Best baked potatoes (need answers kinda soon)

I’m grilling steaks tonight on our Wever charcoal grill (yeah, it 26F out what’s your point?!) and need to determine what’s the best way to cook baked potatoes. Normally I just put three big baking potatoes in the microwave for 6-10 minutes but I’m told that’s gauche and that ‘real chefs’ bake them in an oven. My father used to wrap baking potatoes in foil and bake them on the grill for I don’t know how long, but for some reason I seem to recall they invariably turned out either underdone or overdone. Dad wasn’t much of a cook, though.
So does the method of heating really make much difference? If so, what’s the best way? I kinda need answer in the next two hours. Thanks.

I never saw the point of the foil (on potatoes and corn on the cob in the husk), best way for you right now is to microwave them for a minute less then put them on the grill for the cooking time.

You want Baked potatoes? don’t microwave them then!

this is what I do.

preheat oven to 375 deg F

I put a small amount of olive oil in a ziplock bag big enough for the potato.

coat the potatos with oil by rolling it around in the bag

put the potato on a cookie sheet. Poke holes in it with a fork.

Lightly sprinkle coarse kosher sea salt on the potato.

Bake for an hour or so. Fork should easily pierce the potato.


Baked potatoes have that wonderful crispy skin. Microwaved potatoes are just soft potatoes. That being said I seem to have a 50% failure rate with my potatoes in the oven so I won’t pass along a recipe.

This is the only baked potato recipe I’ve used for years:

Wrapping potatoes in foil keeps moisture in, and that’s the opposite of what you want when baking a potato.

If you’re going to the trouble of grilling steaks in 26F, hey, live large!! Do them on the grill!!

Load up your charcoal grill with a good amount of charcoal and get that baby rolling. After washing well, prick your potatoes all over with a fork so they can rid themselves of all that excess moisture. Once your coals are happily glowing, stick your spuds on the grill – but not directly over the coals. Mine are usually done within an hour, but it depends on the size of the spuds and how much heat your grill is generating. Check them after half an hour and turn them over, then monitor after another 15 minutes and squeeze gently until you determine they are soft.

Really, it’s that easy. You can do your steaks and rest them while your potatoes continue to bake, or you can pull the potatoes off and let them hang out before you grill your steaks. They’ll be a little cooler, but not cold by any means. (I prefer the first method.)

Grilling your spuds imparts a lovely smokey flavor to them. I think you’ll enjoy it!

If you’re not feeling brave, Preheat your oven to 375 - 400F. After pricking, bake for 45 minutes to an hour. All done. :slight_smile:

Coat of oil, shake of salt & onion powder, direct on the oven rack.

Doesn’t it make more sense to poke the holes in the potato at the beginning before you have to handle an oily potato?

I don’t do what would strictly be called a baked potato by purists but hey, I’m the cook and if they want to complain, they can go hungry.

I do basically what notfrommensa does but I don’t put them on a baking sheet. Instead I split them lengthwise and cook them in the oven in a large cast iron skillet. Preheat the skillet inside the oven for at least half an hour. Put the split, oiled and liberally salted spuds cut side down on the rocket hot skillet and bake uncovered for forty five minutes to an hour. Since the potatoes are split, they cook faster and since they’re cut side down against hot cast iron, you get some wonderful browned goodness.

You see, the way to make a good backed potato is to bake the potato. Usually I just wash them, punch a few holes in the skin with a fork, and put them into a 375 degree oven for an hour or so.

A foil-wrapped potato is a steamed potato. Not the same. A good baked potato has a crispy skin; it’s the best part, especially if you eat them with a little butter.

On a grill, see if you can cook them at about the same temperature. I wouldn’t put them over the coals, though.

As important as anything is to start with a good Russet potato.

Rinse and pat dry. Poke holes all over (I use the tip of a steak knife). A couple of drops of olive oil rubbed on each potato and directly on the rack of a 400 degree oven for one hour. I haven’t had a bad one that I can remember. You can do the exact same thing on a grill if you have good temperature control… you may want to turn occasionally though since the heat will be directly from the bottom Not necessary in the oven).

With a steak I just keep it simple with just salt, pepper, and lots of butter.

I found a recipe where you cut the potato in half length-wise, lightly butter and season the cut halves, and put a bay leaf between the two halves before wrapping it foil (for oven baking) or plastic wrap (for microwaving). Half a bay leaf also works well enough.

This. Bake/roast till done. I usually do a 400F oven. And RealityChuck didn’t go into it, but don’t oil the outsides, unless you want tough skins.

I never understood why people have such a hard time with baked potatoes. Use a large russet (they should be oval, not long like an Idaho). Wash off the dirt, put a few holes in it with a small sharp knife, and stick them in a hot oven directly on the rack. 375 is good, but from 325 to 425 also works. When they are soft inside, and crisp outside, they are done. Crisp skin is what you want so don’t use foil. I never use oil or salt.

You can cheat and microwave them for 5 minutes to speed up cooking if you are in a hurry. In that case use the higher temperature. But it is better to just skip the microwave entirely.

If it is hot inside the house, sometimes I will use the microwave trick and finish them on my gas Weber. Use an area that is not directly over high heat.

Same. I don’t poke the holes though. When I don’t microwave them, I used to put them in the oven for 400F oven for 45 min. to an hour. No oil, no salt, no holes. Simple as possible.

I did try poking holes when I learned about it, but I don’t think it made them better. Someone said that they could explode if you don’t, but I’ve never had that happen, so I don’t know if it could.

ETA: Just looked at the time on the OP. Missed it by a mile of the time needed. Maybe for future reference?

Wash the potato, poke a few holes in it with a fork, and bake for 350-400 (depending on what temperature you’re using to cook everything else) for an hour or so until they’re done. Only once has one exploded in the oven, and it was poked, so IDK what happened.

Microwaving them just makes a COOKED potato. There is no substitute for that crispy baked skin, which I eat.

I like them fine from the microwave. I don’t want the skin anyway, just the potato with butter and salt. Chives if I have them.

And thatbis fine, it’'s just not a baked potato. The taste and texture are not the same.

This. My wife loves baked potatoes, but I don’t get it. Peasant food. Seriously, knock off the dirt and bake it. Buttered toast takes more cooking skill than a baked potato.

Get yourself a potato nail. A nine-penny nail should do. Keep one for each potato eater you’re cooking for. Shove that bad boy lengthwise into your tater before you pop it into the oven and the center should be just as cooked as the outside every time. When you go to pull it out, remember IT’S HOT.

Pour a little olive oil onto your hand and rub that tater before you stick it in the oven. It reduces the desiccation of said tater’s skin.

45 minutes at 350 degrees should suffice.

Wrapping the tater in foil remoisturizes the skin. Some folks like that. If you pull your taters out of the oven before the rest of the meal is done, which is quite often the case, this keeps your heat in as well.

Oh, and, bake Russets. Only Russets. They’re the ones with the rough skin. And, don’t poke holes in your tater. That’s a sin. . . except for the big one you made with that BIG nail…but as you can imagine the nail fills it up…so it’s not there when you cook. You don’t want the moisture to escape. You want it to stay in the tater. The head of the nail closes up that wound you make.