Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Perfect Jacket Potato

A perfectly cooked jacket potato should be crispy and salty on the outside and white and fluffy on the inside.  
A jacket potato (or baked potato) should be served so hot you have to blow on every forkful.  
 Once they're cooked, make a cross with a knife in the top.  
Add a huge dollop of butter and a probably an unhealthy amount of salt....... 
It all goes to making every mouthful delicious.
I did a post about 2 years ago on jacket potatoes but I've decided to update it, even though the 'how to' is just the same. This post gives a little more information about the type and size of potato to use.
 
First off you must start with the right kind and size of potato You need a floury variety. Maris Piper, King Edward or Marfona will do the trick.  Waxy potatoes just don't work.  Look for potatoes between 300g and 400g
 
The difference between Waxy and Floury Potatoes:
Waxy potatoes are translucent and feel moist and pasty. They are good at staying firm and keeping their shape so make great salad potatoes.
Waxy Potato Varieties include: Charlotte and Maris Peer

Floury potatoes are brighter and more granular in appearance with a drier feel. They're better for dishes such as jacket potatoes, chips and for mash.
Floury Potato Varieties include: Estima, King Edward, Maris Piper or Marfona.



Once that's sorted you're half way there - the rest is simple.
No wrapping them in foil please and no skewers inserted through the middle - all they do is speed up the cooking but the skin wont be as crisp.
Most certainly no microwave is to be used at any point - even the latest combination microwave will not make the skin as crispy as it would be if cooked for longer (longer is the key word) in a conventional oven. 
Good things come to those that wait!
Below: Potatoes ready for the oven.
Preheat your oven to 200c/400f or gas 6
While the oven is heating up, wash and dry your potatoes well.
Using a sharp knife, prick the skins a few times - this is to stop them exploding in the oven.
Now rub the skins with a little olive oil and lightly dust them with sea salt - it will stick to the oily skin.
Bake in the oven directly on the bars of the oven - middle shelf, or somewhere between an hour to an hour and a half.  Depending on your oven and the size of potato you have.
To test, they should give a little when lightly squeezed.  Insert a sharp knife to make sure as there's nothing worse than an undercooked potato.
*Once they're done don't even think about trying to keep them warm as you will loose the lovely crispy skin.
You will have to remove them from the oven with a cloth as they will be HOT!
Cut a cross in the top of each one and add a dollop of butter and a good amount of salt and eat immediately.

9 comments:

Silverback said...

I do love jacket/baked potatoes but I can't agree with the 'no microwave at any point' advice for one reason only.

Combination ovens !

I bought a combi oven almost FOR cooking jacket potatoes and it's awesome. 15 minutes for a crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside result....including pre heating.

Half the time is on a setting of 250c plus 70% microwave and the rest on just 250c to really crisp up that skin.

Perfect every time.

Jan said...

Silverback - Funny as I've only just added a bit about combination ovens as I thought someone might mention them.
I too have a combination oven and yes they are fantastic! Jacket potatoes come out really well and yes crispy even, but unless you've tried one that's been cooked as stated in this post - using a conventional oven (that obviously takes longer) you might not realise just how crispy and crunchy and good a jacket potato skin can be. It's the longer cooking that makes the skin amazing.

Marie said...

Jan, I always roast mine right on the oven racks, just lightly rubbed with oil, no salt. The air gets to circulate all around them. They are crispy yummy!!

bellini valli said...

Pass me the sour cream or yogurt for this salty, crispy deliciousness.

Margaret said...

Jacket potatoes every time for me!

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Lucie said...

My favourite comfort food - with lashings of butter, beans and tonnes of cheese! Lovely recipe.

Karolina said...

You cannot beat good jacket potato. :) It is my emergency dinner, I usually microwave it, and then bake (until crispy) for a shortcut in mid week fast dinner. When I have more time I obviuosly bake it from a beginning. My favourite filling is mix of tuna, spring onion, chilli and sweetcorn.

Joy said...

O Yum, Perfect baked potatoes! I have put a link to here on my fb Comfort Food page!

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