One meal that our family enjoys is baked potatoes with all the toppings. Normally, I bake potatoes in the oven and it takes about an hour. That is not too long but, in the summer, the oven does put out a lot of heat. The bottom line is that during hot weather, I don’t want to heat up the kitchen if I don’t have too!
Maybe you can tell by the recipes I have shared lately, I have really been using my crock pot or more specifically, my roaster. With 5 growing boys and their farm boy appetites, my 6 quart crock pot (affiliate link) is just not large enough anymore, but my 22 qt roaster is! So, having just bought a case of potatoes, I wanted baked potatoes and I had what I thought was a brilliant idea – I would try them in the crock pot.
Turns out, this was not as ingenious as I thought – I found several articles about crock pot baked potatoes after I did it. Some of the recipes crinkled up aluminum foil in the bottom to rest the potatoes on and others oiled and salted the potatoes before wrapping them individually in aluminum foil.
Why then, if other recipes are out there, would I post about it? Because, I want you to know that not only do baked potatoes cooked in the crock pot work, they are super easy and taste great – without crinkled foil or other seasonings! In fact, it is probably the closest thing to a steak house baked potato that I have ever made! Besides, there is just something about preparing the ingredients, turning on the crock pot and coming back in a few hours and having your meal ready – it’s magic!
Once the crock pot has worked its magic, don’t forget the toppings – loaded baked potatoes are a meal in themselves! Our standards are creamy butter, sour cream and onions. In the winter we like sauteed onions with barbecue sauce. Other veggies like broccoli are also good toppings for baked potato especially if it is swimming in cheese sauce! Mushrooms and bacon are another option – let’s just say that the options are endless when it comes to making a loaded baked potato!
The preparation for crock pot baked potatoes is very similar to oven baked potatoes. And, you could do it all the night before so, in the morning, all you have to do is plug in the crock pot. First, wash the potatoes. I did not even poke holes with a fork or rub them with olive oil! I just wrapped each potato in aluminum foil, placed them in the crock pot (roaster) with about an inch of water in the bottom, and cooked them on low for 8 hours. That’s all! You can’t get much easier that that!
Nutritional Value of Potatoes
Potatoes, when eaten with the skins, are:
- rich in fiber (when eaten with the skin), contain very little fat and no cholesterol. The fiber content aids in slow digestion of the starch and absorption of simple sugars in the gut. This helps keeps blood sugar levels within the normal range and avoid wide fluctuations.
- rich in potassium – potaotes contain more than a banana! Potassium is a mineral that helps regulate fluid and mineral balance within cells, this means it helps regulate blood pressure.
- a good source of vitamin C which is an antioxidant, helps with iron absorption and among other things supports your body’s immune system.
- a good source of vitamin B6 which aids in carbohydrate and protein metabolism, helps the body make amino acids and is part of the red blood cells.
- a good source of other minerals, such as, manganese, magnesium, phosphorous, copper and potassium.
- suggested by plant genetics scientist Roy Navarre in a recent study at Agricultural Research Service to help fight cancer and to be heart protective because of a flavonoid antioxidant, quercetin, contained in potatoes.
- baking potatoes
- olive oil (optional)
- Wash the potatoes and cut out any bad spots.
- Rub the potatoes with olive oil if desired.
- Wrap each potato in aluminum foil.
- Add 1 inch of water to the bottom of the crock pot
- Place wrapped potatoes in the crock pot in the water
- Cook on low for 6 - 8 hours - fork should insert easily.
I cook 10 lbs of potatoes in the roaster and could probably do 20 lbs.