Baked potatoes are a type of potato dish made by baking rather than boiling or steaming. A baked potato can be served with toppings such as butter, cheese, bacon bits, chives, or sour cream. Most people eat them at home to save money on expensive meals out.
Baked Potatoes are an incredibly versatile side dish that can be made with any number of additions. While they may seem very plain at first glance, there is a whole world of possibilities when it comes to their preparation.
A baked potato is usually carved to expose the insides. Then the bare potato half is smeared with mayonnaise or melted butter before being filled with different ingredients.
For example, tuna salad and hot sauce are commonly used for filling. This kind of food is called “potato skins.” However, there aren’t any problems eating this way; it takes lots of time to make perfect baked potatoes every time.
What Does it Mean for a Potato to be Baked?
To bake something means to cook it at high temperatures in an oven, which causes the food inside the oven to heat up as well.
Although you can still technically bake your potatoes on top of the stove or even in a microwave oven, baking them uses more energy and thus takes longer than using other cooking methods.
How to Make Baked Potatoes?
Most people only think about baking their potatoes in the oven when they want to eat them, but there are other ways as well, including microwaving and frying.
- First, wash your potatoes well under cold running water, then dry with kitchen roll/paper towels until completely clean (any moisture will affect cooking times). Some people prefer not to wash the potatoes as it can remove some of the dirt, which is totally up to you.
- Cooking Oil Spray – I prefer spraying with oil so that the skin gets nice and crispy, but you may also rub olive oil onto them instead or use a few drops if using a brush. You could even sprinkle them with salt for extra taste and texture.
- Depending on their size, place your peeled potatoes onto a microwavable dish/plate and put them into the oven on full power for 8-10 minutes (a bit longer if they are huge). This will make sure they cook through quickly instead of baking in the oven, which can take 30-40 minutes (which isn’t bad as it gives time to prepare other dishes or relax).
- If you use an oven for cooking your potatoes, spray some oil over the potatoes and wrap them in foil. Place directly on the middle of the oven’s wire rack for 30-40 minutes (they will be cooked quicker than baking them separately but slower than microwaving).
- After finishing cooking, either way, cut open with a knife/fork and enjoy!
By following these instructions, you can make baked potatoes yourself at home without any problems. This will allow you to experiment with different spices and flavors.
You can even make them healthier by adding vegetables like broccoli or pesto sauce if desired. If making more than one serving, ensure they are all roughly the same size to cook evenly together.
Preparing Baked Potatoes Without Adding Calories
People have been eating potatoes for centuries. In the United States, people eat nearly 138 pounds of fresh and processed potatoes every year, according to the U.S Department of Agriculture. Potatoes are a delicious and filling food that can be a nutritious addition to a healthy diet when prepared in a way that doesn’t add fat or sugar.
Here are some tips from the American Dietetic Association on how to prepare baked potatoes at home without adding calories:
- Brush the potato with flavored vinegar or lemon juice instead of using butter or margarine. You could try pepper-flavored vinegar or balsamic vinegar. By preparing your baked potatoes this way, you will reduce about 50 calories from each one!
- Serve potatoes with non-fat yogurt instead of butter.
- Have fresh salsa, chives, green onions, or low-fat sour cream to top your potato.
- Eat baked potatoes with steamed or cooked vegetables in the microwave to reduce calories and boost nutritional value even more!
Potatoes are available throughout the year at most supermarkets. They should be firm, smooth, and free from cracks. Potatoes should also feel heavy for their size, which means they have plenty of moisture inside.
Before storing your potatoes, make sure you keep them away from light to slow down the conversion of starches into sugars which can cause a bitter taste and darkening as they age. If stored properly, a typical 3-4 pound bag can last about 3-5 weeks.
- A medium potato has about 115 calories and 0 grams of fat.
- They are high in potassium (620 gm), vitamin B6, vitamin C, magnesium, and fiber.
- Potatoes are naturally low in sodium but can absorb water, which increases their sodium content if they’re stored in the refrigerator with other things containing many salts such as frozen dinners or canned goods. If you keep your potatoes on top of the fridge or in a pantry that’s not too damp, there should be no problem. People who have high blood pressure, kidney disease, or congestive heart failure should limit themselves to six ounces per day but always consult their health care provider first.
- Potatoes are not low-carbohydrate diets. Make sure to include fresh fruit and vegetables in your diet as well for a balanced meal plan.
Storing Baked Potatoes
Starchy foods are major staples of many diets around the world. One staple that has been overlooked by some is leftover potatoes, which are typically thought unhealthy if not eaten right after they are made.
However, these beliefs are incorrect because potatoes can be stored in optimal conditions for more extended periods. These storage methods do not only apply to baked potatoes but also boiled ones as well.
To store boiled potatoes for later use, they should be cooled down before being placed into an airtight container and opaque. This will keep any light from entering since light causes greening inside the potato, making them undesirable to eat when cooked again at a later date.
In addition, vinyl or plastic bags are better at keeping out light than paper bags or foil. On a side note, a suitable temperature for storing boiled potatoes is 45 degrees Fahrenheit with a humidity level of 85%.
Reheating Baked Potatoes
When you’re in a pinch and want a nice warm meal, one of the most satisfying dishes is the baked potato with all the fixings! If you’ve already eaten your fill or maybe don’t have time to cook during lunch (we know – it’s hard!), what do you do? Reheat them, of course!
But it can be tricky! After all, nobody wants that dense, chewy center that comes from overcooking. That golden crispy outer shell is crunchy perfection when done right! So we’ve come up with some tasty tips on how to reheat baked potato and still crisp and delicious and never overcooked. Here’s our secret:
Add a little liquid to your potato before microwaving.
When heating your baked potatoes that have already been cooked, it’s important to remember what happens to them in the microwave versus how they do in an oven. When heated, water molecules turn into steam and expand – this is also known as being ‘volumetric.’
This means that there will be more air volume inside the potato, leaving less room for the actual content of the spud! As a result, you’re likely to end up with undercooked potatoes, which are dense and overcooked on the outside.
So how can we fix that problem? Try adding about half a tablespoon of liquid (water or milk work fine but anything works!) per one baked potato before microwaving. This will help compensate for the extra internal space and ensure every last bit of your potatoes are at their best!
Flip them upside down
When you take a baked potato out of the oven, one thing that matters is keeping the cooking process going even after you’ve taken it out to achieve maximum crispiness on both sides.
The same principle applies for your potatoes when they’re reheating in the microwave – flip them upside down after about 3 minutes (time may vary depending on how powerful your microwave is!) to give both sides ample time to warm up and crisp up again before serving.
By flipping them over, you also make sure that any condensation will drip off instead of making its way into the inner part of the potato.
Add some salt and pepper right before eating
If you love the taste of freshly cooked, piping hot baked potatoes with all your favorite toppings, then there’s something that you might want to know: an empty bowl or plate doesn’t do them justice!
Remember how great they tasted the first time you had them? We thought so – but don’t worry! Just sprinkle on some salt and pepper before reheating (about one-fourth teaspoon of each is average) to enhance their flavor like never before!
Now let’s get in front of our microwaves and make sure we don’t overcook our spuds again!