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Syracuse Style Salt Potatoes

Potatoes are a pretty common occurrence on our dinner table, but certain recipes take them above and beyond. These boiled Syracuse style salt potatoes are a regional specialty that everyone should know & love. Potatoes cooked in a heavily brined water result in the creamiest potatoes we’ve ever experienced, with less starch. This is the potato recipe bandwagon you want to jump on.

Syracuse Style Salt Potatoes

It wasn’t until a decade ago when my culinary world started expanding. It was when I met my husband, and he started taking me up North to visit his family. 

Since then I’ve learned many things, and have discovered and shared many family recipes.

Making homemade halupki stuffed cabbage shells, Nonna’s fresh basil pesto, or even Italian chicken noodle soup.

Syracuse Style Salt Potatoes

While salt potatoes aren’t a family specialty, I did first learn of them on a family trip.

They’re a special delicacy everyone should enjoy, and they hail from the Syracuse region of New York.

They’ve actually got a really interesting origin story too.

Syracuse Style Salt Potatoes

They originally sprouted from the Syracuse region of New York. Salt mines & salt springs abound in the area. It’s no big deal.

Around there, salt is really life. Gives the beach-y ‘salt life’ a whole new meaning.

Time may have marched on for a lot of us, but that’s no the case with salt potatoes.

These creamy, boiled potatoes first came on the scene in the 1800’s. They originated from smart, industrious workers in the local salt mines.

salt potatoes

Salt potatoes, as they’re called are really a specialty of a specific region in New York- the Syracuse region. It’s also been given the name ‘ salt city’. 

Not sure how exactly it began, but the basic version is that Irish immigrant workers (very proficient with potatoes), found a new way to cook their spuds for lunch.

Potatoes were cheap, and what they had. Obviously they’d take them for lunch. They boiled them in the brine from the mines.

Salt potatoes are, as the name implies, salty. On the outside. The saltiness was never the real goal though.

When cooked in a salty brine, the potatoes became extremely tender & creamy on the inside. This was what made them so popular.

It also made for an easy, cheap lunch earlier laborers couldn’t ignore. 

boiled salted potatoes

Again, let me say that salt wasn’t the actual purpose- it just had a role to play.

Remember the creaminess I mentioned earlier? That was the delicious result of an unknown miner’s ingenuity. 

I’m no stranger to the amazing way salt enhances my favorite potato based sides. In this recipe though, the salt is an incidental flavor enhancer.

It’s real purpose is to drastically lower the boiling point of the water in the main pot. That makes the flesh of the potato super creamy, and it also reduces the starchiness. Win, win!

If the salitness is a concern, the biggest thing is to make sure you’re using enough water in your pot.

While the amount of water in this recipe isn’t measured to an exact amount, I’d estimate that I used roughly three quarts for this recipe. 

syracuse style salted potatoes

The ratio ends up being roughly one cup of salt (kosher/sea salt is best) to six cups of water. Make sure to stir, stir, stir.

Stir that water, and keep on stirring, until the salt’s finally dissolved into it & no longer settling at the bottom of the pot.

Syracuse Style Salt Potatoes are also a Spring & Summertime staple in their native region, making them a perfect recipe to share with you all now.

Cook the potatoes according to the recipe instructions, but a pro tip- let them sit in the strainer when done. Not indefinitely though.

Cover the strainer with a bit of tin foil to keep in some of the heat. We want them to stay hot, but this will allow all of the excess water to completely drain away- causing the skins to crisp up & the salt to re-solidify.

Resist the temptation to rinse the salt potatoes after they’ve done cooking. Either serve them along with melted butter for dipping, or do what we do and just pour the melted butter right on top.

Just don’t use salted butter. Obviously, there’s enough salt on the potatoes for everyone!

Syracuse Style Salt Potatoes

If you want to experience the creamiest dinner potatoes ever, then fill a pot of water add copious amounts of salt & boil your red potatoes.

These Syracuse style salt potatoes are about to be your new go to method for enjoying the starchy veggie. And they’re guaranteed not to disappoint, whatever your level of cooking experience. 

Other Tasty Ways To Use Up Potatoes:

If you’ve tried these SYRACUSE STYLE SALT POTATOES, or any other recipe on the site, let me know in the comment section how it turned out, we love hearing from our readers! You can also follow along with me on PINTERESTFACEBOOK, and INSTAGRAM to see more amazing recipes and whatever else we’ve got going on!

Syracuse Style Salt Potatoes

A regional specialty hailing from New York, these potatoes are boiled in briney water resulting in a tender, super creamy, less starchy dinner potato.
4.55 from 11 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 261kcal


  • 4 lbs red potatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups fine sea salt
  • 8 tbsp butter, melted


  • Scrub the potatoes with your hands, washing them with warm water. Pat them dry and set aside.
  • Fill a large pot with water, so that when the potatoes are added they'll be covered but there's still room for the water to safely boil. Add the salt. Stir until the salt's completely dissolved and not settling on the bottom anymore.
  • Add all of the potatoes to the pot. Bring the pot to a rolling boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook the potatoes for 15 minutes- until they're fork tender, but still firm.
  • Strain the potatoes, then return them to the pot and cover to keep them hot until ready to serve.
  • Serve them as quickly as possible, with the melted butter poured over top. You can serve them without the butter, but it's a delicious addition.


You can use other potatoes, and they'll still be good- but red potatoes really do yield the best results.
For the most authentic version, use baby red potatoes.
Also, while I recommend sea salt- regular table salt will also work just as well.


Calories: 261kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 31mg | Sodium: 21362mg | Potassium: 1032mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 370IU | Vitamin C: 19.5mg | Calcium: 39mg | Iron: 1.8mg
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4.55 from 11 votes (8 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    These were always a family treat. Suggest small potatoes,size of a half dollar. Let cool a bit so they are finger food size, break open a little and place butter in and allow to melt. Pop onto mouth to enjoy. A little fresh ground pepper is good also

  2. 5 stars
    Thanks for printing this classic recipe, and the interesting story behind it.
    One correction: adding salt raises, not lowers, the boiling point of water. The real benefit of heavily salting the water is that it draws moisture out of the potatoes, which is what gives them that creamy texture.

    1. Thanks for the clarification, Dennis! I love vintage recipes, and especially uncovering the stories behind those that stand the test of time and the secrets of just what makes them so great.

  3. 5 stars
    These are excellent, we had them with dinner tonight. I was amazed how creamy they are, we dipped in butter and also surprised the salt was just right….thank you so much for sharing this

  4. I would like everyone to know if you buy the bag of hinderewaldes, some years ago people became conserved about their salt diets, eventually the salt bag included was cut back. To get awesome salt costed taters.. add a cup more of salt on top of the salt it comes with.. I don’t think hinderwalders salt potatoes are as good as it use to be. The potatoes run to large and has less salt.. is causing people to not really taste the history. Save your money and buy new/young/baby potatoes from a vegetable market, and add your own 2 cups of salt.. and by the way.. most places that add salt potatoes to BBQs as a side, because of diets, it’s basically plain old boiled potatoes!! If you are on a salt restricked diet, well, ya probably shouldn’t order salt potatoes! Duh,. Now the general public pays the price, because instead of original, we get low salt savings,. Next generation will miss the taste. I teach everyone I can, on how to crystalize correctly.

  5. In NY state You could get what they call Salt Potatoes sold in 50lb bags size of golf balls. Smaller the better.At the time We could not get them in Pa. on our yearly vacation we would alway bring a bag of Salt Potatoes back to Pa. We also would bring back the frozen bags of Chicken wings since had not gotten to Pa. either. We now get the wings ,but as for the Salt potatoes we get like 2 1/2 lb bags but not called Salt Potatoes, stores don’t know what we are talking about if you ask for them by that name! Just a little story from the 90’s.