Egg Whites Are The Secret For Deliciously Crispy Potatoes Every Time

Aside from being a delicious, protein-packed part of a healthy breakfast, egg whites are a key ingredient in everything from baked goods to cocktails thanks to their multifaceted capabilities. They're crucial to the airy fluffiness of chocolate mousse, macarons, and marshmallows. They create a frothy foam for fancy cocktails and the shiny glaze you see on top of brioche buns and bagels. Egg whites are also the secret ingredient that guarantees the crispiest potatoes every time.

The simple yet miraculous hack for crispy roasted potatoes uses egg whites as both a binding agent and a textural enhancement. All you have to do is whisk a couple of egg whites until they become white and fluffy, then toss the raw potatoes in the mixture to coat them using a bowl or colander. Just as egg whites transform into an airy, crunchy meringue as their water content dries up in the oven, they'll also provide a shatteringly crunchy coating for your roasted potatoes.

Furthermore, egg whites will also create a wet, sticky surface for all your favorite seasonings to cling to. Consequently, you won't need to use oil or any other fat to coat the potatoes. Egg whites have a versatile and neutral flavor that won't mask or otherwise alter the spice or herb mixtures you use to season your potatoes. The only change in protocol is to season the potatoes after you've fully coated them in the egg whites.

Best potatoes for the egg white hack

Egg white foam as both a crisping and binding agent works very well on small potatoes. It will more effectively transform thin-skinned potato types that you'd roast whole like new potatoes, red bliss, butterballs, and fingerlings. However, it'll also crisp up oven-roasted potato wedges, fries, or chunks.

If you toss thick-skinned, large potatoes like russets in egg whites, the egg whites will still serve as a sticky coating to bind seasonings, but won't be as effective for crispy skin. But by cutting large potatoes to expose their flesh, for wedges or fries, the egg whites will crisp up the surface, creating picture-perfect browned, bubbly edges and a delightfully crunchy contrast to their pillowy, starchy interiors.

Whichever type of potato you use, high heat is another key factor to achieve crispy edges. Temperatures between 425 and 450 degrees Fahrenheit are ideal. Timing depends on the size and type of potato. It's unlikely to be less than about 35 minutes. The smaller the potatoes or potato slices, the crispier the outcome. This is why many egg white foam potato recipes recommend smaller potatoes or thin-cut fries. When you assemble the potatoes on a baking sheet, leave a small space between each potato so that the dry heat can circulate around every edge. Touching or overlapping potato edges will create a barrier that stops the water in the egg whites from evaporating, which in turn will prevent the formation of the crispy skin you seek.