How to Make the Best Twice-Baked Potatoes
The Perfect Potato for Company or a Family Dinner
Twice-baked potatoes are a favorite in my family. They are easy to fix and can be made year round. In the summer, you can cook them on the grill so you don't heat up your home. In the winter, they can be baked in the oven. They are delicious to eat and always result in rave reviews from guests, as well as my thirteen-year-old son!
- 4 to 6 baking potatoes, Russet is my favorite
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup sour cream, light or low fat
- 1 cup milk, 2%, warmed
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Heat oven to 425°F. If in a hurry, use the convection bake setting.
- Wash and scrub potatoes. Sprinkle each one with Kosher salt and wrap in foil.
- Bake for 1 1/2 hours or until slightly squishy when pressed upon. (Bake for 1 hour if using convection bake.)
- Remove from oven. Carefully unwrap the foil. Caution: They are hot! Using a sharp knife, make an oval cut on the top of each potato.
- Carefully remove the top potato skin and discard. Spoon out the rest of the baked potato and place in a bowl. Do this for all the potatoes.
- Add milk, butter, salt and sour cream to the potatoes. Using a potato masher, gently mash the potatoes until they are all broken up and slightly mixed with the other ingredients.
- Use an electric mixer on medium for 30 seconds to whip up the potatoes. Be careful not to over-mix or your potatoes will turn out stiff.
- Spoon the potato mixture into each potato shell. Top with grated cheese and any other toppings you choose.
- Reheat in over for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted. Enjoy!
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Tips for the Best Twice-Baked Potato
- I choose to wrap my potatoes in foil for baking only when I make twice-baked potatoes. The foil helps prevent the skins from drying out. This makes it easier to cut the center of the potato and insert the filling without the skin tearing.
- Use a sharp knife when cutting the top. Cut halfway down the potato; this makes it really easy to scoop it out with a spoon.
- When you mash the potatoes, be sure to use warm or hot milk. Using cold milk will cool the potatoes much too quickly.
- You can make twice-baked potatoes a day ahead. Complete all the steps—but do not add the cheese. Cover and place in the refrigerator. Then warm in the oven on low heat. When warm, add the cheese to melt.
How to Choose a Potato for Baking
The Type: Russets Are Great
Russet potatoes are perfect for baking. They have a coarse skin that turns crispy in the oven. The Russet has a starchy substance that allows them to bake perfectly. Yukon Gold are my favorite potatoes to boil if I am making mashed potatoes. However, they are not good baking potatoes as their skin is too thin.
The Size: Larger Is Better
Select a medium- to large-sized potato for making twice-baked potatoes. It's way too much trouble to scoop out a bunch of small ones!
Favorite Potato Toppings
- Bacon bits
- Cheddar cheese
- Parmesan cheese
These toppings can also be lightly mixed into the mashed potatoes (once mashed) with a spoon.
Did You Know?
Interesting Potato Facts
- The state of Washington ranks first in potato production in the United States.
- In 2011, 160,800 acres of potatoes were grown in Washington, resulting in 9,840,000,000 pounds of potatoes!
- 87% of potatoes are sold to companies who process the spuds to make chips, fries, and mashed potatoes.
- Washington potatoes have more potassium than a banana.
Source: The Washington State Potato Commission.