December 4, 2022

A baked potato is a delicious side dish that can be enjoyed at any time. They are especially delicious in the Midwest when there is a crispness to the air. People who normally wouldn’t be interested in anything festive are talking about apple picking and hay rides, and walking down the street in sweaters over their plaid-collared shirts. They’re great in colder months, such as when the temperature is below freezing and you have to stay inside. A baked potato is beautiful in both cases.

We set out to find the best method of baking potatoes. The majority of the recipes used the oven. However, there are other additional techniques available. Nearly all these methods produced a decent enough baked potato. Although the gap between an acceptable and excellent baked potato is large, it can be bridged using enough butter, salt, and other ingredients.

A few notes: All potatoes were washed before cooking; any extra preparations are noted below. If we had the resources, you would have seen potatoes cooked on a grill and in a campfire. But it wasn’t. Although these potatoes were roughly equal in size, you can assume that there is some variation. Last but not least, appliances and altitudes can vary – 450 degrees per hour for one person may not be the same as for you.

Slow Cook

Method: Rub with olive oil and salt, wrap in foil, and then place in the slow cooker. Cook on high for about 4.5 hours or low for around 8 hours.

 It’s easy. It has the benefit of not heating up the apartment and the satisfaction of returning home to the aroma of baked potatoes after a long day is not to be underrated.

The final result was a decent, but not exceptional, result. The shorter/lower potato was slightly undercooked and a little chewy. It’s easy to use. This method works well with sweet potatoes.

Air Fryer

Method: Rub the potato’s exterior with some olive oil and then place it in an air fryer for 40 minutes at 400°F.

This can be done literally with one hand. You could even eat the baked potatoes like an apple if you didn’t want to use a fork or plate. This doesn’t require you to make any dishes.

This was an almost perfect potato. The skin was crisp and puffy, without steam escaping. It almost looked like a potato chip wrapped around a baked potato. The inside was creamy and smooth, almost like a whipped potato with no butter. The potato was delicious without any butter or sour cream. While an oven or convection oven can do wonderful things to russets but the end result is only half of the classic side.

INA Garten

Wash, then place on a rack. Cook for 45 minutes up to an hour at 350°F. Remove when a skewer resists. There are no frills. Pepin was also not directed by Garten to poke holes using a fork.

The effort: The hardest part of this process is the washing. It can be stressful to check the potato repeatedly to make sure it’s done cooking. This is especially true if you cook many potatoes at once using different methods.