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Here’s How to Get the Perfect Baked Potato

Three baked potatoes sit on a plate.
Dmytro Mykhailov/Shutterstock.com

No one wants an unevenly baked potato with soggy skin. Luckily, there’s a way to avoid it, and it just takes a bit of prep.

Lan Lam, test cook at Cook’s Illustrated, has perfected potato prep to ensure a fluffy center and crispy skin and the secret is brining—the same process you can use on your holiday turkey.

To get the perfect spud, the first thing to do is prick it with a fork. The next step is the most important, though: allow it to sit in some salty water for a few moments to brine.

Why brining? Well, it’s all about the moisture.

When your potato is baking in the oven, the salt water will pull moisture from the skin and make it crispy.

Plus, because you pricked it with a fork first, the salt water has also seasoned the inside of the potato and prevented it from getting all gummy.

As a final step, Lam recommends brushing olive oil on the skin just before your potato comes out of the oven to add some extra crunch.

So, next time you’re craving a delicious baked potato, remember that salt water is your friend. And if you wanna get extra fancy, whip up a baked potato charcuterie board for the whole fam to enjoy.

[Via America’s Test Kitchen]

Shea Simmons Shea Simmons
Shea Simmons is an Atlanta-based writer who has written about everything from whether Crisco is a good moisturizer to how to KonMari your space. Her work has appeared in Bustle, My First Apartment, and Make It Grateful. Read Full Bio »

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