How Often To Toss Sweet Potatoes When Roasting For The Best Results

Sweet potatoes are extremely nutritious and a supremely versatile starch in the kitchen. You can bake, fry, mash, or boil them, and they are just as good in a sweet dish as a savory one. But roasting sweet potatoes is by far one of the best ways to prepare these yummy (or is it yammy?) spuds — so simple and straightforward that you can do it at the last minute when you can't seem to figure out what to have for dinner.

The crispy edges and soft and creamy centers are what make roasted sweet potatoes such a crowd-pleaser. However, achieving that perfect texture and flavor requires some finesse in the cooking process. You've got to pay attention to the size of the potato cubes, warm up the oven to the right temperature, coat them with enough oil, space them out on the baking tray, and toss them around as they roast. Tossing them seems easy enough, right? But how often do you do it? If you said something longer than every five minutes, you aren't giving them the attention they need. 

Toss your sweet potatoes every five minutes when roasting

Tossing and turning your sweet potatoes is all about giving each side of the cubes an opportunity to face the heat and get them well-caramelized since the part that faces down browns more. And rather than settling for a single or pair of crunchy sides, frequent flipping can make these cubes satisfyingly crunchy as well as tender. 

Most recipes recommend one toss halfway through the cooking time. And while this will cook them through, a single toss won't get every side extra crispy, so we recommend several during its cook time. Frequent tossing also ensures the potatoes cook uniformly, which is all the more necessary if you're roasting larger chunks. As you toss, it's a good idea to rotate the raw sides of the cubes toward the pan and check for doneness by poking them with a fork until they feel tender.

Your oven type can also dictate how often you need to turn sweet potatoes when roasting. Every five minutes is recommended with conventional ovens, but a convection oven or air fryer will require fewer rotations because they have fans that help circulate hot air evenly throughout it.