Or riddle me this, why are my baked potatoes exploding? When I purchased my current home, I bought a new stove (Fridigaire Gallery Series.) The first time I tried baked potatoes, I had one go off like a Betty Boop landmine. Not exactly what I had in mind. I shrugged it off, thinking it was a fluke; and possibly the tuber mishap was due to using the convection fan.
I have since then baked many a tater, and have about a 60% failure rate. I just don’t understand it. I prepare the potatoes in the same way I have for nearly fifty years, scrubbing off the dirt, and poking holes in the ends. I have never had a potato explode before I got this new-fangled durn stove. I have played with the temperature settings, used/not used the convection feature; and the results are the same. S’ploding taties. Damn.
What am I doing wrong? And I’m sick, sick, sick of cleaning the oven.
I’m not really sure what might be happening.
Could it be the moisture content of your potatoes? What kind are they?
Perhaps it’s your poking technique?
I’ve never limited myself to only poking the ends, rather I uniformly prick it with a fork across its length.
As a solution, you might try wrapping your potatoes in foil or microwaving them for about 5 minutes before finishing them in the oven.
If you’ve got fifty years of experience baking potatoes, then I’m not going to fault your technique.
It’s prolly that new-fangled stove getting too hot, too fast. Maybe you could try baking the 'taters at a lower temp, then turning up the heat towards the end to get the crispy outsides?
Have you ever baked one of these potatoes in the microwave? Did it explode? If not, then it’s probably the temp of your oven. If yes, then you’ve got a batch of ‘splodin’ taters! (I’m jealous)
Well, if Monsanto hadn’t discontinued the New Leaf potato four years ago, I’d have said someone in the lab forgot to wash his hands after genetically modifying some popcorn. I don’t have your experience, so I’ll substitute my willingness to guess wildly:
levdrakon and devilsknew are both right. The new stove is ruining your potatoes because it’s better, stronger, faster and more fun at parties than your old one. The couple of holes at the ends aren’t letting the moisture out fast enough, so the taters are trying to achieve a phase change (raw to mashed) without going through the baking process. Solution: bigger, better holes. Use a knife and run them through from side to side along the same line you’d use to open them up after they’re done. Several times. Let your inner D’Artagnan out to play. End with half-inch-wide slits extending through the width of the potato spaced half an inch apart along its entire length. Just for curiosity’s sake, you might also put an oven-safe thermometer inside, to see if it and the oven’s controls agree on how hot it really is in there, but if you’re not having other baking problems I doubt if that’s an issue. In the meantime, you could always peel them, coat them with olive oil, garlic, salt and rosemary, and roast them in a pan.
Make the holes deep. Our new oven will explode daintily pierced potatoes. Use a fork, but push it all the way to the middle. And do it in the body of the potato, not just the ends.
I looked at the Frigidaire web site. Some of their ovens have what they call a “Dual Radiant Baking System,” in which it cycles the broiler element on and off while the oven is going. They claim it is for “better baking, roasting and browing.” The broiler element might be heating the potatoes too quickly. If this is the problem, it might be possible to turn the feature off when baking potatoes. If you can’t do this, try putting the potatoes on a lower rack and putting a baking sheet above them (to insulate the potatoes from the radiant heat of the broiler).
Thanks to all that replied. It’s been hotter than Hell here the last few days, so I haven’t had a chance to try the deeper, mo’ better holes. Oddly, I haven’t been inclined to bake a potato with the local temps hovering at 95 degrees. I made a potato salad instead, and it didn’t explode.
But when I next try a baked tatie; I will pierce the livin’ daylights out of it, until it pleads for mercy. I just want to bake the occasional potato; and not be the victim of spud fall-out.
Reminded of the cartoon Momma Tater and two kid Taters at the beach-she hands them a fork and says, “Now poke yourselves a few times so you don’t explode.”
It must be the work of the evil Darth Tader. The Farm is strong with this one.
Thanks for all the laughs, folks. I will chuckle as I clean out the spud-guts from the oven. I love you guys.
I mean, if I had walked into the local Wal*Mart; and asked someone for help with my s’plodin taties; they woulda called 911. Rampart; we have a 350 degrees. She’s holding sour cream and chives, and she’s slathering on and on about olive oil and sea salt. Request orders to shoot at will…