are russet potatoes the same as baking potatoes

There are many ways to make a baked potato, but many recipes stick to a classic russet potato.

But russet potatoes arent the only option out there, and potatoes can vary in price and moisture and starch levels. So, I wanted to test how each potato varies in taste and texture when baked the same way and find out if russets are really the best option.

Using my favorite baking method for potatoes from Olivia Roszkowski, chef-instructor at the Institute of Culinary Education, I compared baked russet, Yukon gold, red, and sweet potatoes.

The baking method involves washing and thoroughly drying each potato, poking holes in it with a fork, covering it in olive oil and salt, and baking at about 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Depending on the size of the potato, it cooks for about 40 minutes to an hour. Then, I score it with a knife and bake it again for 10 to 20 minutes to help achieve a crispy exterior and a soft interior. Advertisement

Russets are often called baking potatoes since the brown-skinned, oblong-shaped potatoes are most often used for baked potatoes. They’re also the most popular potato used for french fries and comprise 90 percent of Idaho’s overall potato crop.
are russet potatoes the same as baking potatoes

I typically reserve Yukon gold potatoes for mashing or frying.

are russet potatoes the same as baking potatoes

I like to use Yukon gold potatoes when I want thinly sliced fried potatoes or mashed potatoes. They tend to be denser — not necessarily a trait I want in a baked potato — but are great for rich, creamy mashed potatoes.

Ive baked these potatoes Martha Stewarts way before, though, so I wondered how theyd compare to my usual method for preparing russet potatoes.

The Yukon gold potato was the second-largest potato and cost the same as the russet at $0.79. It took about 40 minutes in the oven at first, plus 20 more minutes after scoring it. Advertisement

Red potatoes aren’t common for baking.

are russet potatoes the same as baking potatoes

Red potatoes tend to be smaller and waxy. Their higher moisture and lower starch content are great for boiling or roasting, and they manage to hold their shape well.

These properties tend to make them less desirable for a baked potato, which should be a little larger in size and easy to fluff up on the interior.

The red potato I purchased for this experiment was smaller and cheaper than the rest. It was $0.69 and took 40 minutes in the oven to start, then another 15 minutes after I scored it. Advertisement

Baked Potato Throwdown: Russet vs. Yukon Gold vs. Red vs. Sweet Potato


Can I use baking potatoes instead of russet?

My favorite part of baking Yukon gold potatoes instead of Russets wasn’t just the creamy, slightly sweet interior, but how tasty the skin was. My kids — who usually leave the skin off their baked Russets to be composted — even ate the skin. My oldest even said it reminded her of a french fry.

Are Baker and russet potatoes the same?

Russet or baking potatoes are the same potato. Some people call russets baking potatoes and for good reason, they are perfect for baking! Purple potatoes are also a mealy potato.

What kind of potatoes are baking potatoes?

The ideal potato for baking is low in moisture with a high starch content. These qualities allow a potato to bake up with a delightfully fluffy center and crispy skin. Because it has all of these features, Russet potatoes are the ideal potato for baking and the most commonly used choice.

Is there a difference between a baking potato and a regular potato?

The starch in baking potatoes expands as it heats, which creates the texture we crave. These varieties are usually larger, which means they’ve had more time to grow and convert more of the potato’s natural sugars to starch. Age makes them a bit drier as well, and that helps the starch fluff during cooking.

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