Crock-pot® baked potatoes are a side dish or full meal that can be cooked in a slow cooker. The potatoes are wrapped in foil and then allowed to cook for several hours. Once removed from the slow cooker, the baked potatoes can be served as is or topped with a variety of additional ingredients. Ideal for hot days, this dish allows one to bake potatoes without turning on the oven, saving time and keeping the house cool.
The process for making Crock-pot® baked potatoes is relatively simple, and can easily be done first thing in the morning for that day’s lunch or supper. To start, russet potatoes are scrubbed clean and then thoroughly dried. A few holes are poked into the potato with a knife or fork, and then the skin is sprinkled with salt, pepper, or other seasonings. The potatoes are wrapped in aluminum foil and placed in the slow cooker.
Once in the slow cooker, the Crock-pot® baked potatoes are cooked on low heat for six to eight hours or high heat for three to four hours. In most cases, this type of cooking process produces a fluffy inside and a soft skin. The only difference between this cooking method and the traditional method of baking the potatoes in the oven is the lack of a crispy skin. This can, however, be achieved by placing the already-cooked potatoes underneath the broiler for a few minutes to crisp them up.
After the Crock-pot® baked potatoes are finished cooking, they can be topped with anything that a traditional baked potato can be topped. Butter, sour cream, or salsa can add moisture to the dish, while shredded cheese, chopped herbs, and smoked meat can turn the potato into a light lunch or dinner. The inside of the potato can also be removed and blended with a variety of ingredients, and then placed back inside the skin and briefly cooked in the oven for a twice-baked-potato dish.
The invention of the slow cooker has made it easier for busy individuals to have a quality, home-cooked meal at the end of the day without spending much time in the kitchen. Crock-pot® baked potatoes are ideal for this, as they allow a person to get one or more of the side dishes for a dinner ready well in advance of supper time. It can also limit the use of an oven during the warmer months. While baked potatoes are a common accompaniment to grilled foods, which are usually prepared during the warmer months, oftentimes baking potatoes in the oven has a way of heating up the entire house. Preparing the potatoes in the slow cooker helps to avoid this, while still allowing for one to enjoy a classic baked potato with his or her meal.