Syracuse Salt Potatoes are tasty little bite-size boiled potatoes with perfect salt-crusted skin and creamy, tender insides. An easy side dish best served with a side of melted butter and fresh herbs.
What are Salt Potatoes?
Salt potatoes are a regional dish from Syracuse, New York, and a popular snack often enjoyed at fairs, picnics, and barbecues in the Central New York region. They are a simple and delicious side dish made from young, small, unpeeled potatoes that are boiled in heavily salted water – typically one cup of salt for every pound of potatoes.
The heavy concentration of salt raises the boiling point of the water, causing the potatoes to cook at a higher temperature. This results in a creamy interior with a slightly salty crust on the outside of the potato. Most importantly, the high salt concentration prevents the potatoes from becoming overcooked or mushy.
The origins of this dish trace back to the 1800s when Irish salt miners from Syracuse would pack small bags of unpeeled potatoes for work and cook them in the brine from the salt springs.
Best Type of Potatoes for Salt Potatoes
The best type of potatoes is “new potatoes.” New potatoes are young potatoes that haven’t reached full maturity. They have thin, waxy skins and a creamy, dense texture that holds up well during boiling. Their thin skins also allow the salty crust to form on the exterior after being boiled in the brine.
When selecting potatoes, look for:
- Small, uniformly-sized potatoes to ensure even cooking.
- Potatoes that are free of significant blemishes, cuts, or spots.
- Smaller potatoes, around 1 to 2 inches in diameter.
How to Make Salt Potatoes
1. Gently scrub the potatoes: Gently clean the potatoes under cold water, taking care not to damage the skin. If the skin is damaged, the barrier between the salt water and flesh is broken, resulting in extra salty potatoes.
2. Boil the potatoes: Add the whole potatoes and salt to a large pot or Dutch oven and add enough water so that it is about 1 inch from the top of the pot. Bring it to a boil over high heat, gently stirring until the salt dissolves completely. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 20-25 minutes or until the potatoes are fork-tender.
3. Strain the potatoes: Drain the salty water from the pot and allow the potatoes to cool slightly before serving with melted butter and fresh herbs if desired.
Storage and Leftovers
Leftovers: Allow leftovers to cool completely before transferring to an airtight container. Keep stored in the refrigerator for up to 3-5 days.
Reheating: You can reheat leftovers in a microwave, oven, or stovetop. A drizzle of melted butter can help revive their original flavor and creaminess. Avoid overcooking during reheating to maintain the best texture.
More Potato Recipes,
- Kielbasa and Potatoes
- Sweet Potato Pie Recipe
- Air Fryer Baked Potatoes
- Garlic Butter Boiled Potatoes (How to Boil Potatoes)
- Garlic Roasted Potatoes
- Easy Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes Recipe
- Easy Roasted Fingerling Potatoes Recipe
If you try making this Salt Potato Recipe, please leave me a comment and let me know! I always love to hear your thoughts.
- 2 pounds baby potatoes - gently cleaned
- 2 cups kosher salt
- ½-¾ cup unsalted butter - melted
- fresh herbs - chopped, optional
- Add the potatoes and salt to a large pot or Dutch oven and add enough water to reach about 1 inch from the top of the pot.
- Bring it to a boil over high heat, stirring continuously until the salt dissolves completely in the water. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 20-25 minutes or until the potatoes are fork-tender.
- Remove the pot from the heat and strain the potatoes from the pot into a large bowl to cool.
- Serve with melted butter and fresh herbs, if desired.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.)