Need help with baked potato idea

I would love to have a baked tater on my menu. In my area they are very popular, people drive 30 mins to get one! My first problem…I hate them. So I’m hoping y’all can give give me some tips/ideas on how to cook them. Microwave? In the oven? Both? How long does it take to cook? Are they good leftover? Now for toppings…I’m thinking of having several options. Pizza tater (pizza sauce, mozzarella, cheddar, bacon, onion), one with just cheese and one with some locally made, awesome bbq pork. Am I on the right track? What are good/popular toppings? Please help the tater hater! LOL

Man you just made me hungry for a baked potato… and wondering if i could cook one in my oven!

New project idea

Interesting idea you want to launch. Make it fit into your existing concept, though.

Great baked potatoes are moist and fluffy inside with a dry, crisp skin on the outside. Lousy ones are dense boil/steamed texture and really gummy with flabby skin. Hard to find one of them done great in most places. Most steak houses use what are called “potato wrappers” in the industry (pop-up foil sheets) to wrap the potatoes in and bake in large quantities before the shift. Then kept warm in holding drawers/cabinets. Same with most take-out potato places. They hold a while, but they do take on a damp, steamed texture at some point. Time depends on the size of the spud … baking is probably you best go to start. Think 350-375 for 40-75 minutes. Trial and test with knife until goes in to center w almost no pressure … then back the time up about 10-15 minutes to account for hot hold. You might could bring to room temp/chill and reheat w micro, but that is always a level of damage to texture.

Gatta ask yourself how many you expect to sell … and what is you waste plan. You WILL have some that go past quality standard for serving as baked potatoes. Whatcha going to do with them? mash, stuff, bread and deep fry? Gnocchi? Potato skins? Slice and deep fry for cottage fries? Hash? thin sliced for pizza topping (garlic oil base, bacon, spinach and sliced potato, parmesan and mozz)? Twice-baked? Give to the staff for dinner? whatever. You’ll get a feel for volume at some point, and then again, you may create a demand for your “salvage” dishes.

toppings run the gammut of all sorts … and will depend on your market. The BBQ should be good chance, think about a cheese steak potato if you sell sandwiches … the pizza one sounds good - upsell with meatsauce, sausage or meatballs sliced. “Loaded” around these parts is cheese, bacon, chives and sour cream. Places use chili, broccoli/cheese, all sorts of stuff. Golden opportunity for a vegetarian option, hear. Sauteed vegetables, olive oil drizzle, diced tomato, and you have prima vera.

My best guidance is to make it fit into your current operation and flow. You don’t want to pilot a product that needs a bunch of new products in the shop. develop taste profiles using products you have to minimize new inventory.

Just some introductory thoughts to offer.

Thanks for all the input! I have no idea how many would sell or how to go about doing it. LOL I’m just in the thinking stage right now. I was trying to think of a few items I could offer (besides sandwiches & salads) that wouldn’t require a bunch of extra inventory to keep on hand. I was thinking baked potatoes and loaded fries would be a good addition and would only require me to purchase the taters/fries.

Fresh cut fries and loaded fries seem like a no-brainer to me if you have a fryer. You can make them very good and have a great markup with items that don’t cost you a lot.

Many years ago I was a supplier to Henry Fords Dearborn Inn.
There was an old guy working in the stewards area, he processed all the potatoes by placing them in a tub of water. The ones that floated they used for baked potatoes the ones that sank the used for frys and other potato dishes.

George Mills

What does the float/sink mean? I’ve heard of doing that for eggs, but not potatoes!


Guess I had the sink or swim backwards.
George Mills

We’ve been doing taters for about 20 years now. We call them “Smashed” Taters. We tried the wrap in foil and bake, nightmare, plus waste. We cook in stew pots in our deck ovens in water till they are done and not busting. We then drain water and put in cooler. We pull taters out and pop in microwave to get reheated. We then “smash” them and add toppings : cheese, onion, meat toppings (bbq, ham, grilled chicken etc) and then put in pizza oven to melt cheese. We use the 80 ct tater, so you use 2 taters per order we get 7.00 per order. We do a single tater lunch order and get 5.50.
We go thru about 200 taters a week. I included a pic of our Bacon “Smashed” Tater.e4278c_0f2c7f324b95490eb00555a5001ad204_jpg_srz_358_278_75_22_0_50_1_20_0.jpg

T…What a great idea…


The smashed tater is a great idea! Looks like there would be a lot better “topping coverage” by smashing it first too. Thanks!

Thank you sir been here since the beginning just haven’t posted. figured it was time :slight_smile:

Tim, I like your down home style website. Nice job!

Thanks on the Website. My 14 year old son/webmaster gets all the credit for that :slight_smile:

When clients have asked who can build a website, I generally tell them to ask the youngest person on their staff…

What do you guys use for an outlet for leftover baked potatoes?
I’ve been kicking around the idea of an available side for years now, and the only way I see not losing my butt is having american fries as an outlet for leftovers, but then with my luck, that will become too popular, and people will whine if we run out of them as a special side.
I shot myself in the foot last year by frying a gaufrette chip , they got way too big, and they wiped out all my fryer space and almost needed a dedicated fryer cook to keep up. And prepping them was getting outrageous. I found it was something that was too difficult for most entry level peeps to learn to do consistently.

I’m trying to think of a way to have them “almost” ready. 5-10 minutes in the microwave (depending on size) and then 5 minutes in the oven to finish one when I get an order? Have about 6-8 already microwaved and in a warmer ready to pop in the oven? If you put some olive oil & salt on it before finishing in the oven, would 5 mins be enough time to crisp up the skin?

You need to be extra cautious with baked potatoes (potatoes in general) with proper handling and temp control, they are a very high risk food for botulinum toxin propagation if temps are off and in a low oxygen environment. Fresh Garlic is another very high risk food,
A few years back we had an outbreak of botulism in our state due to a restaurant using leftover potatoes for potato salad, the place let them cool on the counter overnight while wrapped in foil, then made potato salad with them the next day, uncontrolled temps and the foil wrapping created the perfect environment for C. Botulinum to produce spores and toxins. Nobody died, but many got sickened and ended up on respirators for a few days due to the paralyzation from the toxic spores created.
So, be careful in how you hold them and cool them, keep them unwrapped when in the cooler

I’ve heard the warnings of botulism from wrapping them in foil. If they arent wrapped in anything and kept warm until finished off, would there be any potential hazards? I was assuming they would be “safe” for a couple hours if kept warm.