Ask Dr. Potato

Cooking For Large Groups

Oct 8, 2015
Q: I read your article about cooking large quantities of baked potatoes and putting them in a cooler to keep them hot. We do a fish dinner every year during Lent and cook about 250 potatoes a week for 6 weeks. Do you have any data on how long it takes for the baked potatoes to reach 185 degrees F? We wrap (I know, I know) the potatoes and put about 30 -35 potatoes on a full size sheet pan. We put in two racks per oven. Normally we set the commercial gas oven to 500 degrees F. Is it better to cook them at 400 degrees F?
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How To Re-Heat Baked Potatoes

Oct 6, 2015
Q: How do you re-heat baked potatoes when they were served two days prior, and were wrapped in foil when they were baked?
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Help! My Fries!

Oct 1, 2015
Q: I run a small burger and fry business in Nashville TN. We serve about 3200lbs a month of russet potatoes as fries. My produce suppliers have run out of Burbank russets for the year and are only able to supply me with a new-crop of Norkotah russets that are making awful, awful fries that I'm embarrassed to serve! We use a hot-water blanch to cook our 1/2" fries done in a dilute vinegar solution, followed by a 300 degree blanch fry that takes 8-10 minutes to remove most of the moisture. They're then frozen and stored, cooked 2 minutes at 350 degrees for sales. They come out mealy and sweet, not to mention tough, and they last about two minutes before they're basically awful, limp horrors. I've tried lowering the pre-fry temperatures and cooking them longer but I never want to see a Norkotah again... Would switching to a Kennebec or Ranger help until Burbanks come back? Is there some magic trick to cooking these abominations? Complaints are coming in from all directions and I'm in panic mode. Please help!
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How To Hold Potatoes At Serving Temperature For An Extended Period Of Time

Sep 24, 2015
Q: I own a restaurant and we serve stuffed baked potatoes. I need to be able to cook a good bit of potatoes and then hold them until ordered. What is the best way to do this without them getting dry?  
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Can I use red potatoes for au gratin potatoes?

Sep 17, 2015
Q: Can I use red potatoes for au gratin potatoes?
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Dr. Potato gives usage tips for Processed Idaho® Potatoes

Sep 16, 2015
Q: Dear Dr. Potato, I know frozen and dehydrated potatoes are convenient and cost-efficient, but how do I differentiate my fries and hash browns from those served by my competitors? Do you have tips for creating signature side dishes from processed potatoes?  
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Where Should I Store Potatoes At Home If I Buy A Big Bag Of Idaho® Russets?

Aug 28, 2015
Q: I remember my grandparents storing fresh potatoes at home in a root cellar. I want to take advantage of the pricing and availability of having a ten pound bag of spuds at home for last minute menu choices but don’t know where to store the potatoes once I buy them. Any recommendations
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Why Does Oil Come Out Of Potato Salad?

Aug 21, 2015
Q: Why does oil come out of potato salad? Is it the type of mayo you use or is it because of the temperature of the potatoes?
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Why Are My Potatoes Discolored After Cooking?

Aug 19, 2015
Q: I Rinsed, Peeled, soaked, cut, and boiled my potatoes. Then drained, sprinkled sparingly with apple cider vinegar (for potato salad), cooled 15 minutes, covered with large plate over bowl and refrigerated them. One hour later, removed from fridge to assemble potato salad and all the potatoes were showing dark, blackish shadows. Can they still be made into potato salad?
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Is Glyphosate Applied To Idaho® Potatoes?

Aug 15, 2015
Q: Is glyphosate (the active ingredient in the broad-spectrum herbicide Roundup) applied at any point in the production of Idaho potatoes?  
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