Syracuse Salt Potatoes originated in Syracuse New York in the mid 1800’s. Irish immigrants would cook unpeeled new potatoes in huge vats filled with boiling salt water. The reason for cooking potatoes in heavily salted water is that the boiling point of water rises, thus cooking the potatoes at a higher temperature than you would using unsalted water (228⁰F. versus 212⁰F.). Cooking at this higher temperature causes the starches in the potatoes to cook more completely, resulting in creamier, less-grainy flesh. Potatoes must remain unpeeled because salt doesn’t easily penetrate the skin. This is why the interior of the potatoes don’t become overly salty even though after cooking and drying the potatoes the outside will become salt encrusted,. I’m betting that you’ll enjoy these perfectly seasoned creamy potatoes that are simply delicious when sliced up and dipped in melted butter.
Syracuse Salt Potatoes
- 3 lbs. small white or red potatoes, unpeeled.
- 1¼ cups salt (Use kosher or sea salt, do not use iodized salt)
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh chives (optional)
- 1 teaspoon black pepper (optional)
- Set wire rack in rimmed baking sheet.
- Bring 2 quarts water to boil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
- Stir in salt and potatoes and cook until potatoes are just tender. 20 to 30 minutes. Drain potatoes and transfer to wire rack in baking sheet.
- Let dry until salty crust forms, about 1 minute.
- Melt butter in microwave. (If desired add chives and black pepper to melted butter for added flavor).
- Serve potatoes with melted butter for dipping.