Q&A Crunchy Roasted Vegetables

Every time I “roast” vegetables they never come out “crunchy”…is there a trick am I using too much oil? Any suggestions?

I’m interpreting “not crunchy” to mean that there’s too much moisture in the vegetable pieces, and that “crunchy” isn’t literal, rather that the vegetables are slightly brown around the edges, and have a bite to them when you eat them. There are a few things you can try to get the desired consistency:

  • Use a sheet pan. Make sure you’re using a flat, open sheet pan to roast your vegetables.
  • Don’t crowd the pan. Make sure your vegetable pieces are only just almost touching. Most vegetables will shrink when you cook them. And only put one layer of vegetables on the pan.
  • Toss them in oil, don’t drown them. Oil promotes heat transfer, but if you use too much, it will start to be absorbed by the vegetables during the cooking process.
  • Salt them before you roast them. This is especially true of eggplants. Water helps draw out moisture from the cells. Again, don’t go crazy, a big pinch per sheet pan should do. Season the vegetables at this point, too.
  • Don’t cover them. If you cover your sheet pan, there’s no where for the moisture to escape to, so it’ll settle back into your vegetables. This includes after you take them out of the oven as well.
  • Roast them, don’t bake them. Crank the heat up to 230°C (450°F) in the oven, and keep an eye on them as they cook.
    Set a timer to check every 15 minutes. Cook them just until the edges start to turn brown. Then pull them out and let them cool. Cooking times will vary depending on your oven and the total volume of food.

Keep your eye on them as they cook, or they will be crunchier than you expect, a.k.a burnt.



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