Forget mashing potatoes, smashing them yields a soft, tender inside and jagged, crispy edges. The contrast in textures is deeply satisfying, and it’s become a family favorite. It gets requested often enough that I wince at the thought of boiling and baking the potatoes. Can’t there be an easier process for the same result? Let’s find out.
Basic Smashed Potatoes
- 1 lb (450 g) skin-on baby potatoes (about 30), yellow or red
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp granulated garlic, granulated onion, onion salt, or your favorite spice blend (optional)
Method 1: Boil + Bake
Scrub potatoes well. Place in a pot and cover with cold water by 1 inch (2½ cm). Cover partially with the lid and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook for 15 minutes or until a fork easily pierces through. Drain in a colander; cool until comfortable to handle and mostly dried.
Heat oven to 450°F (230°C).
Arrange potatoes on an unlined baking sheet. Using the bottom of a cup or a masher, smash the potatoes flat. Don’t use excessive force or they’ll break apart. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with seasoning. Bake for 30–45 minutes, depending on desired doneness.
Method 2: Bake Twice
Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).
Instead of boiling, arrange scrubbed potatoes on an unlined baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes or until a fork easily pierces through. Remove from oven. Using the bottom of a cup or a masher, smash the potatoes flat. Don’t use excessive force or they’ll break apart. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with seasoning.
Raise oven heat to 450°F (230°C). Bake an additional 5–15 minutes, depending on desired doneness.
I imagined I’d find the difference in results stark, but in reality it was subtle. The baked-only potatoes softened nicely and the second wave of heat crisped the edges. They are good.
The boiled-then-baked version was fluffier and the inside remarkably creamier. They are ultimate.
Bottom line? Method 1 is ideal, but method 2 is a convenient fallback for when you want to save a step.
(Originally featured in Family Table, Issue 765)
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