The best tips for roasting yams are to serve them as large halves, chopped up chunks, or thin round slices. Each method has its own benefits and lends itself well to a certain kind of roasted yam dish. They each have their own challenges as well, such as increased preparation time or a longer cooking time. Overall though, they make up the easiest and most popular methods of roasting yams.
For a sweet candied yam type of dish, cutting the vegetables in half and roasting them as large pieces often works well. It may be necessary to bake the yams whole first, letting them cool and cutting them in half before roasting them. This extra step does mean that the process takes quite a bit longer than other methods, but it results in nicely roasted yam halves. It is important to keep the skins on when roasting yams this way, and it is best to cut them lengthwise when splitting them in half. To get the best sweet yam taste, add a dollop of butter and a sprinkle of brown sugar to each half before roasting them.
Cutting yams into pieces is a good way to make an herb-seasoned yam dish because the smaller pieces are easier to brown and season. The yams should be peeled when being prepared this way, and it is important for the cut pieces to be as similar in size as possible to promote even cooking. A deeper baking dish, like one used to roast a turkey, is good for this, and a drizzle of olive oil, or other cooking oil, should be used to help the yams cook properly. Roasting yams this way takes anywhere from 40 minutes to an hour to do properly and requires a little bit more preparation time than other methods because the yams have to be peeled and chopped.
Roasting yams that are cut into thin round slices is a good way to make a dish that really showcases the natural flavor of the yams themselves. This kind of dish looks nice when plated and works well with a minimal amount of seasoning on the yams. It may be a good idea to peel the yams before slicing them into rounds, but it is not necessarily a must for this style of roasting yams. A shallow baking dish or sheet works well for cooking the slices, and the cooking time will be shorter because the pieces of the vegetable are not as thick as they are in the other two methods. A little salt and pepper is a good addition to the yam slices and is often enough seasoning for this type of dish.