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Subject: How to bake a potatoe?
Newsgroups: rec.food.cooking

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From: charles[at]backfire.mn.org (Charles)
Date: 15 May 1997 00:28:16 GMT
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I love baked potatoes!  But I'm having a hard time making them taste the same
at home, as they do in restaraunts.  This may be blasphemy, but so far I think
Wendy's has had the best ones I've had so far.  But other than that, most
restaraunts seem to be pretty much the same.  

So my question is, how do restaraunts bake potatoes?  Do they use special
potatoe baking ovens?  What temperature and time should I bake them at home?

Mine at home always seem to be a little on the hard side and dry side.

Thanks for any info.

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From: Mary Elizabeth 
Date: Wed, 14 May 1997 22:30:48 -0400
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I believe the late great James Beard once said the only trouble with
baked potatoes is that we don't bake them long enough or at a high
enough temperature.  Try 450 degrees for an hour and 15 minutes,
wrapping in foil if you like the skin soft instead of crunchy the way I
do.

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From: lea[at]sirius.com (Lea)
Date: Sat, 17 May 1997 19:36:22 GMT
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Mary Elizabeth wrote:
>I believe the late great James Beard once said the only trouble with
>baked potatoes is that we don't bake them long enough or at a high
>enough temperature.  Try 450 degrees for an hour and 15 minutes,
>wrapping in foil if you like the skin soft instead of crunchy the way I
>do.

Here here!!!!  Potatoes take TIME.  Restaurant ovens are generally
VERY hot.  They should be fluffy, not dry , and if you wrap them in
foil they will sort of steam inside.  A different style, but some love
it.  I cook mine until they are hard on the outside, and very fluffy
on the inside.  They always seem to have a sweetness, this way!

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From: "jlw[at]sprintmail.com" 
Date: Wed, 14 May 1997 21:57:31 -0500
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We have a well known (here in metro KC) that deep fries their potatos
rather than baking them, seems that it only takes 45 minuts in the hot
deep fryer as opposed to 1 - 1 1/2 hours in the oven

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From: mtzeng[at]ucs.indiana.edu (Mimi W. Tzeng)
Date: 15 May 1997 19:55:33 GMT
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: So my question is, how do restaraunts bake potatoes?

Well, I can tell you how Wendy's does theirs - they wrap them in foil and
put them in the oven (I think it's at 400 degrees) for half an hour, turn
them over, and leave them there for another half hour. Then they check if
the potatoes are done by gently squeezing (with oven mitts, of course!). 
If they're done, they'll be slightly mushy. If they're not, the potatoes 
get left in there for another half hour. Done potatoes are then collected
and dumped into a warm holding drawer at the front of the kitchen until 
someone orders it. 
   And yes, they reserve a single small oven in the back just for baking
potatoes all day, but I don't think it's anything special. I don't know
if it'll make any difference, but as far as I can tell the potatoes don't
get washed first, either. 

: Mine at home always seem to be a little on the hard side and dry side.

At home, I don't bother with the foil (there was a largish discussion in
here a month or so back about the best way to bake a potato, actually, and
that's where I picked up the idea to not use foil) and sometimes I'll rub
the potato with some butter on the outside to make the skin more crisp. I
think you're supposed to prick it with a fork, too, so that it vents, but 
I always forget about that part. Bake at 400 degrees for an hour. 

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From: gmc[at]smart.net (Gordon Charrick)
Date: 16 May 1997 12:33:46 GMT
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This is how I make "baked" potatoes and they turn out great!

Put the potato on a paper towel and microwave on high for 5 minutes.
Take it out and wrap it in aluminum foil and let sit another 5 minutes.

I think it takes 8 minutes for two potatoes.

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From: penmart10[at]aol.com (Sheldon)
Date: 16 May 1997 11:06:47 GMT
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Gordon Charrick writes:
>Put the potato on a paper towel and microwave on high for 5 minutes.

Seems strange you remembered the "Bounty", but forgot to prick!

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From: stan[at]thunder.temple.edu (Stan Horwitz)
Date: 16 May 1997 14:03:38 GMT
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Gordon Charrick (gmc@smart.net) wrote:
: Put the potato on a paper towel and microwave on high for 5 minutes.
: Take it out and wrap it in aluminum foil and let sit another 5 minutes.
: 
: I think it takes 8 minutes for two potatoes.

That sounds like a steamed potato to me, which if fine if you like your 
potato cooked that way. I like real, honest to goodness baked potatoes. 
To make a baked potato, you need at least an hour of time and a hot oven. 
Wash a medium size or larger potato. Wash it throroughly. Poke a few 
holes in the skin of the potato with a knife or fork. Put the potato in a 
hot ove, like 475 or 500 degrees (yup, that hot!). Wait an hour and poke 
the potato with a knife. If the potato is soft, its done. 

This method results in a potato which has an incredibly moist inside and a
nice crispy skin, just the way baked potatoes were meant to be. If you 
like your potatoes steamed, wrap them in aluminum foil as other's have 
suggested. The aluminum foil traps in the steam and thus, essentially, 
boils, rather than bakes the potato.

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From: barnsonb[at]cadvision.com (Brian Barnson)
Date: 16 May 1997 16:25:47 GMT
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Gordon Charrick says:

>Put the potato on a paper towel and microwave on high for 5 minutes.
>Take it out and wrap it in aluminum foil and let sit another 5 minutes.

I do something similar whilst grilling things on the BBQ.  Steaks and 
burgers take less time than spuds so to get the spuds up to speed I
nuke'em a bit first. I slice them in two lengthwise and nuke them until
they're mostly cooked, time depends on quantity, your milage may vary.
Then I put them on the top rack in the BBQ and they finish cooking and
get crisp and yummy.  Always keep a cold beer near the BBQ in case
it flares up!

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From: Gary Long 
Date: Sat, 17 May 1997 06:35:38 -0500
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Brian Barnson wrote:
> I do something similar whilst grilling things on the BBQ.  Steaks and
> burgers take less time than spuds so to get the spuds up to speed I
> nuke'em a bit first. I slice them in two lengthwise and nuke them until
> they're mostly cooked, time depends on quantity, your milage may vary.
> Then I put them on the top rack in the BBQ and they finish cooking and
> get crisp and yummy.  Always keep a cold beer near the BBQ in case
> it flares up!

   This works great. After slicing, I'd also suggest brushing the open
faces with butter or oil. For a different flavor, once they brown, they
can be turned over and brushed with barbecue sauce for the last 10
minutes or so.
   And the cold beer is a necessity throughout the BBQ process! :)

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From: learned[at]iname.com (Ed Learned)
Date: Fri, 16 May 1997 16:33:27 GMT
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The key I've found to a great potato, is AFTER the baking...use a
fork, not a knife to open the potato...you'll be amazed at how fluffy
and great the texture is then!

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From: lea[at]sirius.com (Lea)
Date: Sat, 17 May 1997 20:28:22 GMT
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Ed Learned wrote:
>The key I've found to a great potato, is AFTER the baking...use a
>fork, not a knife to open the potato...you'll be amazed at how fluffy
>and great the texture is then!

I cut a cross in the top, wrap in paper towls or use mitts and squeeze
until the potatoe pops out.  fluff city.  You are right, if you slice
em in half , it isn't the same.

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From: lea[at]sirius.com (Lea)
Date: Sat, 17 May 1997 19:39:00 GMT
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>I don't know
>if it'll make any difference, but as far as I can tell the potatoes don't
>get washed first, either. 

Ewwww! It makes a difference if you love the skins.....

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From: jlove98905[at]aol.com (Jen)
Date: 18 May 1997 00:52:21 GMT
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I have moistened my potatoes, cut a slice down the middle, and microwaved
them (wet) wrapped in a paper towel for 5 minutes to start, and then go
from there depending on your oven. Tasty with nonfat plain yogurt, white
pepper and salt!!!

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From: pdavis[at]pipeline.com (Pamela Davis)
Date: Sun, 18 May 1997 17:46:31 GMT
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I'm with the hot oven crowd.  Rub skins with oil, put in 500
oven for 40 minutes or so.  Crispy skins and fluffy insides.

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From: mmt[at]ionet.net (Mar)
Date: Sat, 17 May 1997 01:13:17 GMT
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I like to do a baked potato at 400 degrees for an hour or hour and 15 min.
I find that if you wrap it in foil it tends to steam and not be fluffy,
which I like-
I have two elderly uncles who were both chefs-they say bake at 350 for two
hours or more, wrapped or unwrapped.  They do a sweet potato, wrapped in
foil, at 350 for up to 3 hours and its wonderful-

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From: ezucker[at]pica.army.mil
Date: Tue, 20 May 1997 15:34:24 GMT
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I like to bake potatos without foil, under a relatively high temperature..maybe 
450 or so..about an hour.  The skin comes out crusty and papery.    Just before 
I serve them, I give the potato a squash between two oven mitts.   Not enough 
of a squash to break the skin, but enough to mash the insides..    I cut it 
with a knife, serve with butter, sour cream, chives, and perfectly browned, 
crispy bacon bits.


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