Irish Salt Potatoes

Salt potatoes are a regional specialty of the North Eastern part of the United States and more specifically, Syracuse, New York, a.k.a. The Salt City. Salt potatoes date to the 1800s, invented by local Irish salt miners who would bring a bag of small, unpeeled, substandard potatoes to work each day. Come lunch time, they boiled the potatoes in the “free-flowing” salt brine.

In essence, they created a simple and inexpensive lunch by boiling small potatoes in brine. As the potatoes cook, the salty water forms a crust on the skin and seals the potatoes so they never taste water-logged like ordinary boiled potatoes often do. The potatoes have a unique texture closer to fluffy baked potatoes, only creamier. Dipped in melted butter, absolute deliciousness. A must try!

I leave you with a Nelson Mandela quote that my yoga teacher shared with us today, “It always seems impossible until its done.”

Irish Salt Potatoes

Irish Salt Potatoes with Steamed Corn on the Cob and Grilled Tri-Tip
Irish Salt Potatoes with Steamed Corn on the Cob and Grilled Tri-Tip

  • 1 1/4 pounds kosher
  • 2 quarts water
  • 2 pounds small fingerling potatoes, cleaned
  • 4 tablespoons butter


In a large pot, combine the salt, water, and potatoes and bring to a boil. Cook until the potatoes are fork-tender, approximately 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from the pot to a cooling rack and let stand for 5 to 7 minutes. Serve with melted butter.


11 thoughts on “Irish Salt Potatoes

  1. One of the local chain grocery stores in South Florida sells bagged potatoes with a package of salt. They are called salted brine boiling potatoes. The instructions are on the bag. Thanks for the history now I know what state this originated from.

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