From America's Test Kitchen Season 12: Backyard Chicken Dinner
Baked potatoes are simple and satisfying, but let’s be honest: sometimes they could use a flavor boost. And then there’s the texture issue—instead of light and fluffy, they turn out dense and crumbly. The process of salt-baking potatoes promises solutions to these problems, producing a well-seasoned, moist, and fluffy potato. After a promising initial test, we set out to test the most important variables—temperature, pan size, and amount of salt. Using a hot 500-degree oven and uncovering the potatoes toward the end of cooking ensured dry skin. A 13 by 9-inch baking dish provided plenty of space so we didn’t crowd the potatoes, and 21/2 cups of salt allowed us to thoroughly cover the bottom of the pan.
Kosher or table salt can be used in this recipe. The salt can be strained to remove solid bits and reused for this recipe. The potatoes can be prepared without the roasted garlic butter and topped with other garnishes such as sour cream, chives, crumbled bacon, and/or shredded cheese.