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Syracuse Salt Potatoes

Syracuse Salt Potatoes

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Syracuse Salt PotatoesFamily Favorites, Comfort Food, Vegetables, Vegetarian

An important part of growing up in upstate New York

Active Time: 5 minutes
Start to Finish: 30 minutes


  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 Tbs. minced fresh chives
  • 3 lb. small potatoes (red or white), scrubbed
  • 8 Tbs. (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 14 oz. salt (see notes)
  • 8 cups water


Bring the water to boil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Stir in salt and potatoes and cook until the potatoes are just tender, 20 to 30 minutes. Drain the potatoes and transfer to a wire rack set over a baking sheet. Let dry until salty crust forms, about 1 minute.

Meanwhile, microwave butter, chives and pepper in a medium bowl until melted, about 1 minute. Transfer potatoes to a serving bowl and serve, passing the butter at the table.


You will need 1¼ cups of non-iodized table salt, 1½ cups of Morton kosher salt, or 2½ cups of Diamond Crystal kosher salt to equal 14 ounces.

The authentic, Syracuse, way to eat salt potatoes is to just put a pat of butter on your plate and rub the potato in it before each bite. And you would never use red-skinned potatoes.

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recipe type

Side Dishes


Cook's Country






Salted or Unsalted?Salted or Unsalted?
We always cook with unsalted butter. Salted butter is usually less fresh than unsalted, and the salt can be used to mask inferior flavors. Also, manufacturers add different amounts of salt to their butter, so it is difficult to control the amount of salt in your recipe. In a pinch, you can use salted butter in a savory recipe, but we would not recommend using it for baking.

Kosher v. table salt
We always use kosher salt in our cooking because its crystals dissolve better in water than ordinary table salt. However, kosher and table salt are not equivalent when you are measuring amounts for a recipe. To further confuse matters, different types of kosher salt measure differently. If a recipe calls for table salt (or just salt), and the amounts are relatively small (e.g., one teaspoon), we simply use the amount called for in the recipe. You can always add a bit more salt to taste. If however, the recipe calls for larger amounts of salt, as would be the case, for example, in a brine, then you should convert the amount called for. Most sources cite 2 types of kosher salt as being widely available: Morton (which is what we use) and Diamond Crystal (which none of us have ever been able to find.) In any case, to convert the amount of table salt to Morton Kosher Salt, multiply the table salt by 1.5; to convert to Diamond Crystal, multiply by 2.

Just another example of why algebra really is im