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Subject: Best way to microwave a baked potato?
Newsgroups: rec.food.cooking

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From: dunxuk[at]aol.com (DunxUK)
Date: 22 Nov 1999 13:25:10 GMT
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There's a microwave at work and I'd like to make a baked potato at lunchtime.
Does anyone have a good method of nuking large potatoes. I seem to have
problems with the ends going hard with the middle solid and raw. Using an oven,
bonfire etc. is not an option. :o)

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From: Dimitri 
Date: Mon, 22 Nov 1999 07:37:43 -0800
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Since the microwave is heating the moisture in the potato and then cooking
by the steam produced inside the potato, you need to *vent* the potato well.

For a large potato, with a 3 or 4 tine fork,  pierce the potato on each end
and then at least 4 times more around the potato.

This usually works just fine.

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From: virginia pendergrass 
Date: Sun, 21 Nov 1999 08:53:35 -0800
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The best method I have used is to cut a slice down the potato and put it
into a plastic bag but  do not seal the bag, seems to keep the moisture in
and the ends don't  turn to concrete. .......Ginny

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From: Bruceh 
Date: Mon, 22 Nov 1999 13:17:48 -0800
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* Poke holes using fork
* Nuke 5-7 minutes on High
* Wrap with Foil
* Let sit for 5-10 minutes

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From: Glenn & Miyoko Merrick 
Date: Mon, 22 Nov 1999 19:40:44 -0500
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I usually use couple of paper towel.  After stub a few places on the potato
with a fork, wrap it with wet paper towel ( just put under the running water
and squeeze excess water, but not squeezing too much).  Evaluate potato with
plastic steamer rack (if you do not have one, do not worry.  It just comes
out better with rack under the potato) and start your microwave!  Do not
forget to check your potato once in a while!!  And , do not over cook it.
Let it stand just a few minutes.  It will be your pleasure....

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From: debbiegrrl[at]aol.com (DebbieGrrl)
Date: 23 Nov 1999 02:17:20 GMT
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we have pretty good luck with this method:

wash the potato and leave it wet, stab it a few times with a fork all the way
around then wrap it in a paper towel and put in the microwave, cook it on
med-hi for 4-5 minutes, then check to see how soft it is, then cook for 3 min
intervals until its done.i find that if i cook it on high it will collapse,
med-hi works best for me.

or, you could always cook them in your regular oven the night before and then
just nuke for a minute or two at work. ive used both methods.

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From: catmandy99[at]aol.com (Sheryl Rosen)
Date: 23 Nov 1999 20:35:23 GMT
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Best way to microwave a BAKED potato? 
Don't.  

If it's microwaved, it's NOT a baked potato. It's a steamed potato. Which is
fine, if that's what you want, or that's all that's available to you.  But it's
NOT a BAKED potato. Nuked potatoes, when you're in a rush, are good, but they
don't compare to a real, crispy baked potato.  

However, if your method of baking potatoes in the oven is to wrap them in
aluminum foil....you might as well nuke'em.  You'll save lots of time and won't
heat up the kitchen to get the same result.

Now, for mashed potatoes, I microwave, rather than boil.  I much prefer
microwaved to boiled, as the flavor is not washed away in the boiling water.  

Most of the time, I just pierce the potatoes with a fork a few times after
washing, and put them in the microwave damp. A potato roughly the size and
shape of my fist gets about 4 minutes.  2 of them gets 6 min.  3 of them gets 9
minutes.  4 of them, 12 min.  Any more than that, I do two batches.

My old microwave oven instructions said to wrap the damp potatoes individually
in white paper towels. That worked fine, but I don't bother. I get good results
just popping them in poked and damp.

As I said, nuked potatoes are a 100% better substitute for boiled, but please
don't call them baked!

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From: Phil (NM) 
Date: Tue, 23 Nov 1999 20:09:22 -0700
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Interesting.. how do you (Sheryl) BAKE a potato if you don't wrap it
before you put it in 
the oven? If that isn't the way, I've been baking mine all wrong... just
leaving them unwrapped in the oven they tend to shrivel, waste away,
etc.....

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From: catmandy99[at]aol.com (Sheryl Rosen)
Date: 24 Nov 1999 15:27:53 GMT
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For baking, I use only Russet potatoes, the ones from Idaho, the long ones, vs.
the round ones. I wash them..rub them with a drop (I do mean, a drop) of olive
oil, sprinkle with some kosher salt, pierce with a fork, and yes, just put them
on the rack in a 350-400 degree oven (the hotter, the better) for about an
hour.  

The skins are crispy and flavorful, the insides are fluffy and moist.  I've
only experienced "shriveled and wasted away" if I've left them in there too
long.  I like my baked potatoes crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside.

I never said it was WRONG to wrap a potato in foil and bake them that way. All
I said was if you bake potatoes in foil, you might as well microwave them, as
you'd get the same result, in less time and without heating up the kitchen. 
Both methods result in a soft skin and cooked inside.  That is not a personal
observation, it's a fact.  Now, if you LIKE them that way, terrific!!!!! Enjoy
them!!!!!

I (Sheryl) prefer crispy, flavorful skins, not soft mushy ones. What you find
distasteful, I might find delicious, and vice versa. I suspect this is the
case...you are describing a potato baked my way as shrivelled, and I am
describing it as "crisp".
I can't stand the flavor of potato skin when it's mushy.  So...I suspect, if I
ate a baked potato at your house, I'd scoop out the inside and leave the skin
behind.  And you'd probably do the same at mine, when presented with the
"shrivelled" skinned potato. 

One coin, two sides.
Relax....
Sheryl

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From: Jill McQuown 
Date: Wed, 24 Nov 1999 09:58:39 -0600
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I never wrap my potatoes in foil... I dislike soggy, moist potato skins.  In
a method quite similar to Sheryl's, I rub butter on the outside and sprinkle
them with salt.  I put mine on a baking sheet, 400 degrees, about an hour.
I too love a crispy, flavorful on the outside, fluffy on the inside
potatoes.  This method (oiling or buttering) accomplishes that.  Of course,
if you don't eat the potato skin (which I do) I suppose it doesn't matter
one way or the other :-)  At any rate, this is why I don't nuke potatoes at
home.

To the original person who posted, I'd bake up a couple of potatoes
(whatever method you prefer) and take an already baked tater with preferred
toppings to work.  Then just reheat the thing and put your toppings on it.
It's going to turn out microwaved either way.  But I gotta tell you, people
who tie up the microwave for 10+ minutes at my office get GLARED at.  Some
of us are on a very specific lunch schedule... if I don't get to heat up my
lunch until 11:45 because I'm tapping my foot waiting for someone elses
uncooked or totally frozen food, that's 15 minutes of my lunch hour already
gone.  I don't care what you eat for lunch, just don't "eat up" my lunch
hour!

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From: Alan Boles 
Date: Wed, 24 Nov 1999 16:21:51 GMT
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I cook them similarly except I rub on canola oil and no salt...Oh I use
red potatoes
Don't care for russets much.
I'll eat these cold from the fridge(just a little salt and
pepper)...Childhood thing..like stuffing sandwiches.

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From: Edwin Pawlowski 
Date: Wed, 24 Nov 1999 23:07:45 -0500
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Phil (NM) wrote:
>  If that isn't the way, I've been baking mine all wrong... just
> leaving them unwrapped in the oven they tend to shrivel, waste away,
> etc.....

Perhaps you need a new source of quality produce.  I've had it happen, but
not with a really good potato.  Crispy skin, butter and salt.  I can have it
as the main course that way.  About an hour at 400 deg.

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From: Edwin Pawlowski 
Date: Mon, 22 Nov 1999 22:15:29 -0500
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Nuke it well before lunch time.  Depending on the power, about eight to ten
minutes should do.  Wrap it in a towel, scarf, wool hat, whatever you have
handy, let it stand for 15 to 20 minutes.  Cut and eat.

Not as good as real baked, but edible.  The waiting time is very important
with microwave cooking.  Since most cafeteria microwaves are cheapies, be s
ure to rotate it halfway through, maybe more than once.

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From: Alan Boles 
Date: Tue, 23 Nov 1999 06:32:48 GMT
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Best if you cook it at home and only warm it at work...Others may need
to use the Microwave so your time may be limited and very short...

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From: Nancy Young 
Date: Tue, 23 Nov 1999 10:01:36 -0500
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Edwin Pawlowski wrote:
> Nuke it well before lunch time. 

That can be taken two ways, and I think the most important way is 
usually that there are other people hoping to heat up their lunch, too.
I don't know what the circumstances are, but unless you're the only
person in the office, tying up the microwave for that long isn't very
nice.  

I'd bake a whole bunch of potatoes at home, and just reheat them at
the office.

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From: JayeBea 
Date: Tue, 23 Nov 1999 12:56:57 -0800
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If you are able to do this at work, I would recommend smearing the potato
with any vegetable oil and puncturing the potato several times and putting a
piece of plastic wrap or wax paper loosely on top.  You will have a potato
with a slightly crusty skin and still moist inside.  Yum!


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