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janbb's avatar

Should I wrap a potato for baking in foil?

Asked by janbb (57138points) November 28th, 2015

If so, why is it better than just washing and pricking it?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

15 Answers

canidmajor's avatar

Wrapping it sets up more of a “steam” event than a “roast” event. Wrapped, the skin is kept moister and more malleable. Baked without foil, the skin is crispier and drier.

And now I want a potato.

CWOTUS's avatar

If you do wrap it and bake it, my advice would be to unwrap it as soon as possible when done. I have a friend who works for the State of CT Health Department who advises that aside from buffet restaurants, which seem to be the worst of offenders in routine food safety, foil-wrapped baked potatoes are a prime source of violation. What happens is that the cooling potato in that warm, moist, jacketed environment, grows bacteria at a rate that many people do not comprehend. (It’s one of the reasons that potato salad is so dangerous: it’s not the mayonnaise; it’s always the potato.)

janbb's avatar

Well, I’m glad I left it naked then!

JLeslie's avatar

Who would want a soggy skin?

I poke with a knife a few times and microwave for 5–10 minutes until almost done, and then bake it naked for another 5 minutes. It’s a quicker way to do a baked potato if time is tight.

Off topic: Just three days ago I made twice baked potatoes and my husband said it was the best potatoes I had ever made! I did my fast baked potato method, let the potato cool a few minutes, then sliced the potato lengthwise (be careful, the potato is still hot) scooped out the white, still leaving a little behind. Then I mashed the white with 2% milk, a very little bit of butter, salt to taste, and then stuffed the potatoes back up and covered the tops with grated cheese. Baked again for 5 minutes-ish and they were slightly browned on top, just gorgeous.

chyna's avatar

Naked potatoes are the best!

2davidc8's avatar

@JLeslie Baked stuffed yams can be made the same way. Mash it the same way as described with the potato, just also add some brown sugar and cinnamon. Omit the grated cheese.

Buttonstc's avatar

Have you ever had a baked potato at a restaurant which has lost all that wonderful fluffy quality and is just leaden and soggy?

That’s because it was wrapped in foil. I guess they think that it keeps them warmer longer or something but all it does is ruin the texture completely.

If I know that a restaurant routinely wraps them in foil, I will NEVER order the baked potatoes there. If I’m in an unfamiliar restaurant, I’ll always ask the server if the baked potatoes are foil wrapped. If so, I always order something else.

Wrapping them in foil is a horrible horrible idea and I have no idea which “genius” thought it up in the first place.

If you want your potatoes to heat up faster give them a light coating of oil. This improves heat conductivity a bit and if you’re the type who eats the skin, it leaves it more crispy.

CWOTUS's avatar

For anyone who would like the tip, I bake my potatoes in a pressure cooker now.

That is, I cook the potato at high pressure for about 10 minutes (in minimal water, and starting the timer after the vessel gets up to pressure), and then finishing it for about 20 minutes on the upper level of my grill (which I raise to temperature as the potato is cooking on the stovetop). That cuts the cooking time by about half, and makes for a lovely, fluffy, dry-skin baked potato. (Actually, it makes for several, because I usually do about four at a time and save the other three in the fridge for later in the week.)

Kardamom's avatar

I haven’t yet read the other answers so I apologize if I am repeating anyone’s answers.

Lately I’ve been reading how it’s better to leave the foil off when Baking Potatoes

This sounds like a great method to me.

However, if you want to avoid heating up your kitchen, say for taters in the summertime, or if you are having a party and want to make a lot, but are using your oven for other things, you can make them (without foil) in a Crock Pot.

JLeslie's avatar

I think it probably makes sense to wrap them in foil on the grill. That’s all I can think of for why possibly that trend started. The fire might char the skin too much. Maybe wrapping it in the oven let’s it cook faster too? That might be another reason.

I think a lot of people don’t eat the skin, so they don’t care what happens to it. I also think certain cultures and parts of the country tend to like things crisper, more toasted, crunchy, etc. Their bread has a crunchy flaky crust, their veggies are sautéed crisp, rather than soggy boiled, etc.

Coloma's avatar

My favorite way to make a baked potato is to anoint it in olive oil, place on small baking tray and liberally sprinkle with coarse sea salt. They come out with moist skins but crispy on the outside too. Yummy! I also rub them with the olive oil if I do wrap them in foil as well. Makes the skins softer.

Coloma's avatar

I love the skin, crispy, soft, baked, grilled, broiled, yum, and…the ultimate, ranch dressing on the potato. Oh my…

marinelife's avatar

I personally eat the skin of baked potato. I find that wrapping them in foil makes them less fluffy and dry on the interior, which is the most desired.

janbb's avatar

Yeah – I cooked it unwrapped and I eat the skin too.

Strauss's avatar

The only time I wrap potatoes to cook them is if I am burying them in the coals of a campfire or charcoal grill. Potatoes (like many other things) are best naked and hot.

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