How to Make Baked Potatoes: Cooking Jacket Potatoes in Microwaves, Ovens and Camp Fires

Jacket potatoes are a very cheap, nutritious way to feed a family. According to the USDA, potatoes have 87 calories and 0.1g of fat per 100g; they are also a good source of potassium, protein, phosphorous and vitamin C. They are classified as a carbohydrate.

To prepare a baked potato, scrub the potato clean so that its mineral-rich skin can be enjoyed. Pierce the potato with a knife to let the steam out. Then microwave, oven-bake or fire-bake the potato.

Making Jacket Potatoes in a Microwave

Baked potatoes are easy to make in the microwave. Though the larger potatoes sold as baking potatoes are best for a full meal, small potatoes as sold in the five- and ten-pound bag size are also perfectly acceptable. For a very quick jacket potato, place a medium-sized potato in a microwave-safe dish and microwave on high for 6-7 minutes. For additional potatoes, add about 1-2 minutes per potato. Large baked potatoes may need up to 10 minutes for the first potato, and 1-2 minutes for each additional.

Microwaved jacket potatoes are softer than flame-baked versions, but there is much less waiting.

Making Baked Potatoes in an Oven

Oven-baked potatoes are crisp and delicious. To make them, pre-heat the oven to 350°F/180°C/Gas Mark 4. Pierce the potatoes as described above and wrap in aluminum foil. Adding a little vegetable or olive oil can help the potatoes crisp up. (Here’s some olive oil dispensers you may like)

Put the potatoes on a baking tray and bake for approximately one hour.

After an hour, carefully remove the tray and check the jacket potatoes. Slice them in half and stick a fork into the center. Uncooked potato is still hard and will be a different color yellow from the cooked flesh. At this stage there are two options: re-wrap the jacket potatoes in foil and return them to the oven for ten minutes at a time, or remove the foil, place in an appropriate dish, and microwave for 1-2 minutes at a time. In both cases, check for done-ness after each fresh bout of cooking.

Baking Jacket Potatoes in a Fire

Campfires and traditional Bonfire Night celebrations offer a third alternative for jacket potatoes. Prepare as described above, but wrap in two to three layers of foil to avoid splitting. Then place the potatoes at the edges of a fire. Cooking should take around an hour and lends a delightful, smoky flavor to the crispy baked potatoes. Use tongs to remove the potato and use extreme caution to avoid the double danger of red-hot potatoes and a red-hot fire.

Serving Baked Potatoes

Jacket potatoes can be served with numerous types of toppings. The most traditional variant is a large slab of pure fresh butter; the heat of the potato melts the butter and the potato absorbs it. Baked beans, sour cream and chives, tuna salad and chicken salad are all delicious options.

Some simply scoop the flesh out of the “bowl” created from a jacket potato; others prefer to eat the whole bundle. Either way, baked potatoes make simple, nutritious and delicious meals. As an added bonus, they will not break the bank.

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