I’ve mentioned before that I eat based on the Paleo Diet/Lifestyle. White potatoes are a not an option for me, as they contain saponins. Sweet potatoes do not. Sweet potatoes also grow like wildfire in my poor sandy soil, and love heat, another thing I have plenty of. So today, I’m going to show you how to bake sweet potatoes without heat. This method also works with white potatoes for you non believers
One of the best part of a baked potato, sweet or white, is a crispy skin. The way I’ve found to get that is to oil the potato and then wrap it with aluminum foil. So start with that.
Now for the no-heat part. Baking potatoes requires an oven…at 350-ish, for an hour. That heats up a kitchen a lot. And since it is in the mid 90’s here on a regular basis in the summer, its really not an option… and apparently, asking your neighbor to bake them for you doesn’t work well either…it seems its just as hot in their yard as it is here.
So how do you bake potatoes without heat?
Honestly, you don’t. But you can localize the heat to a very small area, and eliminate the excess heat given off by the oven. You do this with a crock pot.
Simply place the foil-wrapped `taters in the crock pot, put the lid on, and either cook it on high for 3-4 hours, or on low for 6-8. For this demo, I opted for the quick method, so I could have my baked sweet potatoes for lunch. By setting this up in the morning before work, you can determine if you want the baked taters ready for lunch or dinner.
Not only does it create less heat, it also uses less energy, saving you money. According to the char below (sourced from here), the energy usage of the crock pot is about 1/4 of what is used by the electric oven doing the same cooking. Only the gas oven rivals the efficiency of the crock pot for this cooking method, but the gas oven still heats up the kitchen.
|Electric Oven||350||1 hour||2.0 kWh||$.16|
|Electric Convection Oven||325||45 minutes||1.39 kWh||$.11|
|Gas Oven||350||1 hour||.112 therm||$.07|
|Electric Crockpot||200||7 hour||.7 kWh||$.06|
Now I mentioned crispy skin. Due to the lid being on the crock pot, the skins are rather moist. I intend to try out opening the lid a bit for the last hour or so to try to dry the skins a bit more. But other than that, the end result is a fantastic baked potato, and doesn’t make the kitchen as hot as a Death Valley sauna.
I like to make 6-8 at a time, and throw the left over `taters in the fridge to be eaten later. Simply reheat for 45 seconds in the microwave, then smother with butter. And bacon. And then MORE bacon. Mmmmmmmmm….
In fact, as soon as I submit this article, I’m going to go eat one for breakfast…with my butter 😛
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