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Can I Wash and Wrap Potatoes in Foil Three Days Before I Bake Them?

Q:

We are having an event Saturday afternoon and I am making 400 Idaho baked potatoes. Would it be safe to wash and wrap the potatoes in foil on Wednesday evening, then leave them at room temperature until I bake them on Saturday?

A:

While this is not ideal, they should be fine. Several of our Idaho potato shippers are asked to wash and wrap baking potatoes in foil for restaurants like Wendy’s and other steakhouses. Then they are shipped (at temperatures of 45 – 50°F) across the country and may not be cooked for a week. The potatoes are washed, air dried and wrapped in foil with no oil or dairy coating.

It’s not the preferred method, as the typical Idaho russet is about 80% water, and wrapping in foil just traps the moisture inside which steams the potato. This often makes the interior next to the skin overcooked and brown while the outside wrinkles.

If the foil wrapping is necessary because you need to transport the potatoes to the event and want to keep warm, here are are some possible solutions:

 

https://idahopotato.com/dr-potato/how-do-i-cook-a-large-quantity-of-baked-potatoes-in-a-commercial-convection-oven

https://idahopotato.com/dr-potato/foil-baked-potatoes

https://idahopotato.com/dr-potato/why-i-do-not-recommend-baking-potatoes-in-aluminum-foil

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