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Cooking LOTS of baked potatoes

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So, we're doing a party for my son's school and we have to cook about 100 baked potatoes. Any tips on getting them all done and having them be fairly warm on time without the use of an industrial oven?

Talk about making it hard.... :)

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  1. if you have access to a grill you can divide them up and do some in the oven and some on the grill. if not, just do them in batches in the oven - regardless, you'll have to hold them in a chafing dish or something similar to keep them warm.

    just be sure that when you do them in the oven you leave enough space between them for air to circulate, otherwise you'll end up with soggy steamed skins.

    1. used to do them in a commercial oven, and even then it took hours...You're talking about a huge mass to heat and cook...Check one of the commercial size cookbooks such as "foods for fifty " to get a good handle on the time or you'll have a hundred angry and hungry diners gnawing on hot raw potatoes. But it sounds like fun, what else you cooking for them??

      1. You should be able to fit at least 2 dozen on a typical oven rack, so about 50 per batch. The trickiest part will be rotating the racks, which you should do. I have seen oversized nails used to speed the cooking time - one nail lengthwise down the middle of each spud to conduct heat to the center. Set the first batch aside, and if need be rewarm them in the oven when the second batch is done. Don't cover them tightly or they'll steam and get soggy.

        5 Replies
        1. re: greygarious

          Thanks for the tip!

          How long do you think medium-sized potatoes need to take in a regular kitchen oven? At what temp?

          1. re: atomicspin

            http://www.customcatering.net/Rec_Veg...
            Check out the link above for more complete directions. As a caterer, we often par-baked the potatoes and then held them in coolers for hours. They stay hot and finish cooking (the idea originally came from Martha Stewart, but I met this chef later and his website has a wealth of information on big batch cooking.)

            1. re: sherrycakes

              Just in case the OP has not previously done foil-wrapped potatoes, it should be noted that their skins do not get the crisp texture and toasty flavor achieved by baking them naked. IMO no oil is needed. Martha always makes a big deal about not letting aluminum foil touch food (she is in a minority in her belief that this is a health risk) so I wonder if she has a foil-free version of this concept.

              1. re: greygarious

                Does she believe it is a health risk or that it affects the taste of the food? IMO, neither is true! Anyway, for this many potatoes we rubbed olive oil generously over the potatoes and then sprinkled w/kosher salt.

              2. re: sherrycakes

                Wow! Love it! That's pretty much perfect.

                Thank you so much!