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Subject: Re: Baked Potato?
Newsgroups: rec.food.cooking

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From: Patpat1370 <patpat1370[at]aol.com>
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This may seem like a basic question, but what is the best way to bake a
potato?  I enjoy baked potatoes at most restaurants.  When I try at home
to bake them myself, however, they never turn out that good.

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From: david b <dbethel[at]erinet.com>
Date: Wed, 02 Jul 1997 20:43:32 -0700
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Depends...what sort of characteristics do you desire in a baked potato?
High heat will produce a crusty outside. Lower heat w/ or w/o oil on the 
skin will produce a soft skin. wrapping the tater in foil will essentialy 
steam it, rather than baking it. Some people like that, that is what most 
restaurants do.

So...say what you want to achieve and someone here will tell you how.

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From: Teresa M. <TLMagnuson[at]automation-engineering.com>
Date: 3 Jul 1997 14:45:08 GMT
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There are several ways to bake a potato...in the microwave, for instance. 
Wash the potatoes, poke several holes in them with a fork then micro on
high until just starting to be soft (turn over once), then take out and
wrap in foil (they'll continue cooking).  

However, IMO, the BEST way to bake a potato is in the oven.  If you have
ever had the baked potatoes at Grady's (restaurant in Dallas), then this is
how they make them.  First, use "baking potatoes" (they larger and in bins
at my grocery, not sold by the bag)...they really do make a difference. 
Rub each of the potatoes with oil, then cover the skin with kosher salt and
wrap up in foil.  Place in 400 degree oven for 50-60 minutes or until as
soft as you like them.  The oil and salt cook into the potato and the
result is heavenly!!!!!

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From: rain[at]hothouse.iglou.com (Rain)
Date: Thu,  3 Jul 1997 18:40:00 GMT
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TL->From: TLM

TL->wrap in foil (they'll continue cooking).

You probably know this already, but many people really hate potatoes
baked in foil.  As far as we're concerned, the potato doesn't bake,
it steams, and that changes the texture completely, from fluffy to
heavy/doughy. It also keeps the skin from developing any crispiness.

To each h/er own, but make mine foilless.

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From: michelle.campbell[at]stonebow.otago.ac.nz (Miche)
Date: 4 Jul 1997 23:01:01 GMT
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TLM writes:
> However, you are right about the skin.  Because of the oil and salt (in
> addition to higher temps), it is much crisper than a regular potato baked
> in foil...but not *crispy*.  Do you know of a way to cook these potatoes
> (w/salt&oil) other than in foil?

If you put the oil on first, the salt sticks to it and stays on quite
well.  I just stick 'em straight on the oven racks (they've gotta be
clean!) and bake 'em at 400F/200C for about an hour.

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From: skipf[at]bicsoft.com (Skip Frizzell)
Date: Thu, 03 Jul 1997 15:06:48 GMT
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This is what I do. Pre-heat your oven to 350. Stick a fork in the
potato so it doesn't burst. Set it not the middle rack. wait 45min to
1 hour. Squeeze potato at both ends til it pops open. season to taste
and eat.

How does your potato turn out that it isn't so good? If I knew what
was wrong I might better be able to correct it.

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From: patpat1370[at]aol.com (Patpat1370)
Date: 6 Jul 1997 01:29:04 GMT
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This is the way my baked potatoes turn out:  the outermost portion,
closest to the skin, is usually very musy, with a texture almost like
mashed potatoes.  The heart of the potato is hard and undercooked.  This
leaves only the middle portion to eat, and that is only tastes mediocre.

How I cook the potatoes is from the "Joy of Cooking" cookbook.  First I
rub the skin with butter.   Then I place the potato, without wrapping in
foil, in a 400 degree oven for about an hour.  Halfway through cooking, I
poke it once with a fork to let steam escape.  I should also mention that
since I live in a small apartment, I tend not to use the oven.  It heats
up the place too much.  Instead I bake the potatoes in my toaster oven.

The way I'd like the potatoes to turn out is flaky, moist and soft, but
not mushy.  The best baked potatoes I've had at any restaurant chain were
those from Steak and Ale.  The ones from the Stone Turtle are pretty good
too.  That's the way I'd like my potatoes to turn out.

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From: Neil Friedman <neil3[at]mail.idt.net>
Date: Sat, 05 Jul 1997 10:18:15 -0400
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Heat oven to 350. Wrap individual russet or Idaho potatoes in Aluminum
foil and bake for 25 minutes. Unwrap and bake an additional 35 minutes
or until done.

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From: Teresa M. <TLMagnuson[at]automation-engineering.com>
Date: 5 Jul 1997 15:04:56 GMT
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There was a debate earlier about foil not allowing the skin to become
crispy...is this why you take them out of the foil for the last 35 minutes?


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