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Subject: Potato's micro cooking help
Newsgroups: rec.food.cooking

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From: Barbara_HL. 
Date: 12 Jan 2003 03:42:56 GMT
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Help.

What am I doing wrong.  I have a nice microware (1000 watts) and I have 
tried cooking potato's for various times.  

Potato's never come out right.  

I cook one whole one at a time.  Then let it sit.  Time test varies.

Using medium sized baking potato.

I have even poked hole it it with a fork and that doesn't help.

Am I using the wrong type of potato?  Procedure?

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From: Frenchy 
Date: Sun, 12 Jan 2003 17:51:43 +1300
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Should be about 5-6 minutes per medium plus sized potato.  Cut a big slit or
cross on one side.  Open Microwave and turn spud over about half way
through.  Take out and wrap tight in foil and leave 15 minutes plus until
ready to eat.

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From: Peter Aitken 
Date: Sun, 12 Jan 2003 22:42:50 GMT
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Frenchy wrote:
> Should be about 5-6 minutes per medium plus sized potato.  Cut a big slit or
> cross on one side.  Open Microwave and turn spud over about half way
> through.  Take out and wrap tight in foil and leave 15 minutes plus until
> ready to eat.

Are you trying to get a "baked potato" with a microwave? You cannot. You can
cook a spud in the microwave but you cannot bake it. You will never get the
lovely crisp skin and fluffy interior that baking gives you.

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From: harriet 
Date: Sun, 12 Jan 2003 07:29:49 GMT
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Barbara_HL. wrote:
> What am I doing wrong.  I have a nice microware (1000 watts) and I have 
> tried cooking potato's for various times.  
> Potato's never come out right.  
> Am I using the wrong type of potato?  Procedure?

What kind of spuds are you using.  I micro the thin skin small ones, red 
rose, white, rose, yukon gold, peruvian purple all the time.  I've found 
the best way to do these types is to cut them into quarters, put in a 
micro bowl, cover the bowl and micro 3 - 5 minutes, just until tender. 
Remember, the stuff is still cooking after you take it out of the micro.

If you're cooking russets or baking potatoes, then, IMHO, the best way 
is to poke 'em wrap in a paper towel and cook half way.  Remove from 
micro, wipe the outside with any kind of oil, and then put into a hot 
oven 375F - 400F and bake 'em til done.  Dry heat works best for these.

Different types of spuds take different types of cooking methods.

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From: Jill McQuown 
Date: Sun, 12 Jan 2003 04:28:05 -0600
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Barbara_HL. wrote:
> What am I doing wrong.  I have a nice microware (1000 watts) and I have 
> tried cooking potato's for various times.  
> Potato's never come out right.  
> Am I using the wrong type of potato?  Procedure?

If you're looking for a "baked potato" you can forget about the microwave.
If you want a steamed potato, depending upon the size/weight of the potato,
nuke it for about 10 minutes.  Make sure you cut a slit in the top or prick
it with a fork to release the steam.

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From: Niki 
Date: Sun, 12 Jan 2003 05:52:57 -0500
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One thing that might be overlooked is a dirty oven. If it is highly gunked
up, it can take up to twice as long or longer to cook something. Not to
mention the uneveness.

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From: Jill McQuown 
Date: Sun, 12 Jan 2003 05:11:50 -0600
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Niki wrote:
> One thing that might be overlooked is a dirty oven. If it is highly gunked
> up, it can take up to twice as long or longer to cook something. Not to
> mention the uneveness.

One would *assume* a clean M/W.  Of course, I can't assume anyone else would
clean out a microwave.  Gauged by what I see at the office with regards to
the M/W and the fridge, some people must live like pigs.

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From: blake murphy 
Date: Sun, 12 Jan 2003 08:59:53 -0500
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Jill McQuown wrote:
>One would *assume* a clean M/W.  Of course, I can't assume anyone else would
>clean out a microwave.  Gauged by what I see at the office with regards to
>the M/W and the fridge, some people must live like pigs.

oink!

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From: Kajikit 
Date: Mon, 13 Jan 2003 21:24:35 +1100
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Jill McQuown wrote:
>One would *assume* a clean M/W.  Of course, I can't assume anyone else would
>clean out a microwave.  Gauged by what I see at the office with regards to
>the M/W and the fridge, some people must live like pigs.

From when I worked as a replacement teacher, it seems that nobody EVER
cleans out a microwave oven in a public kitchen. It's always someone
else's responsibility... I saw a lot of dirty ovens in my time, and
some that made me go 'ick! I'm not that hungry after all...'

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From: Gabby 
Date: Mon, 13 Jan 2003 07:20:01 -0400
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Kajikit wrote:
> From when I worked as a replacement teacher, it seems that nobody EVER
> cleans out a microwave oven in a public kitchen. It's always someone
> else's responsibility... I saw a lot of dirty ovens in my time, and
> some that made me go 'ick! I'm not that hungry after all...'

When I was a student nurse one of my classmates did a swab of the fridge in
our residence kitchen and cultured it.  It grew more bacteria than the
toilet bowl swab she'd taken.  Yuck!!

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From: candeh[at]thelast.mile
Date: Sun, 12 Jan 2003 11:32:10 GMT
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Barbara_HL. wrote:

>Potato's never come out right.

What's wrong with them?

>I cook one whole one at a time.  Then let it sit.  Time test varies.

One at a time is the way to go. 

>Using medium sized baking potato.

That should work.

>I have even poked hole it it with a fork and that doesn't help.

Everybody says if you don't poke holes in a microwaved potato, it'll
blow up. I've done plenty, and I've never seen it happen. I'm not
ruling it out, it's just that I've never seen it happen. And I have an
1100 watt microwave. Try this, poke the potato once with a fork (just
in case) then use some microwave safe plastic wrap to wrap around the
potato. No need to poke holes in the plastic wrap. Depending on the
size of the potato, you probably want to nuke it for at least 10
minutes. Or, if your problem is that the potato seems to dry out, just
set the power level at around 7 or 8 (on a scale of 1 to 10) and let
it cook for 12 or 13 minutes. But the plastic wrap is key. You gotta
use that. 

>Am I using the wrong type of potato?  Procedure?

From the information provided, hard to tell. It all depends on what
your definition of "coming out right" is. I think the microwave is a
fantastic way to do uhhh, "baked potatoes," but of course they're not
really baked unless you actually bake them. 

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From: Alan Moorman[at]visi.com
Date: Sun, 12 Jan 2003 20:56:06 -0600
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candeh wrote:

>Everybody says if you don't poke holes in a microwaved potato, it'll
>blow up. I've done plenty, and I've never seen it happen. 

I used to believe that, and poo-poo the exploding thing, until one did
explode in the microwave.  It leaves a thin deposit of potato on every
inside surface of the microwave.  

After I cleaned it up, I started poking a hole from the side all the
way into the center with a fork.  Makes me feel better, anyway.

Actually, if you put the hole side down, the tater will cook more on
it's bottom half -- I assume because of the steam that is exiting. . .

>I'm not
>ruling it out, it's just that I've never seen it happen. And I have an
>1100 watt microwave. 

No you don't.   Just zap it at full power.  Mine take about 4 minutes.
No foolin' around!

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From: Pat Meadows 
Date: Sun, 12 Jan 2003 15:56:01 GMT
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Barbara_HL. wrote:
>Am I using the wrong type of potato?  Procedure?

They never come out as good as the potatoes baked in an
oven, and I don't think they ever will -- no matter what you
do to them.

I do 'bake' potatoes in the microwave sometimes:  it's a
trade-off between time and quality.  

Or I will do it in summer when I don't want to heat the
kitchen up by using the oven.

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From: hahabogus 
Date: Sun, 12 Jan 2003 16:23:51 GMT
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Pat Meadows wrote:
> I do 'bake' potatoes in the microwave sometimes:  it's a
> trade-off between time and quality.  

I use the microwave a fair bit. I cook most of my veggies in it. As well as 
scrambled eggs,defrost my frozen stuff, heat my coffee and re-heat my left 
overs. I use the microwave 3 or 4 times a day. The whole secret is to stop 
using full strength...a lower power setting does take longer but it is 
worth the effort. I don't even use the defrost setting...which is medium 
power with timed waiting periods included. I defrost using the lowest power 
setting. Yes it take 10 or 15 minutes longer but I don't get cooked edges 
around my food and it is still longer to defrost on the counter or in the 
fridge. Also waiting time or sitting/rest time, where you let the nuked 
food sit while it finishes cooking is important. You need to learn to use a 
microwave like you need to learn a new stove.

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From: Alan Moorman[at]visi.com
Date: Sun, 12 Jan 2003 20:57:48 -0600
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Pat Meadows wrote:
>They never come out as good as the potatoes baked in an
>oven, and I don't think they ever will -- no matter what you
>do to them.

Of course they don't.   We all know that.  But, for some of us, 4
minutes in the microwave is way better than an hour in the oven.

I do them in the microwave whether I pretend they're really baked
potatoes, or whether I'm making mashed potatoes.   The microwave adds
a lot of texture and goodness to the mashed potatoes.  Skin on, of
course!

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From: Barbara_HL. 
Date: 12 Jan 2003 19:09:01 GMT
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Barbara_HL. said:
> Am I using the wrong type of potato?  Procedure?

Thank you Frenchy, harriet, Jill McQuown, candeh, Pat Meadows and Niki.
Sorry if I missed anoyone.
Niki my micro is very clean.  ;)

You answered my questions.  Guess I wasn't making a big enough slit, 
turning over and cooking long enough.  
Will do better next time.  In fact...right now.

Thanks again for the help.  :)

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From: Rodney Myrvaagnes 
Date: Sun, 12 Jan 2003 19:10:26 -0500
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Barbara_HL. wrote:
>Am I using the wrong type of potato?  Procedure?

I don't know any potato that responds well to the zapper, but I gave
up before I went through every kind I could find.

I like the microwave for some things but potatoes, no.

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From: Joe 
Date: Sun, 12 Jan 2003 20:14:50 -0500
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We eat potato's cooked in the microwave all the time. Are they as good as
oven baked? Not quite but they are perfectly acceptable. Generally I will
poke a few holes in the potato with a fork first. Like a poster below I had
never had one explode on me until about a month ago. What a mess! Just a
word of warning.
After poking the holes I wrap them in wet paper towel and nuke for just 2
minutes at a time until they feel well done. Depending on the potato the
total time will usually be either 4 or 6 minutes. Easiest thing in the
world and very good.

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From: Alan Moorman[at]visi.com
Date: Sun, 12 Jan 2003 20:50:49 -0600
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Barbara_HL. wrote:
>Am I using the wrong type of potato?  Procedure?

What kind of potatoes are you trying to cook?

I usually use russets -- the standard baking potato.
Each one takes about 4 minutes.
I punch a hole with a fork all the way through to the center to let
steam out so it won't explode.  (One un-holed one did explode many
years ago.)

What's happening to them.  Don't they heat up?  Do they heat up but
don't cook completely, or what?


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