slow cooker baked potatoes

Hello, hello! I’m popping in for a quick tease to tomorrow’s recipe. So, let’s say today is a cliff hanger of sorts. You’ve probably already been putting your slow cooker to good use this winter, but in case you haven’t, now is the time to pull it out from whatever closet you’ve tucked it away in (mine lives on the top shelf of the coat closet due to a severe lack of storage space).

A few weeks back, I was working on a piece for Working Mother magazine, and came across a truly eye-opening way of cooking baked potatoes (drum roll, please)—use the slow cooker!

The “recipe” for this was in Judy Hannemann’s The Classic Slow Cooker cookbook. Funny enough, to be filed under the “it’s a small world files”, Judy lives in Woodstock, NY, so I guess that makes us sort of neighbors. This is such a genius method for getting baked potatoes on the dinner table during busy weeknights. I grew up eating lots of baked potatoes, but we rarely ever eat them now; something I intend to rectify now that I’m finally embracing slow cooker cooking (try saying that fast three times). If you’re not new to slow cooking, then this may not be revolutionary, so forgive my rookie excitement. I will say that real baked potatoes will always be my first love. The slow cooker method doesn’t crisp the skin the way I like. Still, being able to pop some potatoes in the slow cooker in the morning, and forgetting about them for 10 hours is pretty awesome, so like the rest of life, it’s all about making compromises.

Slow Cooker Baked Potatoes

Makes 5 to 6

The amount of potatoes depends on the size of your slow cooker. You can always use smaller potatoes, and fit more in that way. I went with larger potatoes, intending to use them as the base for a meal. I found sweet potatoes cooked faster than the russets (8 hours instead of 10 hours), but it’s fine to mix them up; the sweet potatoes won’t overcook. Go for whatever potatoes you love; in New York State, you’ll find plenty of interesting varieties at your local farmers’ market.

5 to 6 medium-large potatoes, scrubbed clean

Aluminum foil

Butter, olive oil & salt, to serve (all optional)

Line a slow cooker with a sheet of foil (this makes for quick & easy clean up).

Using a fork, or sharp paring knife, pierce the potatoes all around so steam can escape as they cook. Arrange the potatoes in a single layer in the slow cooker. Set the cooker to LOW, and cook for 10 hours, until the potatoes are tender, or HIGH for 7 to 8 hours.

Serve hot, with your desired toppings.