The baked potato is such a classic side that pairs well with such a wide variety of entrees and we’ve all been making them as long as we can remember, but have you ever tried cooking them in the slow cooker instead of the oven? I finally tried it today and it works perfectly well! You end with these moist potatoes that are perfect for so many topping options. One of my go to options is loaded potatoes, like those pictured, with cheddar, bacon, sour cream and chives. These are perfect for working days because you can add them to the slow cooker then come home 8 hours later to dinner nearly ready (if you want to go with loaded potatoes or potatoes with this easy broccoli cheese sauce. Or you could make these then if you have another slow cooker you could make some sort of slow cooker chicken dish or chili. I love filling potatoes with chili!).
The other great thing about this slow cooker method is that it frees up the oven for another use. I’m thinking dessert :). Once you try this simple method you’ll want to use it time and time again!
Slow Cooker “Baked” Potatoes
Yield: 4 - 6 servings
- 4 - 6 medium russet potatoes (nothing over 10 oz each)
- 4 - 6 tsp olive oil
- Freshly ground sea salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup water
Scrub and rinse potatoes then dry. Lay each potato on a square of aluminum foil (large enough to fully cover), drizzle 1 tsp olive oil over each potato and rub around potato to evenly coat. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper (I used a slightly heaping 1/8 tsp salt and about 1/16 tsp pepper per each). Wrap foil around each potato.
Pour 1/2 cup water into a 6 or 7 quart slow cooker then transfer potatoes to slow cooker. Cover with lid and cook on high heat 4 - 5 hours or low heat 7 - 9 hours, until potatoes are tender (smaller potatoes will cook faster than the larger). Serve warm with desired toppings.
Method adapted from Cook's Illustrated (they used vegetable oil cooking spray in place of olive oil which would also work fine).