking time. Make sure you let them cook for long enough so that they form a good crust and become firm. This takes at least 30 minutes.

How To Roast The Best Potatoes

Follow some tips from Jamie Oliver’s video below:

  • Parboil for 10 minutes first
  • Heat some oil in a pan beforehand which allows it to coat and sizzle the potatoes on entry
  • Crush the potatoes slightly after 30 minutes to increase their surface area and become extra crispy
  • Add some fragrant herbs halfway


Hopefully you now know the best pan for crispy roast potatoes. There are so many roasting pans on the market that it can be challenging to know which is the best option for you.

In general, metal is the safest option since it is sturdy and a good conductor of heat. Metal pans typically come with handles, which makes carrying them easier.  

If you use glass or ceramic, ensure that the pans are explicitly created for roasting to avoid the pan breaking or shattering during roasting. To prevent your potatoes from sticking, use non-stick spray and oil in the pan. Select a roasting pan with around 2-3 inches of depth for a good balance of heat convection and spill prevention.

Have any questions? Ask me in the comment section below and I’ll get back to you.

Tom Hambly

Tom Hambly is the founder of Boss The Kitchen. With a background in cooking and building websites, he enjoys running this site to help other cooks improve. About Tom Hambly.

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