I made 10-minute, 1-hour, and 10-hour baked potatoes, and I no longer trust methods that don't involve an oven

·6 min read
timed baked potato triple side by side labeled 10 minutes, 1 hour, and 10 hours over baked potatoes
I tested three recipes for baked potatoes.Paige Bennett
  • I tried recipes for 10-minute, 1-hour, and 10-hour baked potatoes to see which was worth it.

  • I thought the 10-minute microwave recipe was fine but wasn't a fan of the 10-hour slow-cooker one.

  • My favorite method was the classic no-foil oven recipe, which was close to how I already made them.

paige bennett holding a plate of baked potato covered in cheese and broccoli
I've made a lot of different baked potatoes with many toppings.Paige Bennett

undefined

The first potato was cooked in the microwave.

ingredients for 10-minute baked potatoes on a kitchen counter
The 10-minute recipe uses the microwave.Paige Bennett

I'm not against "baking" a potato in the microwave. When I really have a craving, it's the quickest, easiest way by far.

I started by washing the potato and poking plenty of holes in it with a fork.

Related video: 28 ways potatoes are eaten around the world

A recipe I found from the Kitchn said to rub the potato with oil and sprinkle salt and black pepper on the skin, which sounded like delicious additions.

The recipe ended up taking less than 10 minutes.

salted and seasoned potato in a pink mug on a kitchen counter
I microwaved the potato in a mug.Paige Bennett

I placed the potato upright in a microwave-safe container and let it cook for five minutes.

Then I used tongs to carefully flip the potato over and cooked it for another three minutes.

The texture turned out OK.

microwaved potato on a kitchen plate
I've had microwaved potatoes before.Paige Bennett

The finished potato wasn't exactly undercooked, but it had a denser, tougher interior than a standard oven-baked potato.

The flavor of the skin with the oil, salt, and pepper was good, but the flimsy, papery texture wasn't pleasant.

Toppings greatly helped the 10-minute potato.

microwaved potato cut in half and quarters on a plate
It tasted better with butter.Paige Bennett

Fortunately, the texture issues, inside and out, were easy to mask with extra butter and toppings.

This method is great in a pinch when you just can't wait for a baked potato. But as someone who loves to eat the whole potato, skin and all, this isn't my preferred method.

The one-hour potato uses a no-foil method, which is closest to how I usually make them.

ingredients for a 1 hour baked potato
The one-hour recipe uses the oven.Paige Bennett

The New York Times has a straightforward recipe to make baked potatoes with crispy skin.

I started by washing a large russet potato, drying it thoroughly, and poking it a few times with a fork.

Then, like the microwaved potato, I rubbed oil and salt all over the skin.

I placed the potato in the oven on a tray.

salted and seasoned baked potato on a baking tray lined with a silicone mat
I'm used to making baked potatoes without foil.Paige Bennett

The recipe doesn't call for the potato to be wrapped in foil. Instead, I placed the oiled-up potato on a small tray to bake it.

The recipe says 45 minutes to an hour, but this was a pretty hefty potato, so I let it go for the full hour.

I couldn't get enough of the skin on this potato.

cooked baked potato on a kitchen plate
The texture on the outside and inside was perfect.Paige Bennett

The skin of the oven-baked potato had tons of flavor from the oil and salt, and it was thin and crispy, almost like potato chips.

I knew this recipe was going to be hard to beat.

The result was everything I hoped for.

one hour baked potato cut in half and in quarters
The oven makes the potato nice and crispy.Paige Bennett

I was a fan of the oven-baked potato.

The interior was soft, but it wasn't as fluffy as it is in my usual potato method. I typically bake mine slightly longer, score them, and bake them some more.

I expected the slow-cooker potatoes to turn out soft, but the result was quite the opposite.

ingredients for 10-hour slow cooker baked potato on a kitchen counter
The 10-hour recipe called for garlic.Paige Bennett

Making "baked" potatoes in the slow cooker seems like a great idea if you're feeding a crowd or need space in the oven for other food. For dining solo, though, it doesn't seem practical.

I followed a slow-cooker potato recipe from Taste of Home, which starts with mixing softened butter and freshly minced garlic to coat the skin of the potato.

I wrapped the potato in foil and set it inside my slow cooker.

buttered potato on a sheet of foil
The recipe called for the potato to be wrapped in foil.Paige Bennett

The recipe said to add 1 cup of water to the slow cooker, but that barely covered the bottom. I ended up adding a few cups until the water reached about one-third of the way up on the foil-covered potato.

My slow cooker tends to run hot, even when it's at a low temperature, so I set it to the lowest setting to prevent overcooking.

I started worrying about the potato's texture in the slow cooker.

baked potato wrapped in foil in a slow cooker
I was very skeptical about the texture of the potato.Paige Bennett

After a few hours, I noticed the foil became discolored.

Around the halfway point, the potato still felt hard, so I turned the heat up between low and medium.

At the eight-hour mark, I was concerned. The potato still felt rock-hard when I squeezed it with tongs, and the recipe says this process should take eight to 10 hours on low heat.

After 10 hours of waiting on a single baked potato, I finally caved and took it out.

The potato was still incredibly hard.

cooked 10-hour slow cooker baked potato on a plate
This potato didn't look or smell appealing.Paige Bennett

When I took it out of the slow cooker, the skin was hot, damp, and dark, so the heat was definitely reaching the potato.

The inside was hot, too, but it was so tough I could barely pull out a full bite with a fork.

Aside from the horrible texture, the smell was bad. I expected the butter and garlic to smell amazing, but it created a very strange odor I really hope I never have to smell again.

I won't use the slow-cooker recipe again.

slow cooker baked potato cut in half on a plate
The potato was so hard, even after cooking for 10 hours.Paige Bennett

I didn't expect the slow cooker to become a go-to method for me, but I at least expected a soft potato from the steaming process.

Unfortunately, I won't be making potatoes like this again.

I'd use the microwaved recipe again if necessary, but the one-hour potato was the best by far.

baked potato covered in salt on a baking tray lined with a silicone mat
The one-hour recipe was pretty much perfect.Paige Bennett

Microwaving potatoes is quick and convenient, but the texture just pales in comparison with a standard oven-baked potato.

I understand the appeal of making potatoes for a crowd in a slow cooker, but I can't see myself attempting that method again.

The one-hour potato, complete with a delicious and crispy skin, was my favorite of the three.

Read the original article on Insider