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Dec 21, 2011 06:06 AM

Cooking potato skins in advance?

I want to include loaded potato skins on a party menu but would like to do as much in advance as possible. I've thought about baking the potatoes and scooping them out a day in advance, but worry the skins might get soft and floppy during storage in (or out?) of the fridge.

Does anyone have any experience and some tips for doing them in advance?

Many thanks,

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  1. They will crisp back up when you reheat in the dry heat of the oven.

    1. I have frozen potato skins with excellent results. Bake potatoes, cool, scoop out, And put them on a baking sheet. Add all of your toppings and put the baking sheet right into the freezer. After they are frozen, transfer them to another container until you need them. On the day you want to serve them, take them out of the freezer an hour or so in advance to bring them back to room temp, then pop them in the oven to heat up and melt the cheese etc. You want them to come back to room temp because they don't take long to bake, and you don't want to overbake or burn the toppings. But this worked great for me and it was a nice treat to have in the freezer. Hope this helps!

      1 Reply
      1. re: lisavf

        THANK YOU SO MUCH FO THE IDEA, I have a large party to prepare for and being able to freeze the skins ahead of time will "really help"

      2. Many thanks, Monavano and Lisavf. I'm so glad they can be made in advance as it will take lots of pressure off an already crammed cooking schedule!

        3 Replies
        1. re: Journey

          thanks to all three of you - I am considering making these for superbowl - please elaborate more on the recipes you use.

          1. re: smilingal

            I don't use much of a recipe, really. Bake the potatoes (russets) until they are fully cooked. To bake them for this use, I just wash them off, poke a few holes in them with a fork, wrap them in foil, and put them in a 350 or so oven for about an hour - no oil or seasonings. I prefer to wrap them for this purpose because then the skins don't get too dried out - they will crisp up on the second baking. Remove them from the oven and allow them to fully cool (so you don't burn your fingers!). When cool, cut them in half the long way and scrape out most of the flesh, leaving about 1/4" of flesh attached to the skins. (Make mashed potatoes for yourself with the flesh - your own cook's treat!) You can leave them as halves or cut them in half again, your choice. Sprinkle a little salt & pepper on the potato pieces, then add the toppings. I usually go with a pretty traditional topping - shredded cheddar cheese, chopped bacon, green onion - but whatever you want is fine. Go wild and have fun! If you want to use bacon, you need to fry it in advance. At this point they can be frozen as I described above, or if you're serving them that day, just put them aside. To finish them, put them on a baking sheet lined with foil (makes much easier clean-up), 350 oven, for about 10-13 minutes, until the cheese melts and they get a little crispy.

            I really just eyeball the quantities, timing, etc. They're super-easy and pretty forgiving, just don't let them burn on the second bake. Good luck with your Superbowl party!

            1. re: lisavf

              thanks lisavf - I think I will take your advice and completely make them, just not bake them, freeze and then bake the day of.

        2. I'm thinking about making Loaded Sweet Potatoes but instead of a traditional sour cream, bacon, chives topping, I'd make a thickened version of Thai Green Curry with diced peppers, chicken, and beans.

          1. I have always cooked and scooped my potatoes in advance. Then shortly before serving I toss them with butter, S&P and recrisp them in a hot oven. It is only after this crisping that I top the skins with cheese and bacon and put them back in the oven for the cheese to melt.

            What I would like to know is if I can cook , scoop , crisp , top and refrigerate all the day before. I have always found that crisping the skins before filling gives me a much better finished product. But I wonder if since I would be putting them back in the frig if the second crisping would become soggy?

            As a last resort I could crisp them early on the day I'm serving them and top them right before serving. But do you think it would be ok to leave the potato skins that have been crisped with butter at room temperature for hours or is that unsafe?

            Thanks in advance for your help.