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Thread: 30 Baked Potatoes

  1. #1
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    30 Baked Potatoes

    I was doing a baked potato bar for ten people on Saturday but suddenly the number of guests is up to 30. Is it possible to precook the potatoes and then just reheat them? I don't have any idea how long it would take to cook that many potatoes. Any advice would be much appreciated!

  2. #2
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    You could cook some potatoes on the BBQ and some in the oven. I think they'd be fine reheated. That's a lot of taters!
    Everyone needs to believe in something. I believe I'll have another beer. . .

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by McSix View Post
    I was doing a baked potato bar for ten people on Saturday but suddenly the number of guests is up to 30. Is it possible to precook the potatoes and then just reheat them? I don't have any idea how long it would take to cook that many potatoes. Any advice would be much appreciated!

    I'd bake them ahead of time, up to 6-7 days in advance, wrapped individually in foil, then reheat without foil at 350 for a half hour or so-- letting them come to room temp first. put them on baking sheets to reheat. no one will know.
    chances are, half the people coming won't ever have tasted a real baked potato such as you're making, just microwaved ones! they are in for a treat.

  4. #4
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    I don't see any reason why you can't just bake the potatoes for the usual hour.

    In fact, there's a blog out there with instructions for a potato bar for 100. If you scroll down, there are baking instructions and there's nothing unusual that I can see. There's also a cook-and-hold method.

    http://www.ellenskitchen.com/bigpots/plan/potabar1.html

    HTH,
    Bob

  5. #5
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    I agree with Bob. Certainly, you could have them scrubbed and prepped ahead, but there's absolutely nothing like a fresh-baked potato. When you cook ahead, you give up every chance of a fluffy baked potato. Instead, you get that dense, gummy texture. If the potato bar is the star of the meal, the potatoes really need to be at their best.
    Okay...it's time to pull up your big-girl panties and get on with it. (Seen on a bathroom wall.)

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  6. #6
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    I have an atypically small oven, but I would have no problem fitting 30 potatoes in it. It doesn't take any longer to cook 30 than it does 1. OK, if the shelves are crowded it might take a LITTLE longer due to lack of air circulation, but it's still not a big deal.
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  7. #7
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    Thank you all so much. I think I can do this!

  8. #8
    I think a reheated potato taste like a reheated potato.

  9. #9
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    Do you have a roaster oven? We often have cooked potatoes in a roaster oven at church, it takes longer as they are piled up...or you can bake some and move to a roaster oven to keep them warm...I think they need to be baked close to the serving time, refrigerated baked potatoes just taste different from fresh baked! JMHO...
    EmptyNestMom
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by funniegrrl View Post
    I have an atypically small oven, but I would have no problem fitting 30 potatoes in it. It doesn't take any longer to cook 30 than it does 1. OK, if the shelves are crowded it might take a LITTLE longer due to lack of air circulation, but it's still not a big deal.
    This really surprises me, as a crowded oven usually slows down cooking considerably. Ed Brown, the author of the first Greens cookbook, tells this terrible story of trying to bake too many potatoes at once, though I don't know how many it was. But having had a similar experience with chicken (!) I'd want to be sure it would work.
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  11. #11
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    What about making them in a crockpot?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Salt View Post
    What about making them in a crockpot?

    Ugh.

    Because it's not a baked potato.

    Bob

  13. #13
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    I am a personal chef/caterer and recently did a baked potato bar for 250 people. First of all, do not clean the potatoes and wrap them in foil ahead of time. You take the chance of moldy bacteria beginning to form after a day of being wrapped. Definately keep the potatoes spaced out in the oven so the heat is evenly distributed. You may even want to rotate them during cooking.

    For keeping them warm, use a regular ice chest. Place some towels on the bottom of the chest to absorb any water from the steam then transfer the potatoes directly from the oven to the ice chest. Put a few more towels on top of the potatoes and close the chest. My potatoes kept warm- no make that HOT- for several hours. I think they were baked at around 1 pm and when I was unloading the leftover potatoes at 6pm, they were still hot.
    The ice chest works amazingly well- just make sure you don't have too much open space in the ice chest so that the heat from the potatoes keep them all warm.

  14. #14
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    Whisker, the cooler worked like a charm. People were absolutely shocked when I pulled piping hot potatoes out of the cooler an hour after I'd put them in. What a great tip! Thank you so much. It was a great party.

  15. #15
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    This is a timely thread - I'll be cooking a baked potato bar for 100 people in 2 weeks for a teacher appreciation dinner at church. I am totally going to use that cooler trick! Thanks for sharing it!
    Terri _A
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  16. #16
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    I'm glad the cooler worked out for you! When I was told to use a cooler for the potatoes, I didn't really expect it to keep them all that hot- but boy was I wrong! They were still "burning my hands" hot even after 5 or 6 hours!! I've now started using a cooler to keep other things hot too and it works perfectly!

  17. #17
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    Whenever I make a double batch of baked potato soup (which is often), I do 5 lbs of potatoes (I don't know how many potatoes that is, but it's a lot!) and just put them on cookie sheets on two racks in my oven. I bake at 400 degrees for an hour and they're perfect! I coat them with oil and kosher salt before putting them in.
    Lynne


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  18. #18
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    Lynne, can you freeze baked potato soup? I'm making some with the leftovers tonight and know I'll have way too much for two of us.

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