Potatoes are something I will never get tired of eating — there are just so many delicious ways to prepare them I never get bored! My personal favorite is a baked potato to go alongside steak or chicken. Recently, I stumbled across a simple tip for making the tastiest and most flavorful spuds possible: It’s all about the brine!
Yup, you heard that right, we want you to soak your potatoes in a mixture of salt and water just like you would a chicken or a whole turkey on Thanksgiving to ensure it stays juicy and moist. America’s Test Kitchen writer Danielle Lapierre says brining can help season the inside and outside of a potato as well (just be sure to poke them with a fork beforehand). Also, the salt dries out the skin, allowing it to get super crispy in the oven (yum!). What’s even better is brining potatoes only takes a few seconds instead of a few hours when it comes to meat! So there’s no excuse why you shouldn’t be doing this every time you’re baking your spuds.
I used this simple method that chef Elle Simone shared on the ATK YouTube channel and was pleasantly surprised about how much it made a difference. First, I mixed together 1/2 cup of water and two tablespoons of salt in a bowl until the salt was fully dissolved. Next, I washed and poked holes in four russet potatoes before rolling each one in the salt water for 10 seconds to coat them evenly. I placed the potatoes on a foil-lined baking sheet and baked them at 450 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 minutes. To test if they were done, I inserted a small knife into each potato to make sure the interior was soft. Then, they were ready to serve and do a taste test.
Watch the full video below to see how chef Simone preps these spuds:
I dolloped each potato with plain Greek yogurt (a healthier alternative to sour cream) and freshly cracked black pepper before digging in. Right away, I noticed the crunchy skin — my favorite part of a baked potato — was perfectly salty without being overpowering. The inside had a slightly salted flavor, that perfectly complemented the tartness from the yogurt and the pungent kick of black pepper.
Overall, I was really impressed with how this easy trick made the potatoes even more delicious than they already are. This will definitely my new go-to method for cooking baked potatoes!