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Baked potatoes make the perfect side dish for any meal. Whether you’re having a roast for dinner, poultry, or steak, baked potatoes are a fabulous addition! However, after baking them, you may sometimes notice that they’re undercooked. How do you remedy this problem?
There are basically two ways to fix undercooked baked potatoes: pop them in the microwave or put them back into the oven. Which method you use will depend on how much time passed since baking them and how badly undercooked they are.
While you may be able to get away with just eating the undercooked baked potato, if it’s hardly cooked at all, you will have to fix the issue for it to be safe to consume. Raw potato has a high concentration of solanine, which may cause some health upsets such as digestive issues, nervous system problems, and inflammation.
Information and Steps to Fix Undercooked Baked Potatoes
- About Raw Potatoes
- Step 1: Evaluate the Potato
- Step 2: Choose Your Reheating Method
- Step 3: Check the Potato Again
About Raw Potatoes
In general, raw potatoes will have a bitter taste that turns most individuals off from continuing to eat the uncooked food. Solanine is the primary cause of this taste. The bitterness is a natural deterrent because there is a significant risk of toxicity when it comes to consuming large amounts of solanine.
While taking a bite of a raw potato shouldn’t be a reason to run to the emergency room, it can still trigger some digestive upset. Particularly, diarrhea is a common side effect of eating raw or significantly undercooked potatoes. Additionally, raw potatoes also have things called anti-nutrients, and these can inhibit a person’s digestive enzymes from absorbing nutrients properly.
Step 1: Evaluate the Potato
Before you attempt to fix your undercooked potato, it’s imperative that you evaluate the potato and make note of how long ago you cooked it. The typical “perfect” baked potato should be “fork tender,” meaning that you can take any fork and, once you pierce the skin, the fork should run through it without any resistance.
The level of resistance when checking your potato with a dork is how you gauge just how cooked it is. If you pierce the skin and find it difficult to get the fork into the potato’s flesh, you should leave it to cook for a little while longer. However, if you are able to make it near to the center of the potato with your fork, you should be fine to eat it without any issue.
If you’re trying to check the doneness of your potato after lots of time has elapsed since you actually cooked it, and it appears to be undercooked, you can either reheat the potato in the oven or zap it in the microwave. However, there are other factors that come into play here.
Step 2: Choose Your Reheating Method
The way you choose to reheat and finish cooking your undercooked baked potato will mainly rely on when you initially cooked it. If you have just finished baking it in the oven and find it to still be undercooked, you can simply put it back into the oven. It’s a no-brainer in this regard.
However, if it’s been sitting out on the counter or resting in the refrigerator, you can either use the oven or the microwave to finish up cooking those last few raw bits on the inside. For instances in which you notice rawness after the potato has been sitting out on the counter and has cooled, you can put it in the microwave for a minute or two and then recheck the doneness afterward. This should usually take care of the situation.
From the Refrigerator
If you’re taking your potato out of the fridge, nuke it for about three minutes, but do this in increments of one minute each and allow the potato to rest between each minute. This will allow the heat to work toward the center of the potato without overcooking the outside.
Using the Microwave
If you overcook the potato in the microwave, the texture becomes super mushy with a rubbery-like skin. This is especially true if you caramelized the skin during its initial baking. This makes it not very appetizing and difficult to chew.
Using the Oven
Using the oven to reheat and further cook an undercooked baked potato that’s been sitting in the fridge is more ideal. It does take longer to do compared to using the microwave, but it will heat everything through without creating any texture issues. For the average potato, preheat the oven to 350°F. Pop the baked potato in the oven for about 20 minutes (maybe more depending on how big it is). After this amount of time has passed, check the level of doneness again, and heat it for longer if needed.
Step 3: Check the Potato Again
Regardless of whether you choose to reheat your undercooked baked potato in the microwave or the oven, you still have to check the potato again before you eat it. This will be especially important when using the method of reheating and cooking it the oven after having kept it in the refrigerator.
When checking your potato, you can use the fork method, ensuring it runs through easily and smoothly after piercing the skin. You may also use a steak knife and simply cut into the potato. If the knife sinks into the flesh with no problem, it’s done. In the event that the potato still remains undercooked, put it back into the oven or microwave and continue the reheating process.
For the microwave method, continue cooking your potato in one-minute intervals until the potato cooks all the way through. Put the potato back into the oven in five-minute intervals until the flesh is soft and hot.
How do you avoid undercooking a baked potato?
The best method to avoid undercooking a baked potato is what you do in its initial preparation and cooking stages. Make sure you rinse the potatoes and scrub them well, drying them off with a paper towel after cleaning them. Stab them with a fork and rub each with olive oil all over, and sprinkle them with salt.
Bake them at 450°F for at least 45 minutes before pulling them out of the oven. Wrapping them in foil is a great way to ensure that the heat stays trapped directly around the potatoes and steams them, cooking them all the way through without drying them out. Following these common baked potato cooking steps will ensure that they cook all the way through without issue.