Recipe Review

This Method for Baking Potatoes Will Give You the Creamiest Results You’ve Ever Seen

published May 9, 2022
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Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn; Food Stylist: Brett Regot/Kitchn

Looking for a fresh take on the traditional baked potato or need a great dinner party conversation starter? Recipe developer and food stylist Carolina Gelen’s recent Reel share will cover both bases.

In the recent video, Gellen offers her recipe for salt baked potatoes and the process she uses to make them. Calling it “the perfect go-to recipe for a dinner party centerpiece,” the potatoes — which, as she notes in an explainer TikTok video, use the salt-crust method — are said to deliver the silkiest results you’ve ever seen.

If the salt-baked method sounds familiar, it may be because you’ve heard it used to cook vegetables, meats, and fish by packing them into a moistened salt mixture. While the method does season the foods being cooked, its main purpose is to insulate the food. “It absorbs the moisture and it evenly, gently, slowly cooks whatever you put in it,” Gelen explains in the follow-up TikTok video.

To create what Gelen calls a “salt oven” in her explanation video, start by combining 4 to 5 cups of kosher salt — or any coarse salt — with enough liquid to achieve a wet sand consistency. Gelen explains that she used egg whites for this particular recipe, which yields a more compact crust. But the process works just as well with water or aquafaba.

Once your salt mixture is ready, densely pack it around one-and-a-half pounds of petite gold potatoes in a cast iron skillet. Begin by covering the bottom of the skillet with the mixture, then place the potatoes on top. You’ll then fill all the spaces between the veggies and place another thick layer on top. Once you’re ready to bake, the potatoes should not be visible at all. Bake the potatoes at 400°F for one hour. You can also substitute petite golds for any small, waxy potato.

To serve your potatoes, crack the baked salt mixture, dig out the potatoes, and serve them with butter and flaky salt on top. Gelen promises the result will be “the creamiest, butteriest potatoes you’ll ever try.”

If the use of so much salt seems like a waste, don’t worry! You can reuse the salt for the same recipe, with a few caveats: If you use egg whites as your moistening agent, Gelen suggests reusing your salt within a week for food safety issues. Similarly, if you choose to cook meat or fish using the salt-bake method, she suggests avoiding a second use altogether.

To reuse your salt oven, crush it using a rolling pin and rehydrate using the same liquid you used the first time. The mixture can also be used as a salt scrub for pans or, as one commenter suggested, a body scrub.