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My Potato Exploded When Baking

Q:

I'm born and raised in Eastern Idaho and know how to bake a potato. I've moved to Wisconsin in 2015. The past two times we've baked potatoes at least one of them "blew apart." I baked at them 400°F,  the first was a Yukon Gold and the second was an Idaho russet. They were not huge bakers. Our oven is convection but it has never happened before. Please advise.

A:

The potatoes should be pierced a few times on each side prior to baking or they could possibly (for lack of a better word) “explode”, scattering potato chunks inside the oven. How can this happen? Consider that the skin that protected the potato throughout the growth and storage process can also trap steam within the potato, once the baking process begins. When pierced prior to baking, the steam has a gradual escape path. Similarly, never bake potatoes in foil, as this traps the moisture in the potato, resulting in a less-than-desirable or gummy interior texture.

Looking for tips on how to make the perfect baked potato? Visit this page for all the details.