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Subject: How to cook baked potatos?
Newsgroups: rec.food.cooking

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From: skatz19[at]mail.idt.net (stuart katz)
Date: Mon, 20 Jan 97 01:54:28 GMT
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Can someone tell me how to get baked potatos soft like the resturaunts do?

Thanks in advance,

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From: Sue Beck 
Date: Sun, 19 Jan 1997 22:17:17 -0800
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All I do is use good russet potatoes, scrub clean, place in a
pre-heated  400 degree oven and bake for about 1 hour or until a fork
can be inserted easily.  Remove from oven and wrap in a dish towel for 5
to 10 minutes.  Before cutting open, massage the potato to soften.  Cut
open and add all those good those good things on top.......Sue

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From: Tricia 
Date: Sun, 19 Jan 1997 22:36:44 -0800
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Do you have a microwave?  Does it have an auto "baked potatoe" setting?  
If the micro is small double the time the auto setting uses.  If it is a 
large micro increase by half.  Remember to pierce the tators before 
cooking.  After they are cooked, pierce again to test adjusting time if 
necessary.  Carefully remove from micro, wrap in tin foil and let set for 
at least 5 min. 

For regular oven, bake, wrapped in foil, at 325 for 1 1/2- 1 3/4 hours 
for large potatoes and 1 1/4- 1 1/2 hours for med potatoes.  Again let 
set in foil for at leat five minutes (10 is probably better).  

I am not an expert and I am sure some will disagree with me.  I have 
cooked potatoes using both methods with very good (and soft) results.

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From: Perry 
Date: Mon, 20 Jan 1997 18:11:43 -0500
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I found that the following works:

Wash and scrub potatoes

Place in 450 degree oven for 30 minutes (no need to cover with foil)

Take out of oven and prick all sides with a fork

Put back in oven and cook an additional 30 minutes for small-medium
potatoes and 45 minutes to an hour for large potatoes.

Happy eating!

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From: Dan Masi 
Date: Thu, 23 Jan 1997 12:26:08 -0500
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Trica wrote:

> Do you have a microwave? ...  Remember to pierce the tators before
> cooking.  After they are cooked, pierce again to test adjusting time
> if necessary.  Carefully remove from micro, wrap in tin foil and let
> set for at least 5 min.
> 
> For regular oven, bake, wrapped in foil, at 325 for 1 1/2- 1 3/4 hours
> for large potatoes and 1 1/4- 1 1/2 hours for med potatoes.  Again let
> set in foil for at leat five minutes (10 is probably better).
> 
> I am not an expert and I am sure some will disagree with me.

I try to make it a point to disagree whenever I can!  So...

If you want a good, *fluffy* baked potato, don't do any of the above.
Make sure you start with a russett (aka Idaho, aka "baking") 
potato.  Then, just put in a hot oven (400 - 425F) for about
an hour and a quarter.  As *soon* as it's done, take it out, put a 
slit in the top, and squeeze the ends together to "open" the 
potato.  This will keep it from steaming itself silly.

About a year ago, Cook's Illustrated did an indepth analysis
of the "perfect" baked potato, and the above procedure is what
they came up with.  Recommended reading.

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From: RCC 
Date: Mon, 20 Jan 1997 13:59:13 +0000
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Certainly to some extent it is a matter of getting the sorts of potatoes
which are suited to baking.

If you aren't speaking about the potatoes necessarily being in their
jackets, then for soft baked potatoes, peel and cut into large pieces
then parboil the potatoes before baking them. For crunchy-on the outside
baked potatoes, peel, cut and fry first. For soft-on-the-inside,
crunchy-on-the-outside baked potatoes, follow both instructions. For
super-crunchy, score the pieces with a fork before frying.

If this is too labour-intensive, you can roast potatoes in certain oils
without making them too oily. Coconut oil is one of these. vegetable
shortening of many types is possible. Animal fats are not good for this,
although they give by far the best flavour. Animal fats such as beef
"dripping" can be saved for frying. McDonald's used to use animal fats
for their fries until the vegetarians and health freaks got testy.
McDonald's used to have good fries.

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From: sisgome[at]aol.com
Date: 21 Jan 1997 06:04:43 GMT
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I have had good luck with using shortening over the skins, wrapping
potatoes in foil, and baking in a slow oven.  You need to realize, also,
that some restaurants may keep their bakers in a steam table of sorts to
keep them warm until serving.

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From: aquari[at]aol.com (Elizabeth Dean Brooks)
Date: 22 Jan 1997 01:06:18 GMT
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My very favorite baked potato has been washed, rubbed with bacon
drippings, stuck with fork!!!, and baked in the oven 400 degrees until the
outside is really crisp and the inside is soft....Served with butter, salt
and pepper and sour cream, whatever...fabulous!  I eat the whole thing
skin and all!  

Lib

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From: Kate Connally 
Date: Wed, 22 Jan 1997 11:23:43 -0800
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Aquari wrote:
> My very favorite baked potato has been washed, rubbed with bacon
> drippings, stuck with fork!!!, and baked in the oven 400 degrees until the
> outside is really crisp and the inside is soft....Served with butter, salt
> and pepper and sour cream, whatever...fabulous!  I eat the whole thing
> skin and all!

That's pretty much what I do but I never heard of sticky
it with a fork for the oven.  The only time you have to
prick them in for the microwave.  I've been baking potatoes
for well over thirty years and I've never had one explode.
Anyway, washed, rubbed with bacon fat or butter and baked
at 350 for 1 hour and then served with butter, salt, pepper,
sour cream and dill is the way I do 'em.  The skin is the
best part.  I don't usually eat it in restaurants, though,
because you don't know how well they scrubbed the skin. 
Since they're usually served as though they don't expect
anyone to eat the skin, I assume the worst.  Actually I
rarely order a baked potato in a restaurant because they're
always so stingy with the sour cream, *if* you can even
*get* real sour cream in the first place!!!

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From: Karyn Davis 
Date: 22 Jan 1997 17:45:31 GMT
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Kate Connally writes:
>  That's pretty much what I do but I never heard of sticky
>  it with a fork for the oven.  The only time you have to
>  prick them in for the microwave.  I've been baking potatoes
>  for well over thirty years and I've never had one explode.

Well, I've only been baking them for well over 20 years, and HAVE
had them explode in the oven!  What a mess!!  So I always "sticky
it with a fork" now.

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From: aquari[at]aol.com (Elizabeth Dean Brooks)
Date: 23 Jan 1997 02:01:33 GMT
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>That's pretty much what I do but I never heard of sticky
>it with a fork for the oven.  The only time you have to
>prick them in for the microwave.  I've been baking potatoes
>for well over thirty years and I've never had one explode.

Forty five years of baking potatoes says stick them with a fork for both
microwave and oven....Steam is steam and it can build up in an oven as
well as a microwave.....unless, of course, you enjoy cleaning your ovens
up after the explosion!  Personally I have better ways to spend my time.

Lib

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From: brizzi[at]mail.dwx.com (Brizzi)
Date: 23 Jan 97 23:56:06 GMT
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Aquari wrote:
> Forty five years of baking potatoes says stick them with a fork for both
> microwave and oven....Steam is steam and it can build up in an oven as
> well as a microwave.....unless, of course, you enjoy cleaning your ovens
> up after the explosion!  Personally I have better ways to spend my time.

My sister-in-law the non-cook had a couple of potatoes explode in the
oven, and believe me, it was NOT a pretty sight!  I suspect the reason
most of us luck out is that we have already pierced the skin to take out
eyes or imperfections, and that provides the steam an escape hatch of
sorts.

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From: Edwin Pawlowski 
Date: 22 Jan 1997 03:40:57 GMT
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sisgome@aol wrote:
> I have had good luck with using shortening over the skins, wrapping
> potatoes in foil, and baking in a slow oven.  You need to realize, also,
> that some restaurants may keep their bakers in a steam table of sorts to
> keep them warm until serving.

Talk about opposites.  I'd never wrap them in foil (with one exception) and
I use a hot oven.  I like a crispy skin and I have used a little oil at
times.

The exception to the foil is when I toss them into the wood stove, right on
top of the hot coals.  They still bake up very crispy and fast.  Works on
camp fires also. 

Just one more note.  You can cook a potato in the microwave, but, it have
to be baked in an oven or fire.  

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From: dweller[at]ramtops.demon.co.uk (Douglas Weller)
Date: Fri, 24 Jan 1997 21:46:43 GMT
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Edwin Pawlowski wrote:
>The exception to the foil is when I toss them into the wood stove, right on
>top of the hot coals.  They still bake up very crispy and fast.  Works on
>camp fires also. 

Wrap them in newspaper, cook them in a pot full of resin. Absolutely fabulous.

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From: echris2[at]ibm.net (Ed Christie)
Date: Sat, 25 Jan 1997 15:30:00 GMT
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Edwin Pawlowski wrote:
>Just one more note.  You can cook a potato in the microwave, but, it have
>to be baked in an oven or fire.  

I aggree, a microwaved potato is a steamed potato. 
When i was younger we used to cook mickeys(potato) in a coffee
can. you would punch two holes near the top and attach some wire
between the  two holes and attach a 3 or 4 foot piece of string . put
some hot coals in the can,then the potato, and top off with more hot
coals. Now take the end of the string and swing the can around to
create a super draft until the potato is cooked.

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From: dancertm[at]exo.com (dancertm)
Date: Wed, 22 Jan 1997 04:38:43 GMT
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stuart katz wrote:
> Can someone tell me how to get baked potatos soft like the resturaunts do?

I do them this way, and they are always moist. Poke some holes in
them, and put them in the microwave for 10 mins only. If you don't
have a carrosel, then put them in for 5 mins, turn, and nude them
again for 5 mins. Done..soft, and very good.

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From: stan[at]thunder.temple.edu (Stan Horwitz)
Date: 20 Jan 1997 15:29:27 GMT
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stuart katz wrote:
: Can someone tell me how to get baked potatos soft like the resturaunts do?

I will post this again in case my previous response was not seen. There is
only one way to bake a potato. Wash it throroughly, pierce a few holes in 
the skin of the potato with a knife and then bake it in a 475 degree oven
until its done. A medium sized potato will take 60 minutes to cook. A large
potato will take up to 90 minutes. You can tell when the potato is done 
easily. Just pierce it with a knife. If the knife goes through the potato 
with little or no resistence, the potato is done. It will come out nice 
and fluffy every time and have a nice crispy skin the way baked potatoes 
should have.

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From: HIDDA 
Date: Tue, 21 Jan 1997 20:11:04 -1000
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stuart katz wrote:
> Can someone tell me how to get baked potatos soft like the resturaunts do?

Scrub them well.  Stab them all over a few times with a fork.  Microwave
on high until you can just insert a fork.  Take out and brush with oil. 
Salt if you like.  Put into hot oven (400 degrees) directly on the
rack.  Bake until skin gets crisp, usually less than 15 minutes.  Eat
right away, otherwise, wrap in foil.  I have baked potatoes in less than
30 minutes this way and they taste like they were baked in a
conventional oven.  BTW, I use my toaster oven.  4 or 5 big potatoes
easily fit in my little 2 slice toaster oven.  Cheaper to heat  up for
short periods than my big oven.

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From: joan3[at]ix.netcom.com (Joan Ellis)
Date: Fri, 24 Jan 1997 06:05:38 GMT
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stuart katz wrote:
>Can someone tell me how to get baked potatos soft like the resturaunts do?

Where are all you people finding these potatoes with no bad spots?
After you cut them all out, there is no need to prick them with a
fork.

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From: Kate Connally 
Date: Fri, 24 Jan 1997 09:47:30 -0800
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Joan Ellis wrote:
> Where are all you people finding these potatoes with no bad spots?
> After you cut them all out, there is no need to prick them with a
> fork.

You're right about that.  Many times I cut bad spots off
the potato before baking but many times the potato is
perfect.  I still maintain it's totally unnecessary to
prick it with a fork before baking.  I've baked thousands
of unpricked, uncut potatoes over the years and nary an
explosion.  BTW, the reason I often get perfect potatoes is
because I only buy loose potatoes and I select very carefully
for the most perfectly shaped and least blemished potatoes.
I will spend quite a lot of time at the potato bin - more
than all the other vegetables put together!  Another thing
that might explain why my potatoes don't explode is that
I always use Idaho/russets for baking (and for everything
else, actually, as I don't care for the flavor or the texture
of red or other waxy potatoes) and perhaps the exploding ones
are another variety that have more water in them or something.

============================

From: "Lori Herrington" 
Date: 20 Jan 1997 05:53:44 GMT
--------
Another idea might be to wrap it in Aluminium foil so that is doesn't loose
moisture and the whole thing softens.  One way I do it is to take however
number of potatoes (1 per person) brush and wash then while damp I roll in
a mixture of herbs, flour, salt, and pepper then I wrap in foil and bake
for an hour till soft.

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From: stan[at]thunder.temple.edu (Stan Horwitz)
Date: 20 Jan 1997 15:26:08 GMT
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Lori Herrington wrote:
: Another idea might be to wrap it in Aluminium foil so that is doesn't loose
: moisture and the whole thing softens.

This is certainly a matter of personal taste, but in my opinion a potato
wrapped in foil becomes a steamed potato, not baked. The reason is that
the foil traps all of the moisture in the potato as it cooks and thus,
steams the potato. There is only one way to cook a baked potato as far as
I am concerned. Wash the potato well, pierce a few holes in the skin then
put it directly in the oven and cook it at 475 degrees until done. A 
medium baked potato will take 60 minutes to cook this way. 

When the potato is done, you can then add any condiments to it after you 
break it opened, but really, a good baked potato only needs a little 
butter and that's it.

============================

From: Richard Yates 
Date: Fri, 24 Jan 1997 18:08:31 -0800
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Stan Horwitz wrote:
> Lori Herrington wrote:
> : [wrap in foil and bake]
> [pierce, bake, butter]

You can also cheat by simmering the potato in a pan of water 'till
partly done (parboil) then baking it. This is much faster.

============================

From: Stan Horwitz 
Date: Thu, 23 Jan 1997 17:05:33 -0500
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dfkuehl@iastate wrote:
> So Stan, can I have your sour cream?  You see I just want 'a little
> baked potato' with my sour cream.  smile

Of course. I am no one to talk. I eat my baked spuds with plenty of
ketchup. In fact, I have been doing this so long that I even forget that I
do it. Its like an involuntary reflex action for me to put ketchup on my
spuds (actually, next to them)! 

============================

From: Edwin Pawlowski 
Date: 25 Jan 1997 04:55:18 GMT
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> Do you have a microwave? ...  Remember to pierce the tators before
> cooking.  After they are cooked, pierce again to test adjusting time
> if necessary.  Carefully remove from micro, wrap in tin foil and let
> set for at least 5 min.
 
If you insist on cooking your potatoes in a microwave instead of baking
them in the oven, skip the foil.  Wrap them in a dish towel or put them
under a bowl.  They will stay hot for a long time and will finish cooking
through. 

Remember, you then have a cooked potato, not a real baked potato. 

============================

From: trudiefrur[at]aol.com (TRUDIEFRUR)
Date: 6 Feb 1997 14:49:16 GMT
--------
in my opinion microwave and/or foil wrapped potatoes just steam the
potatoes. i only eat the skins which i like crisp so i  preheat oven to 500
lightly oil outside, prick potatoes and bake for 45-50 min...depending on size.
i've also rolled the potatoes after light oiling in a cajin spice mix or
some other  herbs.  this makes a real crisp outside and a great inside.

============================

From: Joseph D. Jannuzzi 
Date: 6 Feb 1997 23:39:43 GMT
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TRUDIEFRUR wrote:
> in my opinion microwave and/or foil wrapped potatoes just steam the
> potatoes. i only eat the skins which i like crisp so i  preheat oven to 500
> lightly oil outside, prick potatoes and bake for 45-50 min...depending on size.
> i've also rolled the potatoes after light oiling in a cajin spice mix or
> some other  herbs.  this makes a real crisp outside and a great inside.

I agree with all of the above but 4-5 minutes/ potato (shorter times for
more spuds) in the nuke (while the oven is heating) can cut the oven time
done to about 15-20 with about the same texture and flavor. Also, potatoes,
like breads, cook better and crisper in a wet oven.

Dave

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From: sissons[at]erols.com (Welmoed Sisson)
Date: Fri, 07 Feb 1997 20:37:33 GMT
--------
TRUDIEFRUR wrote:
>in my opinion microwave and/or foil wrapped potatoes just steam the
>potatoes. i only eat the skins which i like crisp so i  preheat oven to 500
>lightly oil outside, prick potatoes and bake for 45-50 min...depending on size.
>i've also rolled the potatoes after light oiling in a cajin spice mix or
>some other  herbs.  this makes a real crisp outside and a great inside.

I oil the potatoes with olive oil, then sprinkle kosher salt on them.
Also, I don't use such a hot oven...I keep it to 425. And if I'm a bit
short of time, I nuke them for a few minutes first, then finish them
in the oven.
  Like you, I love the skins.

  Here's a favorite recipe for a sour cream dressing that goes great
on baked potatoes.

1 pint sour cream (can use low-fat or fat-free as well)
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp. Accent/MSG
2 tsp. salt
Few dashes tabasco
Ground pepper
Chopped chives

Mix it all up and dollop liberally on the baked potato. Yum.

============================

Subject: Re: baked potatoes
From: rain[at]hothouse.iglou.com (Rain)
Date: Tue, 21 Jan 1997 12:00:00 GMT
--------
stuart katz wrote:
> Can someone tell me how to get baked potatos soft like the resturaunts
>do?

Unfortunately, they wrap them in foil, which results in a potato
that's been steamed but not baked, and is damp and heavy in the
middle and with no crispness to the skin. To me, the crispy skin of
an un-foil-wrapped potato is the best part.  And it comes  out crisp
but not tough, and with the innards really nice, if you dampen and
then lightly oil the skin just before baking.

============================

Subject: Re: baked potatoes
From: CJF 
Date: Tue, 21 Jan 1997 17:36:27 -0800
--------
I have also had luck with using the olive-oil spray on the potatoes 
before baking. Saves slopping up your hands.

============================

Subject: Re: baked potatoes
From: lea[at]sirius.com (Lea)
Date: Thu, 23 Jan 1997 00:11:15 GMT
--------
I like my potatoe over baked until the skin is VERY crispy. (almost
hard)   The inside gets completely fluffy and seems to come out
sweeter and the skin is a delightful crunchy after treat.

Choose a BIG potato and bake @ 375 until almost hard.  Cut open  (it
crackels) and behold!  I think this is the secret of the legendary
potatos cooked in resin.  They are much more well done.

The ones cooked in foil are sort of pathetic, but may also be cooked
more thouroughly giving them a sweeter flavour.

============================

Subject: Re: baked potatoes
From: dweller[at]ramtops.demon.co.uk (Douglas Weller)
Date: Sat, 25 Jan 1997 22:38:40 GMT
--------
Lea wrote:
> Choose a BIG potato and bake @ 375 until almost hard.  Cut open  (it
>crackels) and behold!  I think this is the secret of the legendary
>potatos cooked in resin.  They are much more well done.

Well, my memory is the potatoes in resin actually tasted different somehow,
but that might just be faulty memory! It was over 40 years ago.

============================
============================

Subject: Re: baked potatoes
From: Don McGranahan 
Date: Mon, 14 Jul 1997 15:51:04 -0400
--------
Andrew J. Berry wrote:
>I remember hearing somewhere that you can make baked potatoes on the
>stove *top* Something to do with a coffee can I think. This would
>be great to do because it's too hot to turn the oven on. Any ideas?

never tried it on the stove, but we did bake potatoes in
an electric fry pan when our oven was broken. We set the temperature
at 350 and baked them on a wire rack that you use to cool pies on. 
I suppose the same thing would work on the stove in a deep pan with a lid,
but it would be hard to guess the temperature. Don.

============================

Subject: Re: baked potatoes
From: aileron[at]bellsouth.net
Date: Tue, 15 Jul 1997 15:13:33 -0400
--------
Andrew J. Berry wrote:
> I remember hearing somewhere that you can make baked potatoes on the
> stove *top*.  Something to do with a coffee can I think.  This would
> be great to do because it's too hot to turn the oven on.  Any ideas?

I have a big patio out back here in south florida where its hot, so I
put a regular gas stove out there with a bbq propane bottle...

============================

Subject: Re: baked potatoes
From: Jody,Laurie & Jane 
Date: 17 Jul 1997 00:02:00 GMT
--------
Leigh Menconi wrote:
> with my crockpot that you can bake them in there, too.  I've lost the
> booklet; can anyone tell me how long and at what temp (low or high)?

Hi Guys.....My crock-pot cook book says to place well greased potatoes
in pot, cover and cook on low 8 to 10 hours.  Do not add water....Jane

============================

Subject: Re: baked potatoes
From: Bob Y. 
Date: Thu, 17 Jul 1997 09:33:30 -0500
--------
Jane wrote:
> My crock-pot cook book says to place well greased potatoes
> in pot, cover and cook on low 8 to 10 hours.  Do not add water...

Hmmm.. My crock-pot (Rival) book says to wrap in foil and bake 6 to 12
potatoes without water on Low 8-10 hours. I've never tried it but I
wouldn't bother with the foil since I like crunchy skins with butter,
salt and pepper!

You might achieve the same result by putting the potatoes on a rack in a
heavy Dutch oven and cooking at a low heat setting. I'd worry about
heating the pot for an extended period without any liquid in it as I
have had heat damage to a Revereware pan that boiled dry. Took the
longest time to get it cleaned up and servicable again. You could
experiment if no one comes up with a better solution, but I'd keep a
close eye on it.

============================

Subject: Re: baked potatoes
From: eep[at]napanet.net
Date: Wed, 23 Jul 1997 13:01:49 -0800
--------
Ask your kitchen wares dealer about a " potatoe baker"  You might find one
in a thrift store. . They're also great for heating rolls.


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