How to bake a potato all over the place

Let’s talk about baked potatoes: one of our favorite simple dinners. And it’s simple, isn’t it? Just put it in the oven for an hour and a bit and you’ll end up with a soft, crispy and succulent baked potato to load with shredded cheese and beans. Simply stunning.

BUT WAIT. You can also bake potatoes in the microwave! AND in the air fryer! The oven may *seem* to be the obvious choice, but does that really make it the best?

We went to Delish Kitchen to test out the three most Googled ways to cook a potato: oven, air fryer, and microwave. All three have their merits, from crispiness to chewiness to speed, but if you’ve been wondering what’s the way to bake potato to end all baked potato, you you are absolutely in the right place!

In the name of science, we prepared each of our baked potatoes the same way (and we suggest you do the same for maximum results):

  • You want a potato that is rich in starch and low humidity. Think: Russet, King Edward, Maris Piper.
  • Since (we’re assuming) we’re going to eat this skin, let’s make sure it’s SPARKLING clean. After all, potatoes come from the soil, and soil isn’t exactly known for its delicious or nutritious properties. rub it with a nice bristle brush. No soap needed, though.
  • Dry it carefully. For us, baked potatoes are all about that jacket, and if you want crispy skin, you need that potato dry before it hits the heat.
  • Stitch everywhere, using a fork, so that it does not explode. Literally. Potatoes are full of water and when you cook them, this water turns into steam. Poking your potato all over gives that steam a place to escape.
  • Lately, season the potato with oil, salt and pepper. Some people might argue that this step isn’t necessary, but for us the oil makes *such* a difference in taste and texture to the finished potato skin. An unoiled potato skin is drier, thicker, and chewier, while the oil adds a crispier, crunchier, and generally more palatable shell.

    Prepared potatoes? It’s time to warm up…

    Bake at 180°C for 1h to 1h30. Full recipe here!

    Advantages…

    Baking a potato is a super convenient method. You have an hour to an hour and a half to spend, watch a TV show, chillax, whatever you want!

    The oven gives the baked potato a super crispy skin with lots of deep caramelized flavor that you can only get after long periods of time in the oven.

    Likewise, cooking the potato for a long time helps evaporate a lot of water from the middle of the potato, resulting in a super velvety and chewy interior.

    The inconvenients…

    Time. Baking a potato in the oven takes at least an hour plus preheating time, which is long enough for a supposedly easy and simple meal.

    If you’re not cooking anything else at the same time and your oven is on *just* for that, the oven isn’t exactly a very energy-efficient way to cook a potato.

    Global mark…

    7/10. A tasty moment is guaranteed, but a huge waste of energy. ☹️

    United Kingdom

    Air fry at 200℃ for 40 minutes, turning halfway. Full recipe here!

    Advantages…

    The air fryer is MUCH faster than the oven – and much more energy efficient too. It’s a great option for maximizing crispiness while reducing time and energy costs.

    Air fryer potato skin is SUPER crispy. A big one for potato skin fiends.

    The flavor is less sweet and caramelized than a baked potato. Instead, the air fryer gives it a tastier, chip-like smell and texture. Walk in.

    The inconvenients…

    The middle is not as chewy and velvety as the baked potato, it is slightly firmer and forms larger chunks when broken.

    Air fryer baskets vary in size, but generally you can only fit one or two potatoes in an air fryer basket at a time, which means that if you are cooking potatoes in oven for more than two people, you will have to make them. in batches.

    Global mark…

    8/10. An energy efficient stunner! Although a bit fatter than smooth (but aren’t we all after two years of the pandemic?)

    deep fried potato

    United Kingdom

    Microwave on high power (900W) for 7-8 minutes, turning halfway through. Full recipe here!

    Advantages…

    You might think microwave is the cheat option, but when we tried this method in the Delish kitchen, we were really surprised by the fluffy and creamy interior texture it gave!

    It’s super fast, meaning you have a baked potato in less than an eighth of the time it takes in an oven.

    Microwave cooking is one of the most energy and cost efficient ways to cook.

    The microwave really draws the seasoning out of the potato into the skin, giving it a delicious flavor.

    The inconvenients…

    We can get honest. It’s not the prettiest baked potato…

    The finished baked potato is wrinkly rather than crispy, though maybe that’s a pro for those who don’t like the skin of a jacket potato very much?

    If you forget to turn your potato halfway, you’ll end up with a tough spot where the potato rests against the griddle in the microwave and gets extra cooking.

    Global mark…

    6/10 It’s a little soft around the edges, not to mention wrinkle-free, but it definitely packs a velvety, flavorful punch.

    microwave potato

    United Kingdom

    Final thoughts?

    All three methods obviously have their merits, but when it comes to time efficiency, crispy skin, and minimal energy consumption, the air fryer is our clear winner.

    The air fryer had the most broken skin and a wonderful aroma, although the lint factor wasn’t quite there. But surely any potato loaded with salted butter or tuna mayonnaise is going to be outrageously delicious with a crispy skin like that, even if its center is a bit firm.

    Plus, what good excuse to smash that air fryer you impulsively bought once upon a time?

    how to cook a potato oven, microwave or air fryer

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