ATK Kids

How to Make Ultracrispy Salt and Vinegar Smashed Potatoes

Salty science gives them the best texture and flavor.

Published July 5, 2022.

There are many incredible ways to cook potatoes, but this recipe for Salt-and-Vinegar Smashed Potatoes might be one of my favorites. Crispy and flavorful, they make the perfect side dish for pretty much every meal.

In this recipe, small red potatoes are first boiled in water that is loaded with a whole 1¼ cups of salt. All that salt does double duty: not only does it give the potatoes their seasoned taste but it also gives them their creamy (and smashable) texture. 

Kids can learn all about that salty science—and even more science in the kitchen—in ATK Kids’ The Complete Cookbook for Young Scientists, which is chock-full of recipes and experiments about the science that makes food delicious.


America’s Test Kitchen Kids brings delicious science to your kitchen! Over 70 kid-tested, kid-approved recipes and experiments teach young chefs about the fun and fascinating science of food.

Once the potatoes are creamy and tender, you can work on the ultracrispy part. First, before you smash the potatoes, let them dry out on a baking sheet for 10 minutes to rid them of any excess water that may prevent them from crisping. 

Then, brush a baking sheet evenly with ¼ cup of olive oil so that every potato gets evenly crispy. 

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After that, smash the potatoes flat with the bottom of a measuring cup, paint them with malt vinegar and season with pepper (which rounds out that delicious salt-and-vinegar flavor), and roast them at a hot 450 degrees till they’re well-browned and crisped. 

Finish them off with a bit more vinegar, and there you have it: the next best addition to your potato preparation repertoire.

Salt-and-Vinegar Smashed Potatoes

Cooking these potatoes in very salty water seasons them and makes them easy to smash.

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