Which type of potato is best for baking then holding for a couple of hours?

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by laurenlulu, Nov 21, 2014.

  1. laurenlulu

    laurenlulu

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    How do we prevent a potato that has been baked then held from firming up and losing its fluffiness? Are russets the best for this (because of the high starch content) or is there a better variety for this use? Thank you for your help.

    Lauren
     
  2. meezenplaz

    meezenplaz

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    I've actually had the LEAST success with russets in holding and losing their texture.

    I think BECAUSE of the high starch, but opinions may differ.

    My choice are medium starch taters, purps and yukes, maybe reds.

    I suppose it also depends what you're trying to do with them.

    What kind are you using now?
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2014
  3. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

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    I never liked wrapping them.  I also don't think putting them in a bread warmer drawer with humidity is a good idea.  Your best bet is making sure you oil or butter the skins before you cook them and hold them in a dry oven.
     
  4. laurenlulu

    laurenlulu

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    Its for a new restaurant that opens in a week so we have no idea how many covers to expect.. I work in a retirement community now so my numbers there are fairly consistent and excess gets saved for OBrien or home fries. Thank you for sharing your experiences :)
     
  5. petalsandcoco

    petalsandcoco

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    Lauren, I would definitely go with the russets and dress the skins and hold in dry oven as Kuan mentioned.
     
  6. meezenplaz

    meezenplaz

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    Hmm somehow missed your 2nd post.

    I retract....if they'll be second-day-repurposed for Obrien or home fries etc, definitely use the russet.

    Just be sure to not overcook in them the first time, so they don't fall apart the second time.
     
  7. oldschool1982

    oldschool1982

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    Years ago I ran across Colorado Russets. They seemed to hold up best if they stayed on hold in the oven a bit longer than I liked and the holding drawer didn't adversely affect them. Also baked them at 450-500 and this, combined with an oiled skin made the interior of the potato fluff like nothing else and they had a fairly unique taste too.

    As far as the issue you're asking about, I tend to lean toward the idea that there is a higher moisture present in potatoes today...more so than years ago. Grading sucks now too as more and more Utilities are being sold as count potatoes. Kinda like how choice with beef became such a wide-spread margin a few years ago. Anyhow and for what ever reason, probably economical, maybe they're not held in the silo's for as long as they once were and that allows them to be greener and contain more moisture. That will affect the potato even if it's held for more than 5 minutes.

    Unless you're willing to time potatoes to come out every 5 minutes....I've seen it done with limited success but at some point you can't cover the board and that makes it a though one to work out. 

    Good luck.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2014
  8. laurenlulu

    laurenlulu

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    Thanks for the advice everyone, I appreciate y'all more than you know :)
     
  9. spoiledbroth

    spoiledbroth

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    holding for a couple hours??? Have to weight in here and shake my head at that.. Why a couple hours?
     
  10. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

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    Because.  Different needs.  Don't judge.
     
  11. spoiledbroth

    spoiledbroth

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    Uh... ok. I question how healthful/high quality the end product will be.
     
  12. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

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    As good as can be given that it has to be held for 2 hours?
     
  13. oldschool1982

    oldschool1982

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    @laurenlulu

    For what it's worth, and having done at least a dozen and a half new openings.........

    Just keep a dozen or so potatoes rotating through the oven coming out every 10 minutes from the start. Then, 30 minutes prior to the heaviest load of reservations decrease the interval to 5 minutes. That's if the potato is only offered with a few items. If it's ala carte or available with everything, just adjust. Assuming you are booked from the start, you should be able to tell through the second pull whether you're covered and can make adjustments from there easily. The other option is to keep'em fired until you're comfortable. You can always special them as twice baked, potato salad, scoop for skins on a bar freebee or soup. It's a too low a cost item to sweat over but the penalty if you run out can cost you dearly. I mean, I wouldn't want to have 2 cases remaining but it's a new opening and pulling off a successful first night is the objective.

    Wish I was closer in time to the last time I did this. I mean I could be more helpful but my last new opening was in 1999.

    Definitely....Good Luck!
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2014
    spoiledbroth likes this.
  14. laurenlulu

    laurenlulu

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    Spoiled, not having a frame of reference to use to tell what the cover count may be or what items will sell is a tough one for me. The steady rotation hadn't occurred to me and even now that its been advised, do I rotate 10 at a time? 20? It will also depend on the day of the week.. so I stand by the question I asked about holding. I am neither ignorant nor a novice in the kitchen, just new to the situation. Kuan and old school, thank you.
     
  15. oldschool1982

    oldschool1982

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    Look at your reservations. I'd like to say there was a formula that I've used and maybe at one time there was but you have to go by gut and what you've available on your menu for sides. If it were me, I'd split the difference with 15, drop to ten and then go to 20. the worst case is you hang an order on 1 or two for a couple minutes but it's better than sending out a sub par product. Avoid the idea of nuking them for that minute or two. Better to walk out to a table and explain you've run out and are waiting for the potato  you want them to have than sending out a product you probably wouldn't eat yourself. I really hate nuked potatoes.

    Anyhow, it's a feel for the night and you'll get better at it the deeper you get into the week. Just remember that it's opening week and the rules or suggestions given can easily be run-over like they didn't matter. I remember one opening at steak house in Atlanta, I was the Exec Sous for this opening we were so overwhelmed with steaks, yeah I know key word being Steakhouse but I swear, the whole team believed the mix would be spread over the whole menu! Anyhow, we had a non-convection type Vulcan char-broiler and it went down like the Titanic. It wasn't pretty and I was the one working it. The steaks were steaming themselves and not charring properly. We adjusted, threw steaks on everything we could and then had a double drawer convection type over-night shipped for the next service. There was another that we did a soft open and planned just for that. Trouble was we did $25,000 in the first 6 hours of being open. Not very soft!! Granted those are two extreme example's but if there's one thing I learned opening for a big chain.......be more like a willow in the wind, with your branches moving freely and less like the mighty oak that snaps off because it's so ridged. Have fun! It's the first week. You'll have plenty of time to make adjustments just be calm, focused and ready for anything. 
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2014
  16. chefedb

    chefedb

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    For years we used Idaho russets 90 count  washed rubbed with oil and baked on sheetpans on top of kosher course salt
     
  17. cheflayne

    cheflayne

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    I pretty much ditto this method or some variation thereof.

    Haven't done it in decades but I am sure it still works welll... russets brushed with melted butter, rolled in rock salt, into oven, rock salt brushed and/or rubbed off as part of plating procedure.

    It may not be THE optimal method for a baked potato (but it also could be, I am pretty much far removed from restaurant baked potatoes these days, although I do love to eat them, to really form an opinion) but it is a time tested method that should serve you well initially.

    After being open for awhile and a better idea on anticipated numbers is developed, the baked potato methodology can always be tweaked and refined.

    As for numbers for baking rotation, how many plates do you anticipate being able to push through the window in an hour. Initially I would probably use a target of 75% of that number per rotation.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2014