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Baked Potato: Your Thoughts Needed

Posted on May 28, 2010

Next week we're taping a show on baked potatoes, and we want to hear your thoughts. What's the best way to cook a baked potato? What toppings are best? How should the toppings be layered? Any ideas for uncoventional toppings? We want your input, and photos of your research if available.

Photo: Flickr CC / kthread

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Matt says:

I'm not against eating tato skins in some circumstances, but baked is not one of these. For me the key is to remove the insides of the potato or just pealing off the skin. Then place it into a bowl. Now you can get bites with the right amount of topping without getting stuck with untopped tater at the end. good toppings: sour cream, chives, cheddar, bacon these are all givens. I have had great experiences with shredded BBQ beef when I felt up to it.

Rachel says:

I live in NYC now, but I come from Manchester and have such fond memories of getting lunch from the baked potato truck. They baked them so the skins were fabulous and crunchy. As for toppings, anything was possible. I adore cottage cheese with chives (as long as it's big curd cottage cheese) because it gives you lots of contrasts: cold on the hot, mild with the edge of chives etc. Chilli is good, especially with a little cheese on top. Tuna salad works well. And in our family we often serve a baked potato with something like goulash or a stew. All very, very good! Well, now I have to go put my oven on. Thanks guys!

markman says:

I have to agree with the comments consensus baked is best. The amount of effort it takes to bake a few potatoes or an entire rack of potatoes is about the same, and since potatoes usually come in bulk, I just do a lot at once so I don't feel so bad about the inefficiency. Microwaved potatoes that have been previously baked is 90% as delicious. Also baking potatoes under a campfire is wonderful and a fun thing to do with a family. I think for me the perfect baked potato has that steakhouse foil outer covering, and is overcooked just enough so that the potato closest to the skin is chewy and the white in the center is completely soft and melts in the mouth. Potatoes tend to dry my mouth out, so I like a lot of juice from something. Prime candidates for adding moisture are lots of melted butter, sour cream, chili, cheese sauce or whiz, olive oil, au jus from a gigantic steak (my fav).

Jarrod says:

Baked potatoes should be just that...baked. They should not be irradiated while wrapped in the incredibly protective confines of a paper towel. Wrap 'em up in foil and pop them in the oven. I am a fan of Yukon Golds myself. For preparation and toppings, I prefer to leave the skin on and cut down the spud lengthwise. Spreading the halves apart, I apply butter, sour cream (or cottage cheese, which also adds a little texture), some cheddar cheese and bacon bits. During the winter months, I am partial to several scoops of hearty chili (No beans!), a handful of cheddar cheese and a few thin pieces of sweet red onion. Good stuff!

bhk says:

I loathe making baked potatoes in the microwave. It's never as fast as you think it will be, and you don't get the crunchy skin like you do when you bake potatoes in the oven. And I don't believe in wrapping them in tin foil; what's the point? While not a discussion on toppings per se, in my opinion, the best way to eat a baked potato is as follows: Cut the potato in half width-wise; scoop out the innards; mash potato with liberal amounts of butter and salt; butter and salt the inside of the potato skins; eat and enjoy. That's the way we had baked potatoes in my house and I still love them that way!

Bill says:

I have two tricks that I like to use. First is the quick method, microwave the potato for 5 minutes while preheating the oven to 425. Then Bake for 20 min.The other is to coat the skin with olive oil and salt and pepper then wrap in aluminum foil.

uri247 says:

Indian egg: take a potato, cut it's top (about one inch), dig a hole inside the potato, break an egg inside the hole, and put the top back. wrap with aluminum paper, and through to the burning coal.

Kieran says:

There really is only one choice. Baked beans with cheese on top. Ideally you want a little butter underneath and some black pepper and Tabasco on top. But a jacket potato with baked beans and cheese is the definitive comfort food. A million pubs can't be wrong.

Anonymous says:

Olive oil, kosher salt, wrapped in foil and cooked on the grill. Topped with butter, cheese and some spicy seasoned salt.

Kevin West says:

Best way to bake a potato? Brushed with olive oil, covered in salt and pepper, then grilled over indirect heat for about an hour. Fast and convenient? Heck no. Economical and environmentally friendly? Not a chance. Healthy? Not exactly. But the smell of those potatoes will transport you to the fresh-cut fries booth at the fair and they taste great.

Matthew says:

The basics of sour cream handsome cheese are always needed. Then, you have to go with BBQ sauce. Rarely do I eat a baked potato without the BBQ sauce.

kate says:

baking a potato in the oven, sans foil = delicious. yes, it takes a LONG time, but it really is the best way. also, twice baked potatoes kick all kinds of ass.as for toppings on a plain baked tater...well, i'm more of a simpleton and prefer just a touch of salt most times. but can persuaded to take in some steamed broccoli and cheese whiz. or even better, cheese whiz and bacon bits!! and i don't mean bacos...i mean bacon bits made at home.

EveHawaii says:

I prefer not to cook baked potatos wrapped in foil. I use the metal skewers from the turkey truss kit, poke some holes around the edges, then place the skewer through the center. I feel the metal skewer disperses the heat through the potato evenly, cooking the potato evenly.

Chris says:

This is something I had never had before until a family thing for Mothers Day. The twice baked new potato. All your normal twice baked goodness but in bitsize form. As far as the russet potatoe goes I perfer for the simple bake at 325 add some butter, salt and pepper and show down.

rmd says:

I like to coat my potatoes with a little peanut oil, sprinkle them with kosher salt and bake them in the oven for about at hour at 325. Delicious. Wrapping them in foil and throwing them on a propane grill is also a good way to cook them. Putting them in the microwave should be punishable by a spork in the eye.

springypanther says:

not exactly baked potato, but must share top tip. baked yam + spicy hummus = awesome!

Anonymous says:

Baking in the oven is definitely the best, but who has time? The microwave works. I use the potato as a base for all things good, so any combination of vegetables, meat ( when I ate meat) cheeses, sour cream, greek yogurt , on ad infinitum.

NoNeinNyet says:

It might lose points because it's only available regionally, but I've got to go with Top the Tater. Nothing beats sour cream, chives and onions.

Anonymous says:

I like salsa on top.