Why You Should Never Pierce Sweet Potatoes Before Roasting Them

Unlike white potatoes, yams and sweet potatoes don't have skins that are pleasurable to eat. Instead of getting crispy, they get tough, with a texture somewhere between paper and leather. The insides, however, are quite delicious, and we have the skin to thank for that because it acts as a perfect roasting packet for the tuber’s fluffy interior. Here’s the key: it does its job best if you don’t pierce it before cooking. Piercing a sweet potato lets steam and sugar escape while roasting, and that’s a waste. Don’t worry, the sweet potato won’t explode without being pierced. In fact, they are much easier to peel because the steam pushes against the skin as it tries to escape, separating it from the flesh. Roasting a whole, un-punctured sweet potato in a hot oven — 450ยบ F for about an hour — results in a tender, fluffy potato with flimsy, somewhat charred skin that flakes off in huge pieces with the gentlest of tugs.