Cooking Tip: Easy Baked Potatoes for a Crowd

I was going to have a new book review for you today, but the book was a dud and I didn't make it through the first chapter. I've decided that I am too old to waste time reading books that I don't enjoy, so instead if a one-star book review, here is an easy way to make baked potatoes for a crowd. I've seen this method around on the internet for a while, but hadn't tried it until today.

The ingredients: Potatoes.
You need: A crock pot, and foil.

I love this method because you can get a ton of potatoes done without turning on the oven, which is great for a party, or just to have some nice baked potatoes left over. It's also good for when you need cooked potatoes for a recipe, like hash. You can do them the day before, or over night and you're good to go.

First, scrub up your taters to get all the dirt off. Nothing worse than biting into a nice potato skin and having grit come off on your teeth. Gross.

 
Next, stab each potato a few times with a fork or a knife. I use a steak knife and do three stabs per side on three sides. It's up to you to figure out what are the three sides of a potato.

Then, wrap each potato in a sheet of foil. I thought about maybe oiling them and adding salt, but decided to go the super-easy route instead.
 

Put the wrapped potatoes in a crockpot. You don't need to add water or spray the crock. Make sure you have enough room to put the lid on securely. I did 5 pounds of Russets, which in this case was 11 potatoes and after rearranging them a few times, I got them to fit.


Now, just cook them on high for 3-4 hours or low for 7-8 hours. Of course, cooking time will depend on where you live, and what size crock and how many potatoes. I've found that I always need to cook things for much longer here in Colorado than I did in Arizona, so altitude has a lot to do with cooking times.


My first batch of crock-pot baked potatoes were a mixed bag. After cooking on low for about 6.5 hours, the very bottom 3 were perfect, but the ones on the top were not even close to being done. I ended up throwing them in the oven to finish them. So, in Colorado, make sure to go the full 8 hours, and maybe crank the crock up to medium heat.
 
I'm going to keep using this method, it was easy and I didn't have a bunch of prep right at dinner-time.



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