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Puzzled About Potatoes

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Some time ago I saw an Alton Brown episode in which he posted a recipe/technique for making a baked russet potato. He suggested coating the skin with oil and salt before baking, AB claimed, IIRC, that it would result in a nice, crispy skin. This morning I saw an episode of Sarah's Secrets, and she said that coating the skin with oil would prevent getting a nice crispy skin, and suggested baking the 'tater dry. Now, truth be told, I've not baked a russet potato in the oven since 1991, and at that I didn't actually bake the potatoes, but a house guest, so, in essense, I have no experience in this regard. Anyone care to comment on these techniques and which gives the crispiest skin?

Sarah also explained the difference between cottage fries and home fries, which I thought were the same thing. She said that cottage fries were cooked from raw potatoes and that home fries were made from pre-cooked or par cooked spuds. Do you make such a distinction?

Shel

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post #2 of 24
baked russet potato, this is for my personal consumption......crank up the oven to 450-475* wash, poke a couple of times with a fork and bake approx 1 hour. hard crispy on the outside, soft fluff on the inside.....copious quantities of butter, salt and blop of sour cream.
Wrapping in foil softens the skin, not sure what the oil and salt do except flavor the skin....
It'd be an interesting experiment to cook them side by side. The temp matters. There are salt baked potatoes that are put in a pan of salt...not sure why you'd do it....anyone have an idea.
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post #3 of 24
Oil, large flake salt and coarse cracked pepper. Crank it up to 425. :) Crispy outside, soft dry inside.
post #4 of 24
I just stick mine unoiled, unpoked, unfoiled(foiling will actually steam them inside instead) bake at 400 in my convection ,slice down the centre squish ,done .perfect crispy outside soft fluffy inside and no work and no mess.
post #5 of 24
I prefer the dry way, its not failed me yet. Made some recently the oil and salt way, wasn't really pleased with the result. Skin turned out too much like shoe leather for me. Maybe I used the wrong type of potato.

No idea about what cottage fries are so can't help you there,sorry. I'm sure someone will know.
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post #6 of 24
Agree with Trulys, no foil - no oil. If in foil, would "oil" to make it happy :D

About pan of salt: coarse sea or stone salt conducts heat similar to burnt wooden charcoal. Makes skin REALLY crispy. Wouldn't do it unless you have another use for 3-4 lb of salt, like salt-crusted fish.
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post #7 of 24
One of my pet peeves is being served a baked potato wrapped in aluminum foil. That's a steamed potato in my book. Second most annoying thing (potato-wise) is getting one oiled and salted. I have to watch how many carbs I eat (diabetic) and I'd rather spend them on a crispy skin and leave the white middle behind.

Having had to clean an oven in which "unpoked" potatoes were baked and exploded, I always poke them.

I had the impression that the terms "home fries", "cottage fries" and to some extent "hash browns" were regional distinctions. I had never heard of cottage fries until I moved to Wisconsin. "Hash" usually means pretty well chopped up, so to me that means shreds or tiny cubes. Pre-cooked or not- well, I guess I have no opinion on how that affects the name.
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post #8 of 24
Thread Starter 
Agreed - I can't stand the presentation - some restaurants feel it's "classy"

I'd imagine that could happen and it would be rather messy. I suppose those that don't "poke"been lucky?

That was my impresssion as well. I was just curious ....

Shel
post #9 of 24
As I was reading this post, I had a flash back to my childhood (that is as close as I will call the time frame!) Did they always bake in the potato foil?

For some reason, I'm thinking that originally the foil was used to "dress" a baker after cooking and keep it warm.
post #10 of 24
I guess I've just been lucky becuase I don't poke mine and haven't had a potato explosion yet. I usually rub with olive oil and roll in kosher salt. We really like them that way. I haven't tried them dry yet. I've used baking potatoes from the grocer or russets and they both turned out pretty good.
post #11 of 24
Depends on the time of year.
Idaho Russetts are harvested once per year and stored for the other 11 months.

Cat Man
post #12 of 24
you will only get crispier skin if you deep fry the potatoes...however of you are baking and want crisp then first after cutting the potatoes rub them with bread crumbs and then apply a little oil and then bake it.
post #13 of 24
Thread Starter 
This afternoon I bought some potatoes for testing purposes. I'll post the results in a day or so. Not sure when I'll bake 'em. Maybe t'nite or tomorrow. Turns out that there are no 'tater fixins in the house. Out of butter and lemon (I like lemon on my potatoes)

Shel
post #14 of 24
t/j - Mezzaluna have you looked at the carb count on potato skins? Can you tell me or give me a guide line for that please?

Thanks!
post #15 of 24
Never doubt AB, he is a walking food encylopedia.
post #16 of 24
Thread Starter 
I'm neither t/j or mez, but since I watch my carbs I looked up some info yesterday:

Potato Carb Info & Recipe

Low-carb recipe: Simple Potato Skins
From Susan Bowerman, co-author of "The L.A. Shape Diet"
3 baking potatoes
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste

Optional seasonings: garlic salt, seasoned salt, seasoned pepper, herbs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Scrub potatoes; prick with a fork. Bake 1 hour or until tender. Cool on a rack for at least 15 minutes, then halve lengthwise and scoop out flesh, leaving 1/4-inch shell. Raise oven temperature to 425. Brush shells lightly with oil, sprinkle with seasonings; place skin-side-up on cookie sheet. Roast 20 minutes or until crispy. Fill with grilled meat, fish or poultry, plus vegetables; top with salsa or barbecue sauce. Or fill with chopped salad.

Per potato-skin half: 137 calories, 13.3g carbohydrates, 9g fat (1.2g saturated), 1.3g protein, 2.3g fiber, 6mg sodium.


Shel
post #17 of 24
Thanks shel!
post #18 of 24
Thread Starter 
I baked four potatoes last night - 375-degrees for an hour and ten minutes. The tater meat was delicious, but the skin didn't crisp up the way I thought it would. What I noticed is that the skin was paper thin on these potatoes, and I'm wondering if the skin may have been too thin to get crisp. Do different types of russets have thicker skin?

Maybe the temp was a little too low?

Shel
post #19 of 24

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Edited by Luc_H - 11/1/15 at 8:20pm
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post #20 of 24
Bluezebra, here's a link that includes the skin only but also the differences between varieties of potatoes (russet vs. red, etc.): Carbs in Potato - Carb Counter

Shel, it's about in line with your recipe for stuffed skins.
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post #21 of 24

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Edited by Luc_H - 11/1/15 at 8:19pm
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post #22 of 24
Thread Starter 
The taters I bought are not what I'd usually buy. I just bought an inexpensive pkg of some supermarket-type spuds. Usually I don't eat russets, but when I do, I buy those organic, dirty potatoes. It's been a while since I've purchased any, but I seem to remember the skin being thicker.

I was surprised to find how many russet variations and varieties there are, some having been developed for specific uses.

I'm going to get some dirty organics at some point and see what results. BTW, I never use a brus, just a cool water hand wash.

Shel
post #23 of 24
Thread Starter 
Great link for us 'tater heads. Thanks!

Shel
post #24 of 24
before putting the potatoes in the oven dry and if possible wrop them in the foil and then put it in the oven this will certainly make the skin more crispier
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