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Old 01-21-2009, 08:44 AM   #1
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Brining Baked Potatoes And Other Potato Questions

OK, I absolutely LOVE the baked potatoes at Outback Steakhouse. They're so good I sometimes eat them plain.

I'd seen recipes for Outback-type baked potatoes where you covered them in oil and rubbed them with lots of salt, and they were pretty good, but not as good as Outback's.

The other night, I soaked a couple of potatoes in a salt-water brine overnight, and they were much better, and I actually used less salt.

My questions about the brining are:

1) How long should you soak them in it? Can you soak them too long?

2) Should you poke the holes in the potato before, or after you brine?

And, regarding poking those holes, how many should you do, how deep should they be, and is there a better tool for doing it than a fork?

I've been doing a lot of holes, going in as deep as the fork will go, and it sucks. It also bends the for tines a lot. I figure I must be doing something wrong.

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Old 01-21-2009, 08:47 AM   #2
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And, regarding poking those holes, how many should you do, how deep should they be, and is there a better tool for doing it than a fork?
I've never brined a potato, but I use a paring knife instead of a fork for the hole pokin'
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Old 01-21-2009, 10:29 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bowlingshirt View Post
I've never brined a potato, but I use a paring knife instead of a fork for the hole pokin'
same for me.
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Old 01-21-2009, 11:57 AM   #4
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Sean, my ds works at Outback. He says all they do is rub the potato in a liquid "margarine" and coat with kosher salt, then they are baked. That is it. He does alot of their prep.

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Old 01-21-2009, 12:39 PM   #5
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I've been told by someone who works for Outback, that they use the same oil that is used on buttered popcorn at the movies. It's not really butter, but a butter flavored oil. That's probably why you aren't getting the same flavor.

Why not ask the manager of Outback what they use. You might be able to buy it at a commercial food supply store or he might be kind enough to give you some to take home. All he can say is "no" but it's worth a try.
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Old 01-21-2009, 04:33 PM   #6
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If I use a paring knife to put the holes in the potatoes, how many should I put in there, and how deep should they be?
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Old 01-22-2009, 09:25 AM   #7
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I've brined my baked potatoes before, but haven't had results that have made me want to do it again. Make sure you are using a good baking potatoe, as a potato is not a potato. Different types of potatoes explained I normally rub my potatoes in olive oil, kosher salt & fresh cracked pepper and then throw them on the grill or in the oven. I don't wrap them in foil, as I prefer a crisper skin.
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Old 01-22-2009, 10:40 AM   #8
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If I use a paring knife to put the holes in the potatoes, how many should I put in there, and how deep should they be?
I usually poke mine on the top side at about 1" spacing 1/2-1" deep. All you're doing is making a pressure relief so they don't have a blowout...
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Old 01-22-2009, 10:43 AM   #9
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If I use a paring knife to put the holes in the potatoes, how many should I put in there, and how deep should they be?
There is no magic number for this. Just take a knife and poke a handful of times. There is no right or wrong way. As long as you get some holes in there you will be fine.
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Old 01-22-2009, 11:26 AM   #10
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I have brined lots of potatoes. I go for anywhere from 2 hours to 8. If I do just 2 hours, I start with hot water for faster penetration. If I'm doing 8 is use just enough hot water to melt the kosher salt and then add just warm water. After I brine I use a variety of salts on the outside and then pierce with a fork before baking. I love doing my baked potatoes this way. I don't use oil on the outside, I just rely on the moisture from the brine to hold the salts on. It's worked well in the past.
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