The Water Hack You Should Never Skip When Roasting Sweet Potatoes

Roasting sweet potatoes is a breeze, right? Simply put them in a hot oven for an hour to be rewarded with a yummy, piping-hot spud with tangerine-colored flesh that's filling, delicious, and comforting. Having said that, there's an effortless way to boost their flavor and texture even further by employing a quick hack that doesn't require any fiddly bits of equipment. All you need are a few tablespoons of water and a sheet of aluminum foil to bundle up your taters before you bake them to make the fluffiest, creamiest sweet potatoes ever.

This simple trick — shared by Utokia Langley on TikTok – results in a baked potato with a pillow-soft interior because it creates a steam bath that prevents your tubers from drying out. The steam stays trapped inside the foil, lending your spuds a fluffy, uber-appetizing texture and tender skin. This water method also adds minimal time to the traditional roasting process but delivers to the maximum when it comes to enhancing the natural sweetness of the taters. Plus, it's faster than other techniques that are said to boost the fluffiness of sweet potatoes, such as baking them from frozen. Once they're cooked to perfection, you can scoop out the creamy flesh to use in other recipes, such as croquettes, or sweet potato pie, or enjoy them whole with your favorite spud toppings and a generous knob of butter. 

How to roast sweet potatoes using water and foil

Prepare your sweet potatoes in the same way you would prepare white varieties of potato, such as a floury Maris Piper or buttery Yukon Gold: By washing them well. Then, place each of your washed sweet potatoes on some aluminum foil, bring up the sides to create a little cradle, and pour in 4 to 5 tablespoons of water. Finally, close up the foil tightly to prevent the water from escaping, and place your potatoes on a baking tray before roasting in the oven. You can also place the potatoes directly onto your oven rack, but baking them on a sheet pan means any sticky juices that escape won't cause a mess on the base of your oven and create an odor.

When the sweet potatoes are cooked, open the foil and slit them open to reveal the deliciously soft orange flesh in the center. They should be evenly baked and super-tender in the middle, courtesy of the steam created by the dash of water added before the roasting process. Feel free to add butter and gently mash the insides with a fork to serve them as a delicious side. Better yet, drizzle over some honey or maple syrup, close them back up in the foil, and refrigerate for a ready-to-go plant-based dessert.