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What are the different varieties of potatoes?
For most Australians, potatoes are an everyday sight; you might see a few different varieties at your local Woolworths or Coles which can all work pretty well for your standard potato-based dish. But if you want to use the absolute best potatoes for baked potatoes, knowing the ins-and-outs of all the different types can be very helpful.
You can classify potatoes into three types:
These potatoes are fluffy and absorbent, which makes them ideal for baked or fried dishes. Since they don’t hold their shape very well under high heat, avoid using them in any recipes that opt for boiled or roasted potatoes.
- Any kind of sweet potato
- King Edward potatoes
- Russets potatoes
These potatoes contain more moisture and sugar, so they hold their shape better even after boiling and slicing. They’re often used as the base for dishes like Hasselback potatoes. However, they’re not good for mashing or baking, since they clump and chunk.
- Kipfler potatoes
- Red royale potatoes
Also known as all-purpose potatoes, these varieties come in all shapes and sizes. They’re easy to cook or boil, and pair particularly well with dishes like Dauphinoise potatoes, which require a lot of milk or cream.
- Desiree potatoes
- Creme royale potatoes
- Yukon gold potatoes
The best potatoes for jacket potatoes
Varieties like King Edward and Desiree potatoes are the best potatoes for baking, since their relatively high starch content gives you that soft and fluffy inside. Their skin also doesn’t hold moisture well, which makes for that ideal crispy exterior.
Alternatively, sweet potatoes are a good choice. They’re a good option if you don’t have access to floury potatoes, but keep in mind that they won’t really get that crisp outer skin like other potatoes because of their high water content.
How to make baked potatoes: tips and tricks
Choosing the best potatoes for baked potatoes is only the first step. If you want that delectable crispy jacket, you need to put a great deal of care into baking them:
- Time: Baked potatoes usually need about 1 to 1.5 hours at 200C in the oven, though you can go for 180C for 2 and a half hours if you want a crispy skin and slow-cooked interior.
- No tin foil: Jacket potatoes usually only need oil and a little salt. Wrapping it in foil only encourages moisture and give you soggy skin.
- Scrub then salt: Scrubbing the potato then sprinkling it with salt while damp allows some flavour to stick to the skin. The extra salt also helps draw out any excess moisture so the insides aren’t too under-baked.
The most important part is that you keep as much moisture out as you can. Excess moisture and humidity are the bane of all baked potatoes, so adjust your potatoes and baking method as you see fit.
Our favourite baked potato recipes
We’ve compiled some of our favourite recipes on the net so you can try your new baking prowess right away:
A classic twist on the regular snack. These are quick to make and easy to serve.
Combining the tang of fish with the buttery goodness of a jacket potato, this is a great family meal you can cook on the fly.
If you’re feeling adventurous with toppings, try this recipe of stuffed tuna and chives. It’s a hot snack that’s perfect to nibble on cool afternoons or rainy days.
Bake and roast
So if you want the best potatoes for baking, always go with the floury potatoes like King Edwards and Desiree. Keep moisture out of them while you cook, and remember to keep an eye on how hot and how long you bake them in the oven for the best results. Enjoy!
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