A simple baked potato makes a fantastic side dish for a family supper or barbecue with its crisp shell and soft, fluffy flesh.
From oiling the skin to using foil, many baked potato suggestions focus on preparation and cooking. Alton Brown's secret to crispy potato skin is pricking the potatoes with a fork and leaving them uncovered.
Other cooks propose parboiling them beforehand. Another good idea is brining raw potatoes in salt water before baking them.
Brining meat or poultry adds taste and tenderness by bathing it in salt water, occasionally with sugar or other flavorings. Syracuse's salt potatoes, little potatoes boiled in brine, are a local favorite.
The brining method adds flavor to cooked potatoes without much effort. A quick soak in salt water can yield a nicely seasoned potato.
Well-seasoned potato skins are excellent. But too often, salt doesn't stick uniformly to the skin, leaving some places well-seasoned and others deficient. The saltwater solution in brining evenly coats the potato's exterior with taste.
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