Before you even read this post, do me a favor. If you are on a Windows computer, go ahead and hit CTRL + D. If you’re on a mac, that would be command+D.
That will bookmark this post so you will have it close by for the fall.
Any time you have any sort of sporting event or celebration, you can open up your browser, find your bookmarks, and be reminded of these wonderful little snacks.
Ok… you don’t actually have to bookmark this post, but these little skins are good enough to bookmark. Trust me.
1) Wash potatoes well. Lay potatoes out on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with kosher salt. Bake potatoes at 350 degrees for 60-75 minutes until they are fork tender.
2) Let potatoes cool until you can handle them. Then slice them in half. Use a spoon to scoop out potato flesh. Try to keep a thin layer of flesh with the skins. You don't want the skins too thin.
3) Once all the potatoes are scooped out, quarter the skins.
4) While the potatoes are baking, cook bacon in a skillet over medium heat until it is crispy, about 15 minutes. Drain bacon on a few paper towels. Reserve bacon grease.
5) Lay out all the potato skins on a few baking sheets. Brush the skins very lightly with bacon grease or melted butter.
6) Bake skins a second time at 400 degrees for 10 minutes.
7) Remove skins from oven. Top with grated cheese and crumbled bacon. Return to oven for 5-7 minutes.
8) Remove skins from oven and garnish with chopped chives. Serve with sour cream!
Prepping the Potatoes
Potato skins are one of my favorite appetizers but I never order them at restaurants because I feel ripped off. I mean, after all, it’s just the literal potato skins that the restaurant is then making mashed potatoes out of.
They top them with some cheap cheese and sour cream, bake them, and charge you $8 for four.
Potatoes are pretty much the cheapest thing in the produce section so you can feed a group of people homemade potato skins for the same price as one order would cost you at your local sports bar.
The downside of making them at home though is that they do take some time. It’s mostly inactive time, but you’ll need to start these a good two hours before kick off.
To start them, get about five pounds of medium sized Russet potatoes and scrub them really well. Since we are going to be eating the actual skins, make sure those skins are clean!
Then drizzle the potatoes with some olive oil and sprinkle them with some kosher salt. Then bake them at 350 degrees for 60-75 minutes until they are fork tender.
When the taters come out of the oven, let them cool for a few minutes before trying to work with them. They will be way too hot to handle initially.
When they have cooled slightly, just slice each potato in half and scoop out most of the flesh. Be sure to save the potato insides to make mashed potatoes or something later.
Also, when scooping out the flesh, leave a thin layer of it on the skin. You don’t want the skin to be too thin or too thick.
A Bacon Idea
Bacon is a pretty common potato skin topping and I figured if it isn’t broke, I wouldn’t try to fix it.
I just fried up a few strips of bacon in a skillet until they were mostly crispy. This took about about 15 minutes over medium heat.
Genius Level Cooking
Most potato skin recipes recommend a double baking strategy meaning that you bake the skins once so they get crispy, then you top them and bake them a second time to melt the cheese or whatever.
For the first baking, it’s good to rub the skins with a small amount of oil or melted butter.
I just used bacon grease though because that’s how I roll.
The key thing to remember here is to use a very light coating of grease on each potato skin. It shouldn’t be thick or pooling at all on the skins. A little goes a long way.
Baking the Skins
Once you have brushed the skins with a small amount of bacon grease, bake them at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. They will start to get pretty crispy at that point.
Then take them out of the oven. When you are ready to serve the skins, top them with some grated cheese and crumbled bacon.
Back in the oven for another five minutes or so just to melt the cheese and you are in business!
I like to serve my skins with lots of chopped chives and sour cream on the side.
Not everybody likes sour cream, but I sure do.
These are some of the best potato skins I’ve had.
I had some friends over for game night and we completely housed about forty of these skins in just a few minutes. They will go quick!