How do you fuck up the preparation of a baked potato?
The cafe in my work has dished up two really atrocious baked spuds, on two separate occaions, and I’m not sure what’s going wrong with them. The interior is too soft and tastes watery and awful.
If i had to make a list of things you cook that are unfuckupable, I’d have placed the baked spud at #1. So I was wondering what is the likely reason why it tastes so poor. Is it being cooked wrong, or deteriorating on storage, or what?
I microwave potatoes regularly. Poke holes in the potato with a fork prior to 'waving (so steam can escape) and the result is very similar to oven-baked. Microwaving is better, I would say, because the skin does not turn out so tough.
I partially agree. Or partially disagree. I always zap the potato to get the interior started on its way to cooked, then bake it the rest of the way in the oven. It doesn’t take as long, and you can really crisp up the skin in the oven. That’s the best part of the potato.
Negative. There’s really no advantage to doing that, and you don’t get the crispy skin that some folks like. I think my mother even used to oil the skins lightly. We usually nuke them: a good-sized russet usually takes about 8 minutes on high, turning it over once. You can wrap it in foil to keep it hot for quite awhile afterwards.
Personally, I think microwaving a baking potato to be an atrocity. It just gives you overheated mushy starch.
Baking is the way to go. I’ve used this very basic recipe for a few years, and well, it’s great. Crispy skin, soft creamy center. The first time I prepared a potato this way I thought, “oh! This is how potatoes are supposed to taste!”
I do modify in that:
I use a brush to apply the oil (I use olive oil most of the time.) The brush makes the oil coating lighter.
I usually don’t pierce the spud. My opinion is that if you cook them the right amount of time, it’s unnecessary. They only “explode” if you over-cook. Oven thermometer or thermocouple + proper timer makes piercing unnecessary, plus I think piercing makes the potato weep goodness and nutrients (no cite here, just a WAG) as it cooks. I like to end up with an intact potato.
Actually a microwave potato boils out more internal moisture in steam than a baked potato, if done properly. It’s just a matter of time and degree. So that doesn’t explain the “watery” description to me. But on the other hand, sometimes one slowly “dries” the potato by dry and long bake, and sometimes one steam dries a potato by microwave. Not unlike freeze drying.
Maybe they are being stored improperly?