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Subject: How to make a perfect baked potato?
Newsgroups: rec.food.cooking

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From: borus.1[at]pop.service.ohio-state.edu (JJ)
Date: Sat, 21 Nov 1998 17:34:33 -0500
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I'm sure this has asked before but...

At (some) restaurants the skin is crisp and the potato fluffy.  How do
they do it?

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From: Nancy Young <qwerty[at]mail.monmouth.com>
Date: Sat, 21 Nov 1998 17:28:28 -0500
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Once you've scrubbed the potato, rub it with vegetable oil before you
bake it.  And, I mean baked in the oven, not the microwave.  Poke it
with a fork a number of times.  Set it on the racks.  

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From: sue[at]interport.net (Curly Sue)
Date: Sat, 21 Nov 1998 22:38:06 GMT
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Also, for fluffy potatoes that soak up the butter use mealy potatoes
not waxy potatoes.

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From: ed205[at]FreeNet.Carleton.CA (Stephen Johnson)
Date: 22 Nov 1998 02:50:33 GMT
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There are several techniques to cook baked potatoes,
some baste the spud with salt &amp; oil, this will help keep the potato skin
from wrinkling and the salt will help to make the skin crisp but only to a
degree.
For the fluffyness, this is caused by two factors,
1- type of potato and
2- length of cooking time ( 50 minutes to an hour at 325 degrees F.

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From: d-con <1[at]123.com>
Date: Sat, 21 Nov 1998 22:56:50 -0500
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I avoid Michigan potatoes whenever Idahos are available.
Michigans are too starchy.

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From: lila3[at]aol.com (Lila3)
Date: 23 Nov 1998 05:46:09 GMT
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> perfect baked potato?

Bake at 500 degrees for about an hour.
Turn over at 30 min.

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From: Scott Taylor <sfbaker[at]earthlink.net>
Date: Sun, 22 Nov 1998 23:16:17 -0800
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Always make sure you use a baking potato (e.g. Idaho russet) as opposed to
a boiling potato (e.g. Yukon gold), and NEVER wrap it in foil  or
microwave it.  The fluffy interior only comes from baking it.

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From: chatchapo[at]aol.com (Chatchapo)
Date: 23 Nov 1998 15:52:14 GMT
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my mom makes WONDERFUL baked potatoes; she rubs the potato with veg oil, wraps
them in foil  and then bakes them til soft. they're the best i've had!!!

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From: Im A Mom <caseyl[at]cyberhighway.net>
Date: 23 Nov 1998 20:17:31 GMT
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Chatchapo wrote:
>  she rubs the potato with veg oil, wraps
> them in foil and then bakes them til soft.

Also try adding some spices (seasoned salt/pepper) after rubbing the oil
on.

EXCELLENT

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From: Richard Caley <rjc[at]cstr.ed.ac.uk>
Date: 23 Nov 1998 16:05:59 +0000
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Preheat the oven quite warm (200-220), pick a big potato, floury
variety. Rub with a litle oil and salt. Puncture a bit. Put in (don't
wrap them in anything, they go soggy if you do) and leave for 45
minutes then start checking with a skewer or some such (after a few
you'll have got the hang of your oven and will be able to just time
it, but ovens vary too widely to do that to start with).

Damn the arteries and serve with butter. 

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From: Al Hemmalin <dogstar[at]pop.edgenet.net>
Date: Tue, 24 Nov 1998 13:05:31 -0500
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Richard Caley wrote:
> Preheat the oven quite warm (200-220)

That's 200-220 celsius?

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From: Steve Calvin <calvin[at]vnet.ibm.com>
Date: Tue, 24 Nov 1998 13:10:09 -0500
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Al Hemmalin wrote:
> That's 200-220 celsius?

That was my guess... a baked pot. at 200-220 dF isn't gonna be very 
tasty.... IMHO

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From: Richard Caley <rpc[at]cstr.ed.ac.uk>
Date: 24 Nov 1998 18:45:22 +0000
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Al Hemmalin writes:
> That's 200-220 celsius?

Oops, yes.

Hey, guys, can we standardise on SI units or something? :-)

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From: Myra Shinkman <myra[at]primenet.com>
Date: 26 Nov 1998 02:25:17 GMT
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Al Hemmalin wrote:
> That's 200-220 celsius?

The first time I visited Canada, a very helpful (and aren't they all?)
Canadian told me the "quickie" way to do the conversion was to double it
and add 30.

200 C = 430 F
220 C = 470 F

The real formula is to multiply by 1.8 and add 32:

200 C = 392 F
220 C = 428 F

Obviously, the "quickie" solution works better for outside air
temperatures than oven ones!  <g>

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Newsgroups: rec.food.cooking
Subject: Guess there are several "Perfects" in baked potatoes!
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From: borus.1[at]pop.service.ohio-state.edu (JJ)
Date: Mon, 23 Nov 1998 16:52:31 -0500
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So far I've been told to wrap it in foil, don't wrap it in foil, bake at
200~, and bake at 500~.  Has anyone actually MADE a great baked potato?  
Judy

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From: lfortney[at]csc.umd.edu (Linda Fortney)
Date: 23 Nov 1998 16:57:56 -0500
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1.  DON'T wrap it in foil.  If you do, you end up with a soggy baked
potato.

2.  Select an appropriate potato for baking.  The long ones, (russets?)
are best.

3.  Scrub them and oil the skin lightly with vegetable oil.

4.  Bake at 350 for an hour.  At the half hour stick a fork in each one to
let the steam out.

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From: aem <aemNOSPAM[at]worldnet.att.net>
Date: 23 Nov 1998 22:37:28 GMT
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What did you expect, unanimity?  You've got some good
responses, now start trying them out!  For example, set your oven
to 375 or 400, oil one potato, don't oil another, wrap one of
each in foil, don't wrap another pair, see how long it takes them
to cook and decide which you like.   When I did this, years ago,
I decided I liked the oiled, unpunctured, unwrapped, 400 for more
than an hour, result.  But you're looking for what *you*
like....--aem

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From: joan3[at]ix.netcom.com (Joan Ellis)
Date: Tue, 24 Nov 1998 03:26:29 GMT
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Do puncture the potato. Cleaning up the oven after one explodes is no
fun.

Joan
Speaking from experience

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From: Alan Boles <boles[at]nospam.escape.ca>
Date: Mon, 23 Nov 1998 23:02:02 GMT
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What is 'perfect' for one person isn't for another. If you like a soft skin
wrap in foil and don't cook as long. I like a crispy skin so I cook longer
and warmer. Also type of potato is important. Foil wrapping was invented by
restaurants so potatoes would stay eatable longer and retain a soft skin
also so they could cook hundreds early and still feed the 'late' crowd.
I like red potatoes baked. (I know I know wrong kind but I still like them.)

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From: Margaret Suran <msuran[at]interport.net>
Date: Mon, 23 Nov 1998 18:31:49 -0500
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Dear JJ,  Baked potatoes have never given me a problem and I always get
praise when I serve them, which has not been in a long time.  I use
Idaho potatoes, all of the same size, so that they get done at the same
time.   After scrubbing them thouroughly, I rub a little butter into the
skin, pierce the skin all over with a fork and put them on a baking
sheet.  Do not wrap them in tinfoil or anything else.  Do not use
anything but a regular, conventional oven, certainly not a Microwave. 
Preheat it to 400o.  Put the potatoes on a baking sheet and bake them on
the middle rack for about one hour. If your oven does not heat evenly,
turn the sheet around once or twice during the baking time.  When you
squeeze the potatoes after an hour and they seem soft,  they are done. 
The skin should carackle and the inside will be soft and silky.  Squeeze
a little harder, until the top pops open.  Serve immediately with butter
and sourcream.  Sprinkle with freshly chopped chives.  Enjoy.
Happy Thanksgiving to all, Margaret

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From: stan[at]thunder.temple.edu (Stan Horwitz)
Date: 24 Nov 1998 00:18:23 GMT
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Yup. You will find that where cooking, different people have different opinions about
what is the best way to cook just about anything. Where baked potatoes are concerned,
I feel that wrapping them in foil steams them, not bakes them, but try cooking one
that way. If you like your baked potato more steamed than baked, more power to you.
With cooking, you just have to experiment in order to see how things work best for
your taste. 

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From: aquari[at]aol.com (Aquari)
Date: 24 Nov 1998 01:41:01 GMT
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>  Has anyone actually MADE a great baked potato?  

Sure!  Russet potato washed and dried...rub with some bacon grease (or butter
or margarine)..poke with a fork several times and put in preheated oven 375 to
400 degrees...Check at 30 minutes...and every 15 minutes til crisp on the
outside and cooked all the way through.  Works like a charm, I do it all the
time.  Usually takes 45-50 minutes in my oven to be cooked well all the way
through.

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From: Welmoed Sisson <sissons[at]erols.com>
Date: Tue, 24 Nov 1998 08:30:45 -0500
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Am I the only one who sprinkles their potatos with kosher salt before baking? I
puncture them, rub them with olive oil and sprinkle on about a teaspoon of kosher
salt before cooking at about 400 degrees for 45 minutes or so.
I find this gives the skin a wonderful flavor.

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From: Richard Caley <rjc[at]cstr.ed.ac.uk>
Date: 25 Nov 1998 15:13:48 +0000
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JJ writes:
>So far I've been told to wrap it in foil, don't wrap it in foil, bake at
>200~, and bake at 500~.  Has anyone actually MADE a great baked potato? 

Well tastes differ. 

Wrapping will give you a soft skinned potato, I like the skin to be
crunchy and flakey.

The wide temperature difference probably comes down to different
units. 

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From: sbenjami[at]netcom.com (Susan Benjamin)
Date: Wed, 25 Nov 1998 20:57:22 GMT
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Judy wrote:
>So far I've been told to wrap it in foil, don't wrap it in foil, bake at
>200~, and bake at 500~.  Has anyone actually MADE a great baked potato?  

I noticed that too!  The really amazing thing is that each recipe
tells you to bake the potato for one hour, regardless of the temperature.

Clearly this places the potato into the class of objects previously
occupied only by the thermos bottle.  The potato "do know."

Anyway...I have actually made several great baked potatoes.  I'm a
350 degree gal.  I wash the spuds, rub vegetable oil all over, and
poke each several times with a fork.  Then I bake them at 350 for
(wait for it) one hour!  Then I check them and leave them in a 
little longer if they're not soft.

Good luck,
Susan B.

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From: Edwin Pawlowski <esp[at]snet.net>
Date: Wed, 25 Nov 1998 23:40:14 -0500
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Susan Benjamin wrote:
>Anyway...I have actually made several great baked potatoes.  I'm a
>350 degree gal.

I used to be a 350 guy, but I do my 1 hour at 400 as I like the crispier
skin. If they are in with something else cooking, that is the temperature
we use though.

Ed


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