What You Need
4 large potatoes, Yukon Gold, Russet, or Red Bliss
4 tablespoons melted butter, olive oil, duck fat, bacon fat, coconut oil, or a mix
Optional extras: minced fresh herbs, spices, grated cheese, bread crumbs, panko crumbs
Large serving spoon (optional)
Baking dish, oven-safe skillet, or baking sheet
- Heat the oven to 425°F with a rack in the lower-middle position.
- Wash and dry the potatoes: Scrub the potatoes clean and pat them dry. Alternatively, you can peel the skins off.
- Cut slits in the potatoes, leaving the bottom intact: Cut slits into the potato, stopping just before you cut through so that the slices stay connected at the bottom of the potato. Space the slices 1/8-inch to 1/4-inch apart. You can rest the potato in a large serving and use that as a guide for when to stop slicing — slice straight down and when your knife hits the edge of the spoon, stop slicing.
- Brush the potatoes with half the fat: Arrange the potatoes in a baking dish. Brush the potatoes all over with butter or other fat, including the bottoms.
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper: Sprinkle the potatoes generously with salt and pepper.
- Bake 30 minutes, then brush with butter: Bake the potatoes for 30 minutes. At this point, the layers will start separating. Remove the pan from the oven and brush the potatoes again with fat — you can nudge the layers apart if they’re still sticking together. Make sure some of the fat drips down into the space between the slices.
- Bake another 30 to 40 minutes: Bake for another 30 to 40 minutes, until the potatoes are crispy on the edges and easily pieced in the middles with a paring knife. If you’re adding any extras, stuff those into the slits and sprinkle over the top 5 to 10 minutes before the end of cooking. (Total baking time is 60 to 70 minutes for average potatoes; if your potatoes are on the small side or are larger, adjust cooking time accordingly.)
- Serve immediately: These potatoes are best straight from the oven while the edges are at their crispiest.