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The Baked Potato


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I was reading an old Southern cookbook the other day and came across an interesting recipe. I can't remember the name of it, but it sounded good. You take 6 baked potatoes and chill them in the refrigerator for a day -- this gives them a nutty a nutty flavor. Take the chilled baked potatoes, slice them thin, layer them in a casserole with butter (I think the recipe called for 6 tablespoons), salt to taste and bake for about 30 minutes at 350.

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......Why do restaurants, even the odd good one wrap their so called baked potatoes in foil? What good is doing that supposed to accomplish?

Porkpa

The story I was told in 1957 is as follows.

Kaiser Aluminium Co. used to build transport ships during the second World War. A lot of Alumium was then used, especially these ships used to break up after three or four Atlantic crosssings. When the war ended no one knew what to do with that Alu then. So they rolled it into thin sheets and told the Restaurant Industry it would behoove them right to wrap their Baked Potatoes in Tin Foil. :raz:

Peter
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  • 2 weeks later...
......Why do restaurants, even the odd good one wrap their so called baked potatoes in foil? What good is doing that supposed to accomplish?

Porkpa

The story I was told in 1957 is as follows.

Kaiser Aluminium Co. used to build transport ships during the second World War. A lot of Alumium was then used, especially these ships used to break up after three or four Atlantic crosssings. When the war ended no one knew what to do with that Alu then. So they rolled it into thin sheets and told the Restaurant Industry it would behoove them right to wrap their Baked Potatoes in Tin Foil. :raz:

Why would the aluminum industry want people to use tin foil? Wouldn't they want people to use aluminum foil? (sorry, it's a pet peeve of mine, along with people who call concrete cement)

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......Why do restaurants, even the odd good one wrap their so called baked potatoes in foil? What good is doing that supposed to accomplish?

Porkpa

The story I was told in 1957 is as follows.

Kaiser Aluminium Co. used to build transport ships during the second World War. A lot of Alumium was then used, especially these ships used to break up after three or four Atlantic crosssings. When the war ended no one knew what to do with that Alu then. So they rolled it into thin sheets and told the Restaurant Industry it would behoove them right to wrap their Baked Potatoes in Tin Foil. :raz:

Why would the aluminum industry want people to use tin foil? Wouldn't they want people to use aluminum foil? (sorry, it's a pet peeve of mine, along with people who call concrete cement)

Mine too.

Anyway.

Has anyone looked at my link? Could cutting off the ends of a baked potato, rubbing it with salt, standing it upright directly on a rack really improve the texture or are all those people reviewing the baked potato just wacked?

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Has anyone looked at my link?  Could cutting off the ends of a baked potato, rubbing it with salt, standing it upright directly on a rack really improve the texture or are all those people reviewing the baked potato just wacked?

It doesn't make any sense to me, but it's worth a try. Why does the potatoes position make any difference? Maybe the not preheating has something to do with it?

Let us know how it turns out.

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I'm very curious about this myself...my usual baked potato is done in the exact same manner, except without whacking the ends off and standing it upright. But 400 degrees in a cold-start oven for one hour is my usual, and they come out great...can't wait to hear how this turns out!

Todd McGillivray

"I still throw a few back, talk a little smack, when I'm feelin' bulletproof..."

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I'm very curious about this myself...my usual baked potato is done in the exact same manner, except without whacking the ends off and standing it upright.  But 400 degrees in a cold-start oven for one hour is my usual, and they come out great...can't wait to hear how this turns out!

400 degrees, 1 one hour is my usual method as well. My potatoes are good, but I wouldn't go raving about them on a bulletin board. Let's hope standing them on end has some magical effect. To be continued.....

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I'm very curious about this myself...my usual baked potato is done in the exact same manner, except without whacking the ends off and standing it upright.  But 400 degrees in a cold-start oven for one hour is my usual, and they come out great...can't wait to hear how this turns out!

400 degrees, 1 one hour is my usual method as well. My potatoes are good, but I wouldn't go raving about them on a bulletin board. Let's hope standing them on end has some magical effect. To be continued.....

I reckon it's standing the 'taters on end as well as the salt rubdown. Anyhow, looking forward to your report, claire797.

Speaking of 'taters, I made oven fried wedges using your method, Rev, and they were awesome.

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Results are in. Standing a potato on its side does not seem to make a difference. :shock:

I followed the directions exactly -- washed (but not dried) the potato, cut off the ends, rolled it in salt, stood it on the rack, then baked for 1 hour at 400. The skin had a nice, sweet roasted flavor and beautiful texture, but the inside of the potato was pretty much the same as always. In fact, it seemed a little gummy.

Maybe the people who gave this potato such great reviews are not accustomed to good baked potatoes? Perhaps they had always wrapped their potatoes in foil before baking? I don't know. I may try this method again with a different potato. The potatoes I bought were organic Russetts from Whole Foods -- not that that would make them gummy, but you never know. I'll have to try again with a plain old grocery store Russett.

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Cook's Magazine did 'The Perfect Baked Potato' a few years ago. I think it was 375 for 1 hr. 15 minutes with a priced skin. Oil it for crispiness, I think. Anyway - in the recent mashed potatos thread here, nobody mentioned what I do: For 'company' mashed potatos, I bake them - in my opinion, it allows the spud to absorb more cream and butter.

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Speaking of 'taters, I made oven fried wedges using your method, Rev, and they were awesome.

Hey, deadly. Glad they turned out - I was typing that method by memory :)

Claire: could be the high-quality spuds. My method is one that's kinda reserved for making crappy potatoes better, and it does a bangup job on a Grocery Store Russet.

And I am totally trying the baked mashed potatoes.

Todd McGillivray

"I still throw a few back, talk a little smack, when I'm feelin' bulletproof..."

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Claire: could be the high-quality spuds.  My method is one that's kinda reserved for making crappy potatoes better, and it does a bangup job on a Grocery Store Russet.

That's good to know. I'll be sure to use some really crappy looking potatoes next time :wink:.

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Not to diss Whole Foods, however, I've never been too impressed with the produce there; it's too often overpriced, too often mediocre in flavor. But then I'm spoiled -- we have excellent farmers' markets here, a few of which are open year-round.

Yeah, there's nothing like crappy grocery store Russetts for making baked and mashed potatoes!

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  • 8 months later...

Foil, no foil? Pierce, no pierce? Oil, no oil? Seasonings, no seasonings? High heat/fast cooking, long/slow? Russet/other? Loaded with toppings, or buttered and S & P'd?

I still haven't really found my perfect baked potato, but I'm avidly researching.

Right now I'm working on a foil, no-oil, unseasoned, 375, 1-hour job. Will scrape it out, mix it all up with butter, blue cheese, spring onion chives and chopped pecans. Maybe some sour cream.

You?

amanda

Googlista

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When I'm in a hurry, I scrub and pierce russets, nuke til almost done and then stick in the toaster oven on max until the skin is nice and crispy. Heidi will not eat potato skin, so I scoop hers out and load up that skin with really good butter and eat with butter dripping down my arm.

If I've got something going in the oven at a pretty hot temp and have time, I just stick them in a forego nuking.

OK, Suzanne, pick away at me! :biggrin:

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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Russets only. Oil or shortening rubbed on the skin. 375 or so (I am not sure about this oven) for an hour depending on size. Squish them a bit before doing a cross cut in the top and popping it open. Lately I have been using sour cream, s&p, bacon if I have it, and no butter, yet. When I have finished eating the insides I butter the crispy skin and eat that. I prefer a medium size rather than the mutant monsters. You get a better crispy skin to insides ratio.

If I want the whole deal with cheese and whatever, (getting creative), I will slice them in half, dig out the insides, add my stuff, and bake the second time.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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When I'm in a hurry, I scrub and pierce russets, nuke til almost done and then stick in the toaster oven on max until the skin is nice and crispy. Heidi will not eat potato skin, so I scoop hers out and load up that skin with really good butter and eat with butter dripping down my arm.

If I've got something going in the oven at a pretty hot temp and have time, I just stick them in a forego nuking.

OK, Suzanne, pick away at me! :biggrin:

Yeah I tend to do this as well! :biggrin:

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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:blush: Oops, didn't realize the first sentence got posted already. :blush: I'm having some trouble posting today. But to finish:

Mudpuppie: YOU'RE STILL DOING IT ALL WRONG!!! :raz: Well, not ALL wrong: your mix-ins are more than acceptable. :smile:

Wrapping in foil results in a steamed potato, not a baked potato.

Not oiling the skin AND wrapping in foil result in limp skin.

Baking at 375 for an hour might be acceptable if you didn't mess up the rest. :wink:

Here's what you should do:

Russet; well-scrubbed and dried, pierced at each end (the one time I forgot to pierce, I had exploded potato all over the oven)

Rubbed lightly with oil (I use olive)

Salt or not as your whim carries you (I don't, but see no harm in it)

Placed directly on the rack of an oven set no lower than 400º, preferably 425º

Left for half an hour; turned over; left for another half hour. Twice as long if one of those Morton's steakhouse monstrosities, big enough to feed a family of four for a week.

Removed from the oven, placed on a large plate, cut open in half the long way.

From there on, you're doing the right thing (although I usually just like salt, pepper, butter OR sour cream OR yogurt, maybe some chives or scallion; cottage cheese if it's the whole meal). Regular cheese only if it is to be twice-baked.

Edited by Suzanne F (log)
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See, I'm sort of scared of my oven. It's at least 50 years old and has creepy smells. I wrap to protect the potato.

Maybe next time I'll try it without, though. Too late this time. I'm having a steamed potato for dinner! Yum! :biggrin:

amanda

Googlista

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Suzanne you are my hero. Somebody wrote it all down!!!

One question, why oil instead of butter?

True Heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic.

It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost,

but the urge to serve others at whatever cost. -Arthur Ashe

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It's easier to work with. And adds no extra water. And won't burn at that temperature, as butter might.

Next question? :biggrin:

(Snowangel: never in a million years would I tell YOU that you are doing anything wrong. Besides, when the craving suddenly hits, I too have been known to nuke a potato :shock: I just don't refer to it as a "baked" potato then.)

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Russets, pierced with paring knife in 5 or six places, quite deep. The deep pierces promote internal flakiness, or so I delude myself. Sometimes I oil the skins if they're thick or the taters are extra-large, but usually don't. Cook right on rack at 400 F optimally, but 350-425 is okay. I don't bother turning--does it make a noticeable difference?

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Turning puts "grill marks" on two sides. No other reason, I mean it's an OVEN for goodness sake!

Which brings me to the long-ago-discussed stovetop "potato baker" that we of a certain age remember from our childhoods. At least, I remember it. Anyone else besides Sandra Levine? :smile:

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