“It pokes holes in the skin, which allows steam to escape. Otherwise, they could explode—it doesn’t happen all the time, but it happens every once in a while. The potato is full of water it’s trying to turn to steam, or water vapor. The skin acts like a pressure vessel.
What happens if you don’t poke a potato?
Potatoes can form rupture tears from steam buildup inside, if holes are not poked into them. This doesn’t really hurt them, but the tears can be pretty unsightly when served. So folks just poke holes in them to let the steam out while they’re cooking.
How deep do you poke a potato before baking?
Poke the potatoes with a fork just enough to pierce the skin so the potato won’t burst when baking, especially in the microwave. Four or five times should be plenty. A potato is composed mainly of water, so poking them helps release steam as it cooks.
Why do u poke holes in potatoes?
The Science Behind Baked Potatoes
Raw potatoes are stuffed with starch granules. … Poking holes in a potato before you bake it provides an escape hatch for the steam that builds up inside a potato while it cooks. Without them, a potato might explode during cooking and make a mess inside your oven.
Should you bake potatoes in foil?
Do not wrap potatoes in aluminum foil for baking. Foil holds in moisture and steams the potatoes, resulting in a “boiled” taste and texture. … A baked potato is ready when a fork easily pierces its skin. If the potato is hard, bake it a little longer.
What happens if you dont poke holes in a baked potato?
“Yes, it’s good to prick them,” says Brennan Smith, a faculty member of the School of Food Science at University of Idaho. “It pokes holes in the skin, which allows steam to escape. Otherwise, they could explode—it doesn’t happen all the time, but it happens every once in a while.
Should I microwave my potato before baking?
While microwaving to completely cook the potato will result in a soft and mealy Russet, cooking in the microwave for just 5 to 6 minutes before placing in the oven keeps the potato’s original texture. Drizzling with olive oil and sprinkling with salt before baking at 400 F will allow the skin to get nice and crisp.
Why did my baked potato explode in the oven?
So as more steam builds up inside the potato as it cooks, pressure begins to build. When the pressure is stronger than the potato and its skin can hold, the potato explodes to release pressure and makes a mess in your oven/microwave. To prevent this, simply stab your potato vigorously with a fork before cooking it.
Will a potato explode in the microwave?
When a potato is cooked in the microwave, the internal water boils and produces steam. … Eventually, the built up pressure bursts the potato. Any item with a moist interior and a tough outer skin can explode in the microwave if you don’t create vents by piercing the skin before you microwave it.