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Sep 30, 2009 07:18 PM

Baked potatoes

I need to bake 8-10 potatoes in my oven, and be able to hold them there for perhaps an hour before serving them. I'm not worried about baking them, as I of course have done this many times. However, I am not sure about leaving them in the convection oven after I have turned it off. Will they dry out? Lose their crisp skins? Be lukewarm? Has anyone else done this?

I normally scrub russets, oil them and bake them at 450 deg. for however long it takes. I think with this many spuds, it would be probably about an hour if I put them in a preheated oven.

Thanks in advance.

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  1. If you wrap them in heavy foil and then wrap them in a heavy towel when you remove them from the oven they should be fine. Just remember to pop them back into the oven to heat up before serving.

    4 Replies
    1. re: todao

      Hot potatoes will steam in the foil and towel, and will not be as crisp if reheated. I leave mine in a turned-off oven all the time - they'll be fine. James Beard advises baking potatoes an extra-long time, so that the outermost skin starts to separate from the flesh underneath, which begins to brown and develop a roasted flavor. The skin is no longer something you'd look forward to eating, if you are someone who thinks potato skins are the food of the gods. But the tasty part is now one with the interior and the thin outer skin can be discarded. Supposedly there is chemical residue on even scrubbed skins so maybe it's just as well. (If the skins are bad for you I am not confident that the interior is unaffected.)

      1. re: greygarious

        Skin is the best bit! Esp. the thick brown crunchy bits.

      2. re: todao

        If you hold them in this fashion, I would take them out of the foil before serving and toast them in the toaster oven to crisp the skins up.

        1. re: todao

          Thanks for your advice. I know people use foil, but I prefer not to. I can't remember why I don't, but if I bake them in a hot oven as described, I find the potatoes very good. I do need to be able to immediately serve them immediately after our study time.

        2. A couple of weekends ago we had an unexpected dinner delay (didn't realize we didn't have any charcoal for the grill) so I just turned the oven off after an hour. There were four potatoes and they were fine 40 minutes later. If you wanted to you could bake at 350 instead of 450 and that will give you a longer cooking/shorter holding time. I bake potatoes with meat loaf all the time at 350.

          1. They'll hold in the turned-off oven - I would go 45 mins at 450, squeeze them to see if done, and go about my other prep. I like to scrub mine, cut a sliver off the end, and salt the skins lightly (adheres to wet skin) (a Galloping Gourmet tip) - they seem fluffier done that way, ans a bit seasoned from the salt.

            5 Replies
            1. re: buttertart

              Thank you for this tip. Do you think salting them along with the oil would be good. Sounds yummy to me. So, you cut off the end of the potato, just a small slice, right? I guess that blisters over, and tastes good. Glad to know that you think holding them after baking for an hour or so, would work. I need to get them out for eating immediately after our study time. Thanks for your advice.

              1. re: buttertart

                Sorry, can you clarify the snipping off the end thing? I am a baked potato fiend. Just one end? What does it do?

                1. re: toutefrite

                  Just a small slice. Allows it to expand - you can also cut an X on either side of the spud instead. I also do these most of the way in the microwave, wet them, salt them, and stick them in the oven for 15-20 mins to crisp up the skin. I don't use oil (calories, ha ha as if I really care, and the calories in the amount of oil used would be insignificant) although you could - may make them crisper.

                2. re: buttertart

                  I poke mine a few times with a fork, rub the skin with butter and then sprinkle the skins liberally with salt and pepper. Makes yummy, crispy skin! Bacon fat is good, too.....

                  1. re: mothrpoet

                    and in case you don't want to expend the calories on oil or bacon fat, sprinkle with veggie or chicken broth to moisten, so the salt and pepper adheres better.

                3. Try 350 deg. for 1 1/2 hours total or turn off oven when done and they'll hold till you're ready.

                  Try salt-baked potatoes:

                  Russets, pierce once with a fork and again on opposite side.
                  Scrub under running water and LEAVE WET.
                  One at a time liberally sprinkle kosher salt on all sides and ends.
                  Place directly on rack in 375 oven.
                  (If you are baking other things any temp 300-400 is fine, just affects the length of time.)

                  Use lots of kosher salt -- most of it falls off or you can brush off the finished potatoes if it's too much for you. The salt gives a wonderful shell to the potato and flavors the inside.

                  No oil or butter on the outside (or foil ever!).

                  Make lots of extras -- the leftovers make fantastic fried potatoes another day.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: puzzler

                    I actually did this tonight with a large Yukon gold which I halved lengthwise. I rolled it around in kosher salt, after I scrubbed and oiled them. I baked them in at 425 in my toaster oven and they were quite good! Often, for the 2 of us, I'll halve a large potato, rather than giving us each a too big one. The texture and flavor was quite good. I have read to roll an unbaked potato around in a chili powder mixture and bake, as well.

                    At any rate, with my russets, I'll have to try slicing off the end, & rolling in kosher salt but I do like my potatoes baked in a hot oven.

                  2. Thanks to everyone who contributed wisdom to this thread. My group met last night. I baked potatoes with a coating of olive oil and Kosher salt. I thought they looked quite charismatic on the platter. I did hold them for over an hour, as it turned out. I wish I could have served them about 15 minuts sooner, but they were still very good. They seemed to have been liked very well. I do think a subtle salty flavor gets into the potato itself when they are baked this way. I also wonder, if for a wonderful treat, you could roll them in sea salt before baking. I may try that to see which I prefer. Thanks again.

                    I baked 10 potatoes for 45 min in a 450 deg. oven. This seemed to be perfect as far as doneness is concerned.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: sueatmo

                      Glad it worked out for you. I also think the salt seasons the potato a bit. One of my mother's cardinal rules: Three things that are no good without salt - eggs, potatoes, and tomatoes.

                      1. re: buttertart

                        My potato was subtly seasoned, I thought. I really enjoyed the potato skins too!

                        1. re: buttertart

                          You know what? That's a good rule.

                          potatoes and tomatoes are pretty much the only things I salt on my plate (as opposed to seasoning).