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Baking Potatoes for a Large Group

Q:

We are planning on serving baked potatoes at an upcoming wedding and I will need approximately 150 potatoes. We are going to use extra-large potatoes (like you can get at Costco). We will have access to 3 ovens, each with only 2 racks. It appears from your website that the most effective way to bake is without foil. We intend on wrapping them after baking and storing in an insulated cooler to keep warm until ready to serve. Questions: Is it okay to rub oil on them prior to baking so the skins will not be dried out? And, can we stack the potatoes 2 high on each rack in order to get 50 potatoes in? We intend baking them at 450°F - how long will we need to keep them in the oven?

A:

If you rub oil on the potatoes that will be fine. Don’t forget to pierce each potato in several places too, to allow for steam to escape. And you’re correct, we definitely recommend NO foil (wrapping afterward is fine). As for double-layering the potatoes in the oven – I’m assuming you’re trying to save time – but that’s not a good idea. Place similarly-sized potatoes on a single layer. This will allow for good air circulation in the oven and even cooking. Even if you have to cook a second or third batch it’s better than uneven or inconsistent cooking results. Here’s a link to more information and thank you for serving fresh Idaho potatoes as part of the celebration!

https://idahopotato.com/dr-potato/how-do-you-bake-large-quantities-of-baked-potatoes