Does a foil wrapped potato cook faster?

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by cookfab, Apr 29, 2013.

  1. cookfab

    cookfab

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    Does a foil wrapped potato cook faster than an unwrapped potato in an oven?
     
  2. petemccracken

    petemccracken

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    Faster? I'm not certain.

    What I AM certain of is that a foil wrapped potato steams rather than bakes.
     
     
    jim berman likes this.
  3. berndy

    berndy

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    No, it takes time for the heat to get thru the foil!
     
  4. petalsandcoco

    petalsandcoco

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    Foil is a conductor of heat, would it cook a potato faster ? I would believe so. How much faster ? Who knows ? It probably shaves 10-15 minutes off the cooking time.
    I agree with Pete, it is steamed .
    The textures of the flesh of the potatoes are very different. I find the foil wrapped are softer in texture whereas the other is granular (right word ? ) feel .
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2013
  5. allanmcpherson

    allanmcpherson

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    Yeah, it cooks faster, no question. Its the same principle as the stall in bbq. What the foil does in inhibit surface evapouration, or cooling. As your spud cooks it lets off water through evapouration, cooling the surface on the skin. Same way we sweat while running. Picture running in a rain coat, thats what the foil does. You still sweat, but you actually get hotter.

    As far as Pete's comment goes, right on the money. You get a similar effect to foil by bathing the potato in oil, without sacrificing the intense flavour of roasting. Bonus points for roasting skin on potatoes ina salt crust.

    Al
     
  6. siduri

    siduri

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    For me, you might as well just boil it as bake it in foil.  Not quite the same but definitely doesn't bring the qualities that you want in a baked potato - nice somewhat chewy skin, drier interior that sops up butter or sour cream.   But yes it's faster but no, it's no longer really a baked potato!

    I read somewhere, and it made sense, to put a metal skewer through the potato to conduct some heat into the center.  I've never tried it, but I wonder if anyone here ever has. 

    When i'm in a hurry, i put them in the microwave (mine has many settings, including oven and grill) and put the microwave to the minimum (90) and the oven to the maximum (450) and it makes a quick baked potato that is certainly better than the ones in foil. 
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2013
  7. flipflopgirl

    flipflopgirl

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    The micro makes a great "preheater" (is that a word) for lots of things, but had never thought of using it for bakers.

    Great tip, Siduri.

    I like to oil a few nice russets, roll in cracked salt and pepper and then toss on my pizza stone to bake.

    The crust turns out nice and crispy.

    mimi
     
  8. petalsandcoco

    petalsandcoco

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  9. ed buchanan

    ed buchanan

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    Yes!!

    Only1 problem ,now its not baked its 1/2 steamed. because you are not letting steam out that forms when heat meets liquid content of potato

         . To bake correctly wash, punch a hole or 2  oil it and if possible bake it at 400 on a rock salt base. Comes out great all the time and taste  like a baked potato used to taste like.
     
  10. maryb

    maryb

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    Never foil, never microwave a baked potato, ruins the skin and the texture. I love to wash them, sprinkle with S&P then toss on the smoker
     
  11. thefloatingchef

    thefloatingchef

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    I myself have done this.. But don't know if it cooked any quicker, as I didn't have a potato with out a skewer through it to see the diff.
     
  12. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    I get great results by par boiling the potato first, helps retain moisture. Then I smear with olive oil and salt and wrap in foil before placing directly into the ashes. The skin comes out perfectly brown and crisp and the inside is creamy and fluffy.  Sometimes no foil and place directly on the grate.  I don't put them in the oven, what's the point?
     
  13. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

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    I cheat.  At home I microwave it, then coat in olive oil, s+p, the roast it at high heat.
     
  14. dcarch

    dcarch

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    Space satellites are wrapped in reflective foil to reject solar heat.

    Aluminum is a very good reflector of infrared (heat).

    dcarch 
     
  15. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

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    Yeah?  But does it reflect more heat than it retains?
     
  16. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    Why speculate on cooking times?  If you can't find a trustworthy source like McGee, go empirical.  Potatoes and aluminum foil are cheap enough.  Get twenty pounds of bakers, divide them into lots by size, split each lot in half, wrap one half in aluminum foil, and bake them, ten lbs at a time.  In a couple of hours, you'll have a large enough data set to know what bakes faster and/or tastes better to within a standard deviation. 

    Speculatory inference based on poorly remembered magazine articles and high school physics is speculatory inference based on poorly remembered magazine articles and high-school physics. 

    BDL
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2013
  17. jersey lane

    jersey lane

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    Let's say yes it does cook faster but don't serve one to an Irish chef.  I like the texture of the oven baked potato crisp skin and a powdery interior with the pungent aroma that escapes when the spud is opened.  The foil baked retains a little too much moisture and the flesh remains firm, the skin a little slimy for my visual liking and not so pleasant to eat. For me a component of a simply baked potato is the eating of the skin. In classical cooking we used to bake the potato on a bed of coarse salt to aid cooking.  I expect this is a similar mechanical process as baking bread on cornmeal. When in London last year one of my renowned baker buddies assured me that the cornmeal enhanced cooking time cooling time and inhibited browning on the underside. The miniature baked potatoes I have posted on my web page at stinsoncatering.webs.com were all free baked.  What a subject, now we should ask when using foil what's best shiny side in or out, good luck with that one!
     
  18. dcarch

    dcarch

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    Google Image "Fireproof suit"

    You will see they are made of reflective material. Not Speculatory inference of high school physics, IMHO.

    Next to silver, I believe aluminum has the highest heat reflecting property.

    dcarch
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2013
  19. siduri

    siduri

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    One thing is a reflective material at a distance from the body, with some sort of padding, another is to be wrapped in foil in contact with the body.    And if aluminum is not a good conductor, then maybe i should throw out all my aluminum-base pans? 

    Besides,  steam cooks things very quickly, and so the wrapping in aluminum foil keeps the steam inside, as others have said.  There's not just the contact heat but also the steam.  Without the foil the steam escapes.  Steam is hotter than water, and in contact with the inside of the potato.   If you didn't have the problem of melting or burning, you could probably wrap it in plastic, but it would probably steam it anyway..   The steam cooks it faster, but of course, then it comes out steamed not baked.  Still trying to figure out why, as koukouvagia says, if  you put it in the ashes, it browns anyway, maybe because it has a direct contact with the heat source, and not just hot air around it - a guess. 

    Life is complex, and many factors are involved.  As anyone knows who has had to deal with stupid multiple choice tests, when in doubt the longest answer is usually right, because most things are complex -  as i presume are the fireproof suits.  Under the layer of aluminum  there are probably other layers of polymer substances that resist melting and make a layer of air surrounding the body, protecting it.  I'd guess  that if you wrapped the potato in several layers of newspaper and THEN in foil it would take a lot more time to cook, not less,  than if you had newspaper and not foil. 

    BDL- there are some hypotheses, now you can go test them with your several tons of potatoes /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif. 
     
  20. ed buchanan

    ed buchanan

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    Jersey Lane  chef and I are in same ballpark.  W hen baked potatoes were d\first done, there was no aluminum foil.