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!
Why You Should Brine Potatoes Before Baking Them
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.
How To Make Baked Potatoes Using the Brine Method
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!