Different types of potatoes – and what to look for?
There are three types of potatoes: high-starch potatoes, medium-starch potatoes and low-starch potatoes.
The most common high-starch potatoes are the mild-flavoured russet. Russets are oblong in shape. These thick-skinned potatoes fall apart while cooking, and whip up fluffy and light. This makes them the ideal choice for mashing. Because they have a light, mealy texture, high-starch potatoes are the best for baking.
Medium-starch potatoes are the round white potatoes and yellow potatoes. They are a great all-purpose potato and are the types you’ll most commonly find in the grocery store. They are versatile and can be used in almost any dish, whether roasting, grilling, mashing or boiling.
Low-starch potatoes are waxy and hold their shape well when you cook them. This makes them ideal boiling potatoes for salads, soups and stews. Low-starch potatoes are your round red potatoes, new potatoes and fingerling potatoes.
What is the best potato for baking?
Starchy potatoes are fluffy and absorbent, which makes them great for baking and frying. The Neff Kitchen says that you can use them to make crispy potatoes, hot chips, wedges, mashed potato cakes or hash browns.
Starchy potatoes are high in starch, low in moisture and have a floury texture with creamy white flesh. They also tend to be long and have a coarser skin.
When looking for the best spud for baking, of the high starch variety King Edward, Russet Burbank and sweet potato are the favourite choices.
You can find these varieties in most supermarket and at your local grocer.
What about the best potato for jacket potato?
According to Olive magazine a floury potato variety will give you a soft, fluffy jacket potato interior. Floury potatoes also come in larger sizes, which is great for a one-person portion.
Maris Piper, Desiree and King Edward are all good options. Choose plump rounded potatoes around 250-300g each.
How to make the perfect baked potatoes
Delish provides this step by step guide on how to make the perfect baked potatoes.
- Scrub the potatoes. Make sure to scrub the spud clean so there's no dirt visible.
- After washing the potatoes, dry them. Dry skin = crispy baked skin. After you give the potatoes a good scrub down, make sure to dry them thoroughly with a clean dish towel.
- Oil them! Olive oil helps the skin crisp up and makes it taste better. Rub the potatoes all over.
- Season. You can season with salt and pepper, and add more garnishes once cooked.
- Poke holes. When you don't pierce the potato before baking, it'll likely explode in the oven. Pricking it all over with a fork or paring knife helps steam escape and avoid both of the above situations.
- Don't get the oven too hot.If the oven's too hot, say 400º, the skin will cook too quickly while the mid
Butter, sour cream and cheese are common toppings for baked potatoes. For a low-fat version you could add plain Greek yogurt.