50 potatoes, medium white, baked 1 medium potato
PLUS 3 cups olive oil, 1/4 cup salt, 2 tablespoons pepper to coat; scrub brushes, fork, baking pans

Drying potatos prior to baking

Drying potatos prior to baking

[ ] Butter or margarine
[ ] Broccoli, partially cooked, chopped
[ ] Cheese, shredded: Cheddar, Parmesan, Mozzarella or Monterey
[ ] Cottage cheese
[ ] 2 #10 cans Chili con carne
[ ] Chives, dehydrated 1/2 teaspoon serving= 1 cup
[ ] green onions, chopped
[ ] crisp bacon bits
[ ] Onions, chopped
[ ] Sour cream
[ ] Ranch dressing

The potato bar is a popular way to serve baked potatoes along with various toppings.

Prepare the potatoes:
First, clean and season the potatoes. Scrub the potatoes under cold running water. Use a wire brush to remove all dirt and rough patches of the skin. Remove any sprouts or eyes with the tip of a potato peeler or a small spoon. Trim off any green patches. Pat dry with paper towels or clean dry kitchen towels.

Use a stainless steel fork to poke holes into the potatoes (minimum 8 per potato) but don’t do this far ahead of time, or the potatoes will be full of brown marks from oxidation. This shortens baking time and keeps the potatoes from bursting in the oven.
In a shallow pan, whisk oil and seasonings, roll the potatoes in the oil.

To Foil or Not to Foil?
It’s no longer recommended to wrap baking potatoes in foil unless they will be served immediately. Besides causing a soft, wet skin, the moist area between the outside of the potato and the foil can be a breeding ground for bacteria, especially bad if the potatoes will be held before serving.

Cook the potatoes

For oven baking, loosely arrange the potatoes on baking sheets. None should be touching. Check the oven fit. The pans should allow at least 1 inch of air between the oven wall and the edge of the pan on every side.

1. Place the raw potatoes into coolers to determine how many and what size coolers you need to hold all the potatoes.
2. Preheat the oven(s) to the highest setting (minimum 500F).
3. Bake the potatoes in the thoroughly preheated oven for 30 minutes.
4. While your potatoes are baking, fill the coolers with hot (not boiling) water and replace the covers.

NOTE: Check the potatoes for doneness with a toothpick. The potatoes are done when tender through to the center. They actually feel soft when rolled in your gloved hand.

5. When you are about to take your potatoes out, empty the hot water and quickly dry out the coolers.
6. Immediately load the potatoes into the preheated coolers. Place the lid on immediately and LEAVE COVERED TIGHTLY.
7. Bake the next batch and when done add to the first batch.

Cook’s Note: The potatoes will continue to cook in the preheated cooler. They need to hold at least 45 minutes and will remain hot for serving for up to 6 hours. Using this method, the potatoes can be transported safely; just remember the coolers will be HOT and HEAVY.

NOTE: For best texture, wearing dry oven gloves, gently roll the fully baked uncut potatoes to fluff the potato before opening. If done correctly, the skins will not burst, but the potatoes will feel soft or tender in the hand.

Toppings and Bar Set Up
Prepare cold toppings ahead. Keep refrigerated and covered until ready to serve. Serve on bed of ice.
Prepare hot toppings. Keep hot (above 160 degrees) until served. Serve from crock pot.

Serving Suggestion:
To serve potatoes, cut a large “X” on top of each potato and push up sides and ends. The fluffy potato will balloon out of the skin very attractively, ready to absorb the delicious toppings.

Food Safety Rules:
1. Serve no more than will be eaten in 1 hour, MAX.
2. Cold items should be tiered on ice, hot items kept above 160 degrees
3. Replenish potato bar as needed.
4. Toppings which have been at room temperature CANNOT be returned to the refrigerator and must be discarded.
5. Do not add fresh toppings to old toppings; let the dish be emptied and replace the entire serving container.