Now that fall is here and the weather is finally getting cooler, I am totally in Crock Pot mode. Especially since our evenings are filled with dance classes and soccer practice and lots of homework assignments.
I just don’t seem to have the time to deal with complicated dinner menus yet I still want warm, comforting meals at the end of a busy day. So Crock Pot to the rescue!
So if you haven’t tried making Crock Pot Baked Potatoes I thought I’d post about it today. I do this fairly often in fall and winter because really what is better then a baked potato? So delicious and a great opportunity to clean out the fridge by topping it with broccoli or red peppers, various cheeses, salsa, leftover chili — whatever you have on hand.
Crock Pot baked potatoes are incredibly easy and they turn out perfectly cooked. I am not a fan of microwaving potatoes- they always get a gummy taste to me- but putting them in the oven can take so long…. Not really practical for quick dinners. By cooking these in the crock pot you will get a perfectly cooked Steakhouse style baked potato and literally dinner is done in just minutes.
Oh and you can actually make these to go- that is nice for those of you with kiddos in sports and such. Keep them tightly wrapped in the foil and they will stay warm for awhile. Pack a small tupperware container with whatever toppings you like- just slice the potato open and add the toppings and it is delicious. The foil can even serve as the plate.
So to make your potatoes you simply need to follow these steps:
- Olive Oil
- Salt and Pepper
- Your Choice of Topping
- Start by scrubbing your potatoes well.
- Next make small slices into the potato or poke it several times with a fork- all the way around. This allows air to escape while the potato is cooking.
- Cut a square of foil large enough to cover the potato completely.
- Put the potato in the center of the foil and add a small amount of olive oil all the way around the skin. I use a brush to just brush it on.
- Next season well with your house seasoning or just salt and pepper.
- I like to use salt, pepper and Italian Seasoning.
- Wrap the potato in the foil and place inside the Crock Pot.
- Cook on high heat for approximately 3 hours.
So that is it. Crazy easy! Hopefully some of your seasoning will get inside the potato and brushing on olive oil it makes the skin extra delicious if you want to eat the skin of the potato. If you are short on time- you can skip the olive oil and seasoning. These will still be perfect and delicious- just make sure to poke or slice holes in the raw potato or you will have a serious mess on your hands.
It is impossible to say exactly how much time in the Crock Pot this needs because the size of potatoes differs so dramatically. When I buy organic potatoes they are usually quite small and would need far less time to cook.
I find it takes about 3 hours for conventional Russet potatoes that are medium to large in size. For the potatoes above that one in the center was really fat so that one I did need to put in the microwave for about 5 minutes to cook it completely. If you have really large potatoes you probably want to cook them on high for closer to 4 hours.
Please note if you are using a small, low power or older Crock Pot you might need significantly more time. I used a high, power Cuisinart Crock Pot (available here) and based the cooking time off that.
And then we have a fussy group around these parts so I like to just put a bunch of options in small bowls- whipped butter, sour cream, plain Greek yogurt, broccoli, chives, cheese, salsa, green onions — whatever I have on hand- and I put that on a cutting board in the center of the table.
Everyone can help themselves to create their perfect potato.
We have a family of four so I usually put three in the Crock and my kids will share one depending on the size of the potato. I don’t think it matters how many you pop in there- as long as the lid is secure on top they should cook just fine.
I usually put these into the Crock in the afternoon before running to get the kids from school but if you need to do this in the morning before heading out to work, I believe the potatoes will be fine on low for about 8 hours.
You don’t need anything in the Crock Pot at all- no water or anything- just the foil and potato and that is it! So clean up is very quick and easy on this one!
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