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Subject: Help on Baking potatoes
Newsgroups: rec.food.cooking

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From: wherna[at]aol.com (Wherna)
Date: 6 May 1999 22:28:40 GMT
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I need help baking potatoes! I have tried,to no avail,to get a good baked
potato with crunchy skin and soft inside.If anyone knows how Outback steakhouse
does theirs( the skin is crunchy and salty) I'd like that procedure.thanks

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From: Sue 
Date: Thu, 06 May 1999 20:28:11 -0700
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I don't know about the salt part of it, but if you bake them at 400 F for at least
1 hour, the skin should be pretty crispy and the inside will be done.  To keep the
skin crispy, don't wrap them in anything to keep them warm until ready to serve.
Just leave them in  a low temp oven.

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From: Wade_and_Char 
Date: Fri, 07 May 1999 04:16:05 GMT
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Never had one from Outback Steakhouse, but you can get a good crunchy
skin and a soft fluffy inside by taking a large russet potato and
rubbing it with some cooking oil and sprinkling it with salt (I prefer
Kosher salt).  Bake it uncovered without piercing it in a 450 degree
oven for about 45 to 1 hour.  When you take it out, grab it from
underside with your hand (have a towel for this) and gently squeeze the
potato.  When it is done to perfection, the inside will start to give
with this gentle pressure.  Hope it works for you.

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From: Ellen Smith 
Date: Thu, 06 May 1999 23:26:48 -0700
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I dunno if Outback does this (I love that place, shoot me, it's the only
chain I will eat at, except maybe in a real pinch TACO BELL....hahahaha)
but they may do their baked taters in a bed of rock salt. Ellen

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From: "Alan Boles" 
Date: Fri, 07 May 1999 08:41:52 GMT
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I like to cooked red taters this way but I do pierce them. And when
testing for doneness you can tell by the crispness of the skin when
squeezed quickly. I really don't like exploding taters in the oven at
450 messy and smells bad when it burns. Just be sure not to wrap them
in anything tin foil...Next step double baked taters yummmmm...

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From: Stanley Zoo 
Date: Fri, 07 May 1999 05:19:51 -0500
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I find that when you're pressed for time, making twice baked potatoes in
the microwave is fast and easy. I, too, prefer red potatoes for baked,
they seem to be more flavorful.
Twice Baked Potatoes
4 large red potatoes (or 4 medium baking potatoes)
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine (melted)
16 oz. carton sour cream
1/2 pkg. potato toppers (usually in produce section) (optional)
1/2 cup chopped green onions
seasonings to taste: I use salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Pierce potatoes several times with fork. Rub oil on skins, season
outside(for those of you who also enjoy eating the skin). Cook in
microwave for 17-22 minutes(depending on size of potatoes) (until soft
when pierced with fork). Scoop out potato pulp into bowl (you might want
to wait until potatoes cool a little), add melted butter, sour cream,
potato toppers, green onions, and season to taste. Sprinkle shredded
cheese over each potato.
Put back in the microwave for approx.4-5 minutes. If making this ahead
of time and you store in refrigerator, you 'll need to nuke them a
little longer, about 7-8 minutes.

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From: jbain[at]hiwaay.net (Jay Bain)
Date: Fri, 07 May 1999 12:40:34 GMT
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For baking potatoes, is the use of a convection oven a plus or minus
in the resulting texture and flavor. I understand part of the flavor
enhancement is in the long baking time.

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From: stan[at]tempest.temple.edu (Stanley Horwitz)
Date: 7 May 1999 14:20:38 GMT
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What I do to bake potatoes is quite simple. I just take Russet or Idaho
potatoes and wash them under cold water. I then make a cut or two on each
end to prevent the potatoes from exploding as they cook. Then I put them
in a 475 - 500 degree oven. I then let the spuds cook for an hour
(assuming decent sized potatoes) until they're done. You know the potatoes
are done when a knife can be easily pierced through the potato. The skins
come out crispy and the insides come out moist every time.

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From: aem 
Date: Fri, 07 May 1999 10:08:30 -0700
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The variable that most affects the skin is moisture.  Wrap the
potato in foil and you get steamed, soft skin.  Oil the skin and
it gets hotter, but more moisture is held in.  Crunchiest comes
from dry, unoiled skin.

Heat is the variable that most affects the inside.  Hotter
produces fluffier and softer, providing you don't cook it too
long so that it begins to dry out past its optimal state.
(Oiled potatoes cook "hotter" than dry ones in the same oven.
Let the scientists discuss why.)

Our personal preferences lead us to:  400 to 425, oiled skin,
unwrapped, for about one hour.  Yours might be:  425 to 450,
unoiled, unwrapped, for the hour.

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From: Welmoed Sisson 
Date: Fri, 07 May 1999 16:36:39 -0400
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I've started making my baked potatoes thusly: wash well and pierce with
fork to vent. Smear liberally with olive oil and place on a cookie
sheet. Sprinkle with kosher salt. Bake at 425 degrees for about 20-25
minutes. Turn, sprinkle with more kosher salt, and bake another 20-25
minutes. These potatoes come out with crunchy, salty skins, and fluffy
soft insides. Timing is a big variable, though: I like to use huge
baking potatoes I get at Costco, and they sometimes need more time.

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From: Robert Keereweer 
Date: Fri, 7 May 1999 21:43:55 -0300
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Try rubbing a little oil over the top of the potatoe before baking
it. And I don't know, maybe bake them at a higher temperature like 375, 
or 400.

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From: Frank 
Date: Tue, 11 May 1999 02:36:09 GMT
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To get the skin crunchy and salty like Outback Steakhouse, try rubbing in
Kosher Salt after cleaning.  Cook for about 1 hour in a 425 Degree oven.


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