There are very few things that I say are so much different form one form of cooking to another. After all, the end result is the same: a baked potato. Yet, the microwaved baked potato tastes somewhat different than an oven baked potato but not by much. And the consistency is a tad different too. Oven baked potatoes are dry (not in a negative sense, as in they aren’t sloppy potatoes), fluffy centers with usually crispy exteriors (if not in foil). They are… what we assumed as the standard in baked potatoes. And then I decided to try them in the slow cooker. My first words regarding the taste was, “I didn’t know potatoes could taste… well… MORE like potatoes!” Slow baked potatoes taste the way you imagine they would when you first eat one raw. Sort of a warm, earthy taste. Here’s what I did to create these tasty taters that ensured we will never eat them any other way again!
- Neutral flavored Oil (I used safflower)
- Toppings (I used some butter, garlic powder, ranch dressing seasoning, cheddar cheese and sour cream)
- Wash your potatoes and dry them thoroughly. The reason for drying them so well is so there is no scorching.
- Slather your potatoes in your neutral oil. Many recipes state to use olive oil but a neutral oil is lighter, doesn’t change the taste and doesn’t leave the potato tasting oily.
- Wrap your potatoes in foil. No, you don’t need to puncture them as the slow cooking process doesn’t need to expel steam. Don’t worry, they won’t explode or anything.
- Put them in your slow cooker. No, don’t add water to the bottom, they will be moist enough without it and besides, the water doesn’t penetrate the foil anyhow. And we aren’t boiling them either.
- Set your cooker on high.
- Set your timer for: 1-3 large potatoes= 4 hours, 4+ potatoes = 1 hour for every potato.
- Once your timer goes off, carefully open the foil but don’t remove it from the potato.
- Cut a slit along the exposed potato surface then scrunch the potato (while wearing oven mitts) to break it up (or use a fork to mix it up).
- Add your butter, herbs/spices and/or cheese at this time (see how the foil acts like a bowl!).
- Set potato back inside the slow cooker, put the lid on it and allow it to sit in the cooker as the cheese melts.
- When the cheese has melted, remove it from the slow cooker and deposit it onto the plate (or in our cases, bowls to make it easier to eat) still in the foil. ENJOY!