06 August 2020

Crispy-Skinned Fluffy Baked Potatoes - Jacket Potatoes

Crispy-Skinned Fluffy Baked Potatoes - Jacket Potatoes / www.delightfulrepast.com

Baked potatoes (in the UK, jacket potatoes) are simply wonderful when done well and horrid if done wrong. There are all sorts of methods to achieving the "perfect" baked potato, some of which do not result in my idea of the perfect potato but might make your perfect potato.

First, you must select the proper baking potato, which is a starchy, floury (rather than waxy) potato. In the US, that means the russet potato (I always buy organic). In the UK, try Maris Piper, King Edward, or Estima. Wherever you are, you need a proper baking potato.

If you don't like eating the potato skin, it might not be important to you to achieve a crisp skin. But we enjoy a delicious crisp, slightly salty potato skin, without a leathery bottom, so this particular method works for us.


Crispy-Skinned Fluffy Baked Potatoes - Jacket Potatoes (this image, a watercolor sketch) / www.delightfulrepast.com
Couldn't resist doing a quick little watercolor sketch, since I've never
painted a potato, baked or otherwise, in my life!


The brining step is something I picked up when I was flipping through YouTube one day and happened onto the channel of Kent Rollins, a charming chuck wagon cook in Oklahoma. He was baking some really big potatoes, so made more brine than this. Brining is the only thing I did differently than usual, and it makes a difference.

Since we're not hardworking cowboys here, I consider the 7-ounce potatoes I used to be the perfect size baked potato. But if you like to use larger potatoes, you'll need to extend the initial baking time. 

But I hate serving people a huge potato they might not be able to finish. Scraping wasted food into the bin hurts my heart, so I'd rather leave 'em wanting more! Hey, dessert's still coming, they're going to be happy!

And someday, when we can have people over again, I think a baked potato bar would be fun, with a selection of toppings to suit everyone's taste: sour cream, shredded cheese, nacho cheese sauce, caramelized onions, snipped chives, green onions, fresh herbs, chili. What's your favorite topping? 

Crispy-Skinned Fluffy Baked Potatoes - Jacket Potatoes / www.delightfulrepast.com
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Crispy-Skinned Fluffy Baked Potatoes


(Makes 4, can be doubled)

The Potatoes

4 medium (6- to 8-ounce/170 to 227 grams) russet potatoes (outside US, choose another starchy, floury potato meant for baking)

The Brine

1/2 cup (4 fluid ounces/118 ml) water
2 tablespoons salt

The Finish

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 With oven rack in middle of oven, preheat oven to 450F/230C/Gas8. Line a 13x9x1-inch quarter sheet pan with foil. Place a wire rack over the pan and rub a bit of oil on the rack.

Note: You might have a wire cooling rack that fits inside a quarter sheet pan, but I don't; mine just fits over it. If I were baking 8 medium potatoes, I'd use my 18x13x1-inch half sheet pan which does have a wire rack that fits down in it.

Crispy-Skinned Fluffy Baked Potatoes - Jacket Potatoes / www.delightfulrepast.com


2 Scrub the potatoes very well since you will want to eat the lovely crispy potato skin. Prick them all over with a fork. I always do 8 on this size potato, 3 on top, 3 on bottom and 1 on each side. In a bowl large enough to hold a potato, stir together the water and salt. Dip each potato in the brine, rolling it around to coat all surfaces. Place on the rack.

3 Bake for 45 minutes, at which point the potatoes should be done (though we're not going to stop there). Check one of the potatoes for doneness by your favorite method. An instant-read thermometer (Thermapen or ThermoPop) inserted in the center should register 205 to 210F/96 to 99C. If you use the same type, shape and size potato every time, you'll find the perfect timing for your oven.

4 Remove from oven. Brush tops and sides with the olive oil (or bacon grease, duck fat, goose fat, etc). Return to oven for an additional 10 minutes. As soon as you take them out of the oven after the second bake, slit the tops and give the ends a bit of a squeeze. Serve immediately.

Disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon .com and affiliated sites. We are a ThermoWorks affiliate, earning a small commission at no cost to you on purchases made through our links. This helps cover some of the costs of running the blog. Thank you for your support. 

Jean

52 comments:

Angie's Recipes said...

A simple yet very good side dish!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Angie. Sometimes "simple" is very poorly done.

Thomas "Sully" Sullivan said...

Attention, Irish forebears. Plug your ears, hum, and wag your tongues. Potatoes do nothing for me. They are a nil set. Don’t hate ‘em, don’t love ‘em. As a sponge for butter, they serve a purpose – French fries excluded (haven’t eaten one in years, if not decades). But skins (jackets) are a different food. Wrapped around a pat of butter, they qualify as a treat. Interesting side bars on the UK, Jean. And if you’ve ever heard the former governor of Idaho who became a spokesman for the potato industry, you will be impressed. (If you’ve ever heard him do his spiel OFF-camera, your hair will stand on end.)

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Sully, I knew you weren't a potato fan, but I did not know of your appreciation of potato skins! I'm intrigued about the spokesman's spiel; do you have a link?

TONY said...

Baked potatoes!! Now you are talking Jean. Marilyn and I have experimented with baked potatoes ( sometimes we do indeed call them jacket potatoes) over the years. We have discovered that with the very BIG potatoes it is best to microwave them for 5 or 6 minutes before baking them in the oven. We do sometimes baste them in olive oil. Some butter and sea salt on the steaming potato when you cut it open is good but you can create all sorts of imaginative fillings. Sometimes we make a tuna and mayonnaise filling. A chilli con carne sauce is also very good.A few herbs helps out too. You can melt grated cheese over the jacket potato as well. Its good to experiment I think. So, tell me this staole of the English diet, is it American too? I feel shocked!! All th best, Tony

Jeanie said...

Rick loves baked potatoes, a little more than I do. Usually I'll give him a big one, me a small one or if they're the same size, he usually eats half of mine or sometimes even two! (Especially after a ride!) I'm going to do this next time. Maybe even this week! Thanks for a great idea.

LOVE your potato watercolor! Seeing you paint makes me happy!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Yes, Tony, this English staple is also an American staple! And the russet potatoes come in all sizes, from about 4 ounces on up to over half a kilo each. But I prefer the 6- to 8-ounce, or maybe even up to 10 ounces. No need to give that size a head start in the microwave. All your toppings sound good!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks so much, Jeanie. I love seeing you paint too! Let me know how Rick likes his baked potatoes with this method. Bet he needs to eat vast amounts of food after those crazy-long bike rides he does!

Anonymous said...

I love baked potatoes, so will sure try this recipe.

Pauline Wiles said...

Oh, a baked potato bar with choice of toppings would be SO fun! And yes, we've had some funny scenes in (US) restaurants where British relatives have asked for a "jacket" potato. That always causes great confusion!

Ann Rue said...

I LOVE baked potatoes, so will sure try them like this

ellen b. said...

I'd like one of those right now!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Anonymous. Do let me know how you liked them.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Pauline. I'm sure those British relatives cause a scene wherever they go here! :D

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Ann, I hope you'll try them soon and let me know how they turned out for you.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Ellen. Me, too!

Tamago said...

I love baked potatoes and love a crispy skin! Potato bar is a really fun idea. I like my baked potatoes with butter, chives, basil, bacon bits, hard boiled eggs, chili, etc etc. Caramelized onions are great, too. So many things go well with baked potatoes :-)

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Tamago, thank you. How could I have left bacon off my list! It's one of my favorites.

Vee said...

My baked potatoes must have very crispy skin, which is why I never put any sort of oil or grease on them and never use a pan. The potato always rests on the lower grill, unwrapped of course. The best baked potatoes I ever had were done in a woodstove oven and baked for about four hours at 250°...amazing! I"'ll never see the like of them again.

Don't you love Kent? He is a hoot. I am only sorry that he only does one video a week having caught up with all of his available ones.

Cocoa and Lavender said...

It amazes me that just a quick dip in the brine makes a difference! I will definitely try this, and I am in total agreement with you about the potato size. It is almost impossible to find a reasonably-sized russet potato in this country now. So sad.

As for my favorite toppings? It takes me back to childhood - butter, sour cream (yes both!), and freshly snipped chives from the garden. I know it isn't the healthiest, but it just reminds me of Mom.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Vee, I would place my potatoes right on the oven rack, except I brush some yummy fat on them for the final 10 minutes; so it's just easier to have them on a rack in a sheet pan. I've never had one baked in a woodstove, but I can imagine! Kent IS a hoot!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

David, that amazed me as well! I thought you'd have to let them soak a spell, but no, just put it in the bowl and roll it around till the entire surface is wet, and that's it. I've found that I can get a good amount of those perfectly sized potatoes when I buy a 5-pound bag of organic russets. The ones in the bag that are smaller or larger, I use for mashed potatoes or other purposes. Let me know when you try it! And I'm one of those people who does not think there's anything unhealthy about good butter and sour cream!

Cocoa and Lavender said...

I hadn't thought of a bag purchase - I bet Trader Joe has them. Great idea. I usually don't buy 5 pounds at a time but, really, more potatoes is a good thing! And I am completely on your side with the butter and sour cream!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

I usually just buy a 5-pound bag when I'm going to be using them all for potato salad. But since I've been doing online orders, it was just easier to order the bag.

Vic said...

Jean, it's been an age since I visited your blog (for no good reason.) I have a set of 6 plates identical to the one featured in this post. I had no idea I had such good taste, Hah! The dish looks delicious. I hope you are doing well in this crazy year. Stay safe, Vic

Creations By Cindy said...

We like potatoes about any way I fix them but I am a fan of baked potatoes with the skin on. I usually buy 5 lbs of potatoes at a time. Great tip on the brine. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Vic, so good to hear from you! I've wondered about you many times! Yes, you DO have good taste. :-) I'm staying well and hope you are too.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Cindy, I'm so glad you're going to try the brine. Do let me know how you like it. It makes the skins so tasty.

Phil in the Kitchen said...

Well, I know I'm not quite in line with most people on this subject but, although I like a fluffy baked potato, I often prefer a baked waxy potato or perhaps I should say semi-waxy. There's something very satisfying to me in getting a creamy and not too fluffy texture. I've never brined a potato, though, and that's something I've really got to try. I'm not sure what my favourite topping is, but when I make any ratatouille then a dollop or two will often end up on a baked potato and that's a real treat for me.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Phil, that would be grand—ratatouille on a baked potato! That's one I've never thought of! I hope you'll try the brining next time and let me know your verdict. I know I'll never NOT do it now.

Amanda said...

What a delicious treat. I have never met a potato I didn't like, and have fond memories of snacking on hot baked spuds, dripping with butter, in my share house days!

April J Harris said...

I do love your watercolours, Jean! That is the prettiest painted potato I've ever seen! I'm so intrigued by your cooking method here. Like you I love crispy skin on a baked potato, but I dislike leathery, burned bottoms. I can't wait to give this method a try - your potatoes look amazing. Thank you for being a part of the Hearth and Soul Link Party Community. I’m featuring this post at the party this week. Hope to ‘see’ you there! Take care, stay well, and I hope this is a lovely week for you and yours.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Amanda. And I, too, have never met a potato I didn't like! My favorite food of all time is mashed potatoes!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

April, thank you so much. Brown foods never seem like the most exciting subjects to paint or photograph! I can't wait to hear how the baked potatoes turn out for you. See you at #HearthAndSoul!

Karen (Back Road Journal) said...

We definitely like a delicious crisp, slightly salty potato skin and can't wait to try your version. Actually tonight we are having steak and potatoes so it seems my timing was perfect.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Karen, I'm so glad! Do let me know how they turn out for you. Enjoy that dinner, which I would love to be having--have the potatoes, but no steak on hand.

Ornery Owl said...

Say, how did you know about my potato miseries? ;-)
I'm going to try this! Russet potatoes are cheaper and more plentiful than the waxy yellow potatoes I've been using since I couldn't get the russets to turn out in a way that satisfied me.
My son told me that the spam comments are made by bots. I had a run of absolutely filthy ones on one of my blogs. I turned off comments for that blog since its mostly a place where I share links to my various projects.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Ornery Owl, glad I could help with your "potato miseries"—lots of people have them! Made these again last night, and they were perfect. Hope you like them.

Richard Sheppard said...

Love the potato watercolor BTW! I'm not for waxy potatoes either but my favorite is the Yukon Golds because they have such good flavor. I like the brining technique so I'll have to give it a go next time!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Richard! I was just going for a quick, loose, washy, drop in a bit of this and that sketch! I think you'll be brining your baked potatoes from now on!

Kitchen Riffs said...

I DO like to eat the skin, so crispy all the way for me. This is a neat recipe -- the idea of the brine is new to me, and intriguing. Definitely will be trying that! Thanks. :-)

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, John. I'm sure you and Mrs Riff will like it! AND come up with the perfect libation for it.

Lowcarb team member said...

Lovely to see, jacket potatoes/baked potatoes, and your watercolour is good too.

All the best Jan

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Jan, thanks so much. Potatoes are my favorite carb!

Sherry's Pickings said...

love your watercolour! and baked potatoes are a joy too:)

kitty@ Kitty's Kozy Kitchen said...

I have rubbed salt on potatoes before baking, but never bribed them, Jean. I’ll have to try that! Your watercolor is so pretty.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Sherry! Both fun!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Kitty. Just another way for me to have fun with food! :-) If you try this brining method, do let me know how it worked for you.

Victoria Zigler said...

I love a good baked potato. Never made them like this though. Will have to try your method at some point.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Let me know if you do, Victoria. I know I'll never make them any other way!

At Rivercrest Cottage said...

I thought I knew how to bake a potato, but you've made me realize I was blowing it. I'll be making these for the whole family. Thank you.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, ARC! That made me laugh on this already hot morning! Can't wait for you to try them and let me know your thoughts.

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