Twisted: Unserious food tastes seriously good.

Chef’s ingenious teaspoon trick will shave 20 minutes off a baked potato’s cooking time

31/01/2023

Twisted: Unserious food tastes seriously good.

Article by Guest Contributor

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The humble baked potato is a staple dinnertime favorite in most households – or just an easy and hearty meal when you’re all out of ideas for what to cook.

However, with the cost of living crisis and rising energy bills affecting households around the world, it’s understandable that many won’t want to leave their potato baking in the oven for a good hour and half to get a perfect, fluffy spud with a crispy skin.

Of course, you can make a baked potato in the microwave if you’re willing to sacrifice a perfect skin, but it’s just not the same as making it the traditional way.

READ MORE: Check out Twisted’s Oumph! Tandoori Indian Fried Rice recipe

Well, there’s an easy way to shave off some serious cooking time from your potato using just a teaspoon.

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British TV chef Phil Vickery has revealed that he speeds up the cooking of his baked potatoes by using an ordinary spoon from his kitchen drawer.

Vickery appeared on UK TV show This Morning recently, where he addressed tricks to making the wholesome dish in ways that cut down on the energy consumption needed to cook it.

He explained: “A couple of things to remember, yes they do take a bit of energy – and Alice [Beer, consumer journalist] has already told me off for cooking them twice. You can microwave them and finish them in the oven for a crispy skin.

“When you fill them and put them back in the oven, you don’t have to have the oven on, you can finish them under the grill to cut the energy down.”

Many of us have also experienced the unfortunate phenomenon of a potato exploding while being cooked in its skin, so he emphasized: “Now, the thing to say also is – always, always, always use a sharp knife and score the potato around the outside [before cooking] because they will explode otherwise.

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“Sometimes if you start potatoes in a cooler oven and [the temperature] gets hotter, it bakes the skin so tight they will expand and explode. Not all the time, but it does happen, so I always [score] them.”

While it often takes up to an hour or more to brown the outside and get a perfectly fluffy interior, Vickery revealed that inserting a tablespoon into the middle of the potato before it goes in the oven (and definitely never the microwave) can seriously cut down the time it takes to cook through.

He explained: “I also put a teaspoon in the potato – not when cooking in the microwave – but [when cooking baked potatoes in] a conventional oven, it cuts the cooking time down by at least about 20 minutes.”

Vickery added that the estimated cooking time would be around 35-40 minutes by using the trick, and it can also be replicated with any root vegetables that are being cooked in the oven, not just potatoes.

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For those who want the fastest baked potatoes possible, he also advised: “For fast jacket potatoes, start them in the microwave, then finish in the oven to guarantee that all-important crisp skin.”

That’s our dinner sorted in record time.

Featured image credit: Everyday Images / Ivan Danik / Alamy

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