Suppose you believe that every recipe for baked potatoes is the same. I can categorically state that they are not after putting the potatoes through the baking procedure that America’s Test Kitchen (ATK) recommends. A straightforward method that ATK possesses ensures that you will have the fluffiest and most precisely seasoned baked potato of your dreams: the ATK technique. Salt, which you probably already have in your cabinet, is the only thing you will need to test it out. This is how it works.
The Uncomplicated Method for Making Baked Potatoes That Are Rich in Flavour
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit to begin. After being washed and dried, russet potatoes weighing between seven and nine ounces should be lightly punctured with a fork six times.
The following is the step that you might not have seen before, but when you have tried it once, you will never skip it again: A half cup of water and two teaspoons of salt should be mixed together in a big basin and stirred until the salt is completely dissolved. Check to see that the salt has completely dissolved. In the event that salt crystals fall to the bottom of the solution, it is quite probable that they will remain there, which is undesirable.
To incorporate the salted water into the potatoes, place them in the bowl and give them a good toss. There is no need to soak them; all that is required is a brief dip.
When it comes to salting a spherical ingredient like a potato, you will never come out on top. Even after being covered with oil or another liquid, it is difficult to get the salt to adhere to the surface. The people who work at ATK came up with this brilliant idea (no pun intended): use a salt brine to season the potatoes in an equal manner. Following the application of a coating of highly salted water, the potatoes are placed in the hot oven for approximately one hour. During this time, the water evaporates, leaving behind potato skins that are properly salted.
4 Smart Tips for Better Baked Potatoes
- How to Choose the Best Potatoes for Baking: When it comes to baking, russet potatoes are the best option. In comparison to their water content, they are rich in starch. While the potatoes are baking, the starch in them absorbs the water and expands, giving them the crumbly, fluffy feel that you are familiar with and like.
- The Ideal Temperature for the Oven In order to turn a potato from stone-hard to soft and fluffy in around one hour, the oven has to be heated to the appropriate temperature. According to the findings of ATK, the best temperature for baking potatoes is 450 degrees Fahrenheit, which is also the highest temperature at which they can be baked without leaving the centre uncooked.
- It is possible to achieve tough, papery skins on the potatoes by coating them with oil or butter before baking them. This step should be done at the very end. The potato skins will be crisp and have a flavour that is reminiscent of toast and soil if you wait to brush them with oil until after they have been cooked through most of the way.
- Immediately Score and Fluff: As soon as the potatoes are finished baking, it is essential to remove moisture (in the form of steam) from them. By scoring and fluffing them, this is possible. The cooked potatoes should be scored with an “X” using a tiny knife, and then they should be pushed open to enable any steam that has been trapped within to escape. In the event that cooked potatoes are allowed to cool without releasing their steam, the liquid will return to the flesh, resulting in a potato that is significantly thicker.
A Simple Method to Determine Whether or Not the Potatoes Have Been Fully Cooked
You should make use of a probe thermometer if you have one. When you have a thermometer on hand, there is no need to make any educated guesses! The probe should be inserted into the portion of the biggest potato that is the thickest. The ideal temperature range for the fluffiest texture is between 205 and 212 degrees Fahrenheit, so if it hits that range, they are ready to go.