British students have developed a mathematical formula showing the best way to roast potatoes in order to make them perfectly crispy. Say goodbye to burned or undercooked chips!
Do you find it difficult to cook roast potatoes in the oven without making a mess of it? Not to worry, students in the Edge Hotel School in the University of Sussex (UK) are there to come to your rescue. In order to do so, they sought the advice of other students, whose expertise lies in fields other than the service sector. In fact, they linked up with mathematics students in the Samuel Whitbread School in Sheffort, who came to their aid, as explained in a BBC article.
The students started with a recipe by British chef Heston Blumenthal, which provided valuable advice. The chef specifies how to best cut the potatoes so as to maximise their exposure to heat, and explains that the worst thing you can do is cook entire potatoes -which are roughly round -as this doesn’t provide any angles or sides that could crisp up.
Additionally, the students calculated the best way to cut the potatoes in order to obtain the optimal surface area. This is what gave birth to a mathematical formula which was shared on Twitter (see the image below). The Twitter post advises that you cut the potato in two lengthways and then cut it into four, maintaining an angle of 30°. According to the formula, this chopping method provides you with 65% exposed surface area to crisp up!
Although the formula explains how to perfectly roast potatoes, it doesn’t provide much more information about the results. However, the students carried out a real-life test, in which hotel guests were offered around a hundred potatoes cooked according to the formula, and around a hundred others cooked in the traditional way. It appears that the potatoes cooked to formula won the vote.