Assume you hold the belief that each baked potato recipe is identical. It is with absolute certainty that they are not, even after subjecting the potatoes to the baking method suggested by America’s Test Kitchen (ATK). Your baked potatoes will be perfectly seasoned and exceptionally light, thanks to the ATK technique, which is a straightforward method owned by ATK. Salt, which is likely already in your pantry, is the only ingredient required to conduct the experiment. This is the manner in which it operates.
An Uncomplicated Technique for Preparing Flavorful Baked Potatoes
To commence, preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Russell potato weights between seven and nine ounces should be gently incised six times with a fork subsequent to the drying and washing process.
You may not have noticed the following phase before, but once you have executed it, you will never neglect it again: In a large basin, combine two teaspoons of salt with half a cup of water and agitate until the salt is completely dissolved. Confirm that the salt has dissolved entirely. It is highly likely that salt crystals will settle to the bottom of the solution, where they will persist, which is not desired.
In order to integrate the salted water into the potatoes, proceed by tossing them vigorously in the basin. It is unnecessary to submerge them; a fleeting immersion is sufficient.
You will never succeed when it comes to salting a spherical ingredient such as a potato. Even after being coated with oil or another liquid, adhesion of the salt to the surface remains challenging. The employees of ATK devised this ingenious (no pun intended) notion: uniformly season the potatoes with a salt brine. After a coating of significantly salted water has been applied, the potatoes are heated in an oven preheated to approximately one hour. The water dissipates during this period, leaving behind potato skins that have been adequately salted.
Four Intelligent Suggestions for Baking Better Potatoes
- Selecting the Finest Potatoes for Baking: In the context of cookery, russet potatoes exhibit superior qualities. They contain a greater quantity of glucose than water. Because the starch in the potatoes absorbs water and expands while they bake, they acquire the familiar, airy texture that you enjoy.
- The Optimal Operating Degree for the Oven To transform a potato from rigid and brittle to tender and airy within an hour, the necessary temperature must be set on the oven. ATK’s research indicates that 450 degrees Fahrenheit is the optimal baking temperature for potatoes, as well as the maximum temperature at which they can be baked without the interior becoming uncooked.
- One can attain resilient, parchment-like exteriors on the potatoes through the application of a pre-baking butter or oil coating. This phase ought to be completed last. Delaying the application of oil to coat the potato skins until they have reached a 90% cooked state will result in crusty skins that possess a flavour reminiscent of soil and toast.
- Immediately Fluff and Score: It is critical to eliminate moisture (in the form of vapour) from the potatoes as soon as they are removed from the oven. This is achievable by applying scoring and fluffing. After scoring the cooked potatoes with a “X” with a small knife, they should be pushed open to allow any steam that may have become caught inside to exit. Should cooked potatoes be left to chill without releasing their steam, the liquid will re-enter the tissue, leading to a substantial increase in thickness.
A Straightforward Procedure for Determining Whether Potatoes Have Completely Cooked
It is advisable to utilise a probe thermometer, should one be available. The utilisation of a thermometer eliminates the necessity for educated guesswork. The instrument ought to be inserted into the thickest portion of the largest potato. Between 205 and 212 degrees Fahrenheit is the optimal temperature range for the fluffiest texture; therefore, they are set to go when they reach that temperature range.