The best way to make baked potatoes in the summer
I am still on my slow cooker in the summer kick. If you remember a few weeks ago, I shared with you a recipe for Slow Cooker French Dip that my family loves. The slow cooker is on right now making something for tonight’s dinner, but that’s not what I’m going to tell you about today.
Today I want to tell you that you can make baked potatoes in the slow cooker. I never have baked potatoes in the summer because of the amount of time they take in the oven. I don’t want my oven blasting away at 400 degrees for over an hour on a late summer afternoon.
Remember, not only does a slow cooker use less energy than an oven, it also keeps your kitchen from getting hotter and making your air conditioning switch into overdrive. It’s a great little energy saver in the summer.
Potatoes fair pretty well on the Environmental Working Group Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides. They are number 39 on the list so if you can afford to buy them organically that’s great. If you can’t afford to buy them organically, it’s good to know they aren’t very high on the list.
When I read about making baked potatoes in the slow cooker, I was a little skeptical, but I gave it a try. It works really well, but since the temperatures of slow cookers vary and the size of potatoes vary, it’s difficult to give you an exact cooking time.
Here’s what you do.
- Scrub as many baking potatoes as you can fit comfortably in your slow cooker (don’t over crowd).
- Wrap each potato in aluminum foil (did you know there is recycled foil?).
- Cook in slow cooker from 2-5 hours on high; 8-9 hours on low until a fork easily passes through the potato.
- When done cooking, keep them in the slow cooker on warm until ready to serve.
The first time I tried this, my large potatoes needed closer to five hours than two hours in my slow cooker. They weren’t done in time for dinner. Instead of wasting them, I let them finish cooking, then I made them into twice baked potatoes and waited to do the second baking until the next night (I used the toaster oven for that).
I absolutely loved baked potatoes with steak, and now that I know I can do them in the slow cooker, we’ll be having them often in the summer with grilled steak.
Robin Shreeves didn’t particularly like to cook until she started paying attention to how the food she feeds her family affects the environment. Once she started experimenting with fresh, organic and local foods, her outlook on food and cooking changed dramatically. When she’s not writing the eco-friendly food blog for Mother Nature Network or attending to her two personal blogs A Little Greener Every Day and South Jersey Locavore , she can often be found in the kitchen, playing with the food that she prepares for her husband and two boys.