Food Hacks
Chef shares method for cooking baked potatoes that come out perfect every time
There are a couple of steps in her process that I've never heard of but the proof is in the "pudding". There's definitely a wrong way and a right way.
Jessica Adler
11.23.21

The baked potato. Need we say more? This ever so humble dish has been pleasing palates and keeping bellies full for centuries.

With all that time and countless variations, you’d think we’d have the basics of it down pat, right? Well, not so much.

Baked potatoes don’t always turn out.

Sadly, there have been many potatoes that have exited the oven with tough, leathery skins and mealy textures.

Fortunately, this chef is giving us a tell-all on how to avoid it.

Pexels - Daisy Anderson
Source:
Pexels - Daisy Anderson

YouTube cooking channel America’s Test Kitchen has a helpful video, showcasing the techniques you can use to bake your potatoes to perfection without fail.

Test cook Elle Simone appears on the show to give the host her rundown on her perfect potato method.

So let’s get into it.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • russet potatoes
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 4 oz goat cheese
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp parsley
  • 1 tbsp finely diced shallots
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • vegetable oil

Go ahead and preheat your oven to 450° F (232° C).

Poke holes in potatoes with a fork.

Press a fork two or three times on each side.

YouTube- America's Test Kitchen
Source:
YouTube- America's Test Kitchen

Russets really are the best.

These have the highest starch density, which makes them perfect for baking to get that lovely fluffy texture.

The next step in making the perfect crispy-skinned baked potatoes is to brine them before we bake them.

Pour half a cup of water into a bowl and add 2 tbsp of salt. Mix the salt well into the water.

The key with the brining is to not brine them for too long. A few seconds of submergence into the saltwater is enough to do the job.

YouTube- America's Test Kitchen
Source:
YouTube- America's Test Kitchen

Tray them and bake them.

Place your potatoes on a tray with a rack to allow them to bake evenly on top and bottom.

We want to bake our potatoes to a specific temperature, rather than for a set time. When we pull our potatoes out, they should be at an internal temperature of 205° F.

This should take about 45 minutes to an hour in the oven.

YouTube- America's Test Kitchen
Source:
YouTube- America's Test Kitchen

Stick a thermometer in it.

As Elle Simone describes, pushing a thermometer needle into our potatoes achieves two things simultaneously.

It allows us to check the temperature of our potatoes, obviously, but it also allows us to check the resistance. A properly cooked potato will allow the needle to slide in and out with ease.

YouTube- America's Test Kitchen
Source:
YouTube- America's Test Kitchen

Brush with oil and patience.

Brush your cooked-through potatoes with vegetable oil, and place them back into the oven for approximately ten more minutes.

You can alternatively brush them with rendered fats such as duck fat, but not butter as that actually contains moisture.

YouTube- America's Test Kitchen
Source:
YouTube- America's Test Kitchen

Work up “the works”.

Combine your goat cheese, olive oil, parsley, shallots, and lemon zest in a bowl and mix well.

Season with salt and pepper to taste, but bear in mind that the potatoes will already be salty, so don’t overdo it.

YouTube- America's Test Kitchen
Source:
YouTube- America's Test Kitchen

Slits are key.

After the additional ten minutes in the oven, your potatoes should have perfectly crispy skins. You will be able to hear how crispy they are when you cut crosses into the tops.

Make sure to get straight into it rather than leaving them to lose their steam and texture.

YouTube- America's Test Kitchen
Source:
YouTube- America's Test Kitchen

Top off with the good stuff.

Place a wee block of butter on top to melt, and put in a healthy scoop of your topping, and hey, it’s ready to enjoy!

Your potato will have the perfect fluffy texture, and delectable crispy skins.

YouTube- America's Test Kitchen
Source:
YouTube- America's Test Kitchen

See Elle’s full tutorial for perfect potatoes in the video below!

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

Share this article
By Jessica Adler
hi@sbly.com
Jessica Adler is a contributor at SBLY Media.
Advertisement
Advertisement