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Old 02-21-2012, 09:14 AM   #1
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Baking Whole Potatoes Outside the Oven

Hi All. I've been away from DC but you're still my go-to place for cooking questions.

I'm planning a prime rib dinner with baked potatoes. Since the slow-roasting of the prime rib will hog the oven for a looong time, I need to turn out baked potatoes outside of the oven. I did a bit of web research and found that I can do it several ways:

1) On the microwave which I'm not keen on doing as it can cause fires.

2) In a dutch oven on a stove top. Will need to rest the potatoes on a trivet inside the dutch oven.

3) In a sauce pan on the stove. Boil the potatoes in water until the water boils off and then toss the potatoes around the pan to dry roast.

I'm leaning towards either 2) or 3).

I have two questions:

Which of the above do you think would yield a better result?
Also, how about another way -- would steaming whole potatoes wrapped in aluminum foil work like baking them?

Thank you for your answers!

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Old 02-21-2012, 09:30 AM   #2
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Only method #2 will give you the dry crispy skin of a real baked potato.

I don't understand your comment about fires in the microwave.

#3 won't give you a baked potato.

Steaming potatoes in foil will cook the potatoes. They will be steamed potatoes with the skin still on. You can serve them as you would a baked potato but it won't be the same.

Why can't you put the potatoes in the oven with the roast?
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Old 02-21-2012, 10:00 AM   #3
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Hi Andy!

I read some comments on microwaving potatoes that it could cause fires. Or result in wrinkled up potatoes. I myself have no idea. If you think this is a valid method, may be worth pursuing...

In #3, after boiling the potatoes until dry, one can add a little oil and toss them around to crisp up the skin right? Wouldn't this turn out something akin to a baked potato?

My oven temp for slow-roasting the prime rib would be 200F, too low for baking potatoes.

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Old 02-21-2012, 10:02 AM   #4
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Do you truly want baked pototes? The you have to bake them. #1 and #3 are essentially ways of steaming spuds. Nothing wrong with that, if it's what you want. But not the same as baking.

#2 can come close. Won't be exactly the same, but you will be cooking them surrounded by dry heat, which is what baking (roasting) is all about. If you go this route you'll probably have to turn the potatoes from time to time, to assure even cooking.

But I'm with Andy on this. I can't believe the roast is so large that there's no room for the potatoes. If nothing else, put the roasting pan on the lowest rack setting in the oven. Fit another rack above it, and bake the potatoes on that rack.

Andy: That fires in the nuke comment confused me too. What I think is that he wants to wrap the spuds in foil, then put them in the microwave. Only thing I can think of that makes them a fire hazard.
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Old 02-21-2012, 10:09 AM   #5
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Microwave fires occur when you overcook things and they dry out and ignite. You have to be nearly unconscious for this to happen.

Since you use such a low temp for the roast, it might make sense to start the potatoes in the microwave then pop them into the oven to crisp up the skin.
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Old 02-21-2012, 10:14 AM   #6
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There is a recipe in a cookbook by one of my fav authors, Claudia Rodan, in her book on Spanish Cuisine. I haven't tried the recipe yet but I keep staring at it and I hope to get to it soon. Its a recope for wrinkly potatoes - its pretty much that you put the potatoes in a pot in a single layer, just cover with water, and add about 4 TB of salt, then you let the water boil out for 25 mins or so and flip a few times until the potatoes are wrinkly and have powdery salt layer. If you make it let me know how it comes out!
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Old 02-21-2012, 10:20 AM   #7
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I make microwave baked potatoes every once in a while. They are good, but not as good as oven baked. How many potatoes will you be cooking? Microwaving takes a long time when there are many potatoes, looses the time advantage.

I think Andy's idea is good: start them in the microwave and finish them in the oven.

I have baked potatoes in an electric frying pan. That worked well.
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Old 02-21-2012, 10:23 AM   #8
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My preferred method would be to find a way to cook them in the oven. You don't say how many you need, but at slow cooking temperatures they would need to cook longer. Potatoes can be purchased microwave ready in most supermarkets. Basically just shrink wrapped regular spuds. A little pricey, but may be worth it if there is no alternative. I would also think you could accomplish the same thing with a food saver.
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Old 02-21-2012, 10:29 AM   #9
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Could use the grill, indirect heat. For a great treat, try sweet potatoes!
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Old 02-21-2012, 10:42 AM   #10
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My suggestion is to bake the potatoes ahead of time. Then near the end of the beef roast {say 45 mins?} coat potatoes in oil and sprinkle with corse salt and finish on the top rack {assuming you put the roast on the bottom rack} Best of both worlds IMO
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