Asked by: Zetta Masanet
food and drink cooking

Why sticking a metal fork into a potato while it is in a hot oven will make it cook faster and more evenly?

Last Updated: 22nd April, 2020

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Potatoes can be partially baked for a fewminutesin the microwave and finished in the oven.Sticking ametal meat skewer or nail through a potatoshortens thecooking time because the hot metalradiates heatto the center of the spud.

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In respect to this, why does putting a nail in a potato help it to bake faster in an oven?

The method by which a potato cooksfasterwith a nail, is that the high thermalconductance of thenail means that more heat is transferredto the center ofthe potato through the nail, thanwould betransferred in through normal thermal conductancefrom the surfaceto the center.

do you have to puncture potatoes before baking? For most of us, it's second nature to poke a few holesinthe skin of a potato before baking it. Asteamy,potato-ey explosion is not something anybody wants intheiroven at dinner time. According to conventional wisdom, a fewquickjabs to a potato with a fork allows steam to escape asitcooks.

Beside above, do you need to poke holes in potatoes before microwaving?

Puncture about four holes in thepotato,with the tip of a sharp knife or a fork. This isimportant, as itallows the steam to escape. It is notnecessary to rub oilon potatoes you are cooking inthe microwave oven.Place the potato on amicrowave-safedish.

What happens if you don't poke holes in a baked potato?

"Yes, it's good to prick them," says Brennan Smith,afaculty member of the School of Food Science at UniversityofIdaho. "It pokes holes in the skin, which allows steamtoescape. Otherwise, they could explode—itdoesn'thappen all the time, but it happens every oncein awhile.

Related Question Answers

Johana

Professional

How long do you bake potatoes with nails?

For more than four potatoes, add 15 minutes tothetime. Prick each potato an inch deep on each side threetofour times with a fork to help release steam so thepotatodoesn't explode. For a conventional oven,bake thepotatoes for 60 minutes at 350°F. For aconvectionoven, bake the potatoes for 60minutes at325°F.

Chada Grunther

Professional

Why does sticking a metal skewer through the middle of a potato make it cook faster?

Smaller potatoes have fewer particles, soheattakes less time to reach the centre. b) Why doesstickinga metal skewer through the middle of a potato make itcookfaster? Heat will be conducted through theskewerinto the centre of the potato and itwill cookfrom the inside out.

Naray Cortezon

Professional

Do potatoes cook faster than sweet potatoes?

As a rule of thumb, russets take slightly longertocook than sweet potatoes. But your cookingmethodmakes a difference in cooking times –sometimesrussets and sweet potatoes can cook in thesameamount of time. Size also matters, because a largesweetpotato may take more time to cook than atinyrusset.

Otar Divi

Explainer

What do potato nails do?

In its most basic form, a“potatonail” is an actual steel nailstuck lengthwiseinto a potato to help it bake faster andmore evenly. Thetheory is that the nail facilitates this byconducting heatdirectly into the center of thepotato.

Tanzila Bauman

Explainer

Can you overbake potatoes?

Failures are rare because it's difficulttooverbake a potato and in fact, some peoplepreferpotatoes baked as long as two hours. However, ifyouforget about the potato and leave it in the ovenfor manyhours, the result is a shriveled, tough,inediblepotato.

Katy Arregui

Explainer

Is it safe to microwave a potato in a plastic bag?

As per research to microwave potatoesinpolyethylene bags is not safe. Microwaveworkson the principle of energizing the hydro-oxy (H2O) moleculesin thefood and thus generate heat cooking stuff. The processconsists ofheating of food from centre towards outersurface.

Flaviano Garrigos

Pundit

Do you wrap potatoes in foil to bake?

Some say wrapping baked potatoes inaluminumfoil helps them cook faster (aluminumconducts heat,then traps it), and it does keep them hot for longeronce they comeout of the oven, which is why we think restaurantsuse this method.Wrapping potatoes will also give youa softer,steamed skin, if that's what you like.

Aureliano Perschel

Pundit

Can you use cling wrap to bake a potato in the microwave?

Microwave Baked Potatoes
Poke potato with a fork 6-10 times, allaroundpotato. Turn potato over and cook,coveredwith plastic wrap, for 2 more minutes. Poke with afork tosee if it is soft all the way through. If potatoyieldseasily to the fork, it's done.

Najim Zugazua

Pundit

How long should I put a potato in the microwave?

  1. Scrub the potato, and prick several time with the tines ofafork. Place on a plate.
  2. Cook on full power in the microwave for 5 minutes. Turnover,and continue to cook for 5 more minutes. When the potato issoft,remove from the microwave, and cut in half lengthwise.
  3. Top with remaining cheese and sour cream, and serve.

Baboucarr Truyol

Pundit

Can you microwave 2 potatoes at once?

If cooking two or morepotatoes,microwave an additional 5 minutes. Checkthepotatoes. When done, the potatoes should beeasilypierced with a fork or paring knife all the way to thecenter.Continue to microwave in 1-minute bursts as neededuntil thepotatoes are cooked through.

Lauretta Roseta

Pundit

Is it safe to microwave a potato?

The combination of high temperature and water usedincooking potatoes in a microwave can haveadverseeffect on its nutrition content. Also microwaving apotatowithout pricking a few holes on its skin may lead to anexplosioninside the oven.

Auria Quer

Teacher

Can you bake potatoes ahead of time?

You can actually bake them aheadoftime and keep them warm for up to 6 hours beforeyouneed to have them ready. Learn how to makebakedpotatoes for a crowd, the easy way!

Farhan Hombert

Teacher

How do you microwave a baked potato in Saran Wrap?

Method #2: Shortcut BakedPotatoHow-To
Then, wrap 'em in plastic wrap and popitinto a microwave for 5 minutes. (If you use this trickalot, you can even invest in or make a reusable potatosack.)Then, carefully remove your plastic wrap andplacepotatoes on a baking sheet. Season with oil,salt andpepper.

Ollie Rumpff

Teacher

Why do you need to poke holes in a potato before baking it?

Poking holes in a potato before you bakeitprovides an escape hatch for the steam that builds up insideapotato while it cooks. Without them, a potatomightexplode during cooking and make a mess insideyouroven.

Italo Zarca

Reviewer

Why do potatoes explode in the microwave?

When a potato is cooked in themicrowave,the internal water boils and produces steam.Eventually, the builtup pressure bursts the potato. Any itemwith a moistinterior and a tough outer skin can explode in themicrowaveif you don't create vents by piercing the skin beforeyoumicrowave it.

Oskia Oancea

Reviewer

Why did my baked potato explode in the oven?

So as more steam builds up inside the potato asitcooks, pressure begins to build. When the pressure is strongerthanthe potato and its skin can hold, the potatoexplodesto release pressure and makes a mess in youroven/microwave.To prevent this, simply stab yourpotato vigorously with afork before cookingit.

Octavian Navas

Reviewer

Do you need to poke a sweet potato before baking?

Put the sweet potatoes in the bakingpanand, using the tip of the knife, poke them in a fewplacesto make teeny holes (so the steam can escape whilethey'rebaking). Once the oven temperature has reached425degrees, carefully put the baking pan in the ovenandbake until tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Aitziber Balazs

Reviewer

Do you have to stab baked potatoes?

(NO I didn't stab myself with a fork! Okay, yesIdid.) The reason you're poking holes alloveris to simply allow some of the built-up steam to escape fromtheinside of the potato as it cooks. Cook for about onehour,more or less, depending on their size.

Ranee Vazoo

Supporter

Do you poke holes in potatoes before grilling?

Dry potato skins absorb oil, butter andseasoningsbetter, making the potatoes more flavorful.Poke holesin the potatoes. Before wrappingyour potatoesin foil, use a fork to poke a fewholes across theskin. This allows the heat to vent from thepotatoes for evencooking.