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If you’ve heard of jacket potatoes, then you know that it involves a nicely baked potato, with a generous helping of canned beans poured into the fluffy potato. Many would use some foil to wrap around the raw potato before popping it into the oven. Others take a more simpler approach, and make a few deep slits inside the potato, before placing it in the microwave. It’s so satisfying when you pull open the microwave door, and meet your perfectly crisp potato, with a delicately fluffy exterior, waiting to be soaked with the hot red saucy beans. If you’re wondering how to bake a potato in a convection oven, then you might want to keep reading!
Table of Contents
- What is a Convection Oven?
- When Should You Use the Convection Setting?
- Can You Use a Convection Oven for Baking a Potato?
- What Temperature Should You Cook a Baked Potato?
- How Long to Bake Potatoes in a Convection Oven?
- How to Bake Potatoes in a Convection Oven?
- Serve Your Potatoes
- Baked Potato Toppings
- Baking a Potato in a Convection Oven
What is a Convection Oven?
A convection oven has a fan and exhaust system that a regular oven does not. The fan and exhaust help blow hot oven air over and around the food, then vent it back out. As a result, this hot air surrounds the food so that it cools evenly and quickly.
Using a convection oven would mean that your food will cook quicker, as hot air is being blown directly onto your food, rather than blowing around it; food cooks about 25% faster in a convection oven. The food will cook evenly, as the fan will circulate the air to help even out the temperature variances. A convection oven is also great at browning foods. Essentially it creates a dry atmosphere that caramelises the sugars faster when roasting, so foods like meat and vegetables get browner, while the interiors stay moist.
When Should You Use the Convection Setting?
There are many benefits to convection, although they still have a regular oven setting. This is mainly due to the fact that depending on the dish you’re making, you might not want hot air flying around the oven all the time. So if you’re wondering when it is appropriate to use the convection setting then have a look below:
- Baking Pies and Pastries
- Baking Cookies
- Cooking Foods with a Cover
- Toasting or Dehydrating
Foods that are roasted, like meats, vegetables actually benefit from convectional cooking. They cook quicker, more evenly and the drier environment encourages a crisper exterior, and caramelises the outside of foods to perfection.
Baking Pies and Pastries
Convection heat melts fat and creates steam faster, which helps create that incredible lift in pie doughs and pastries like croissants.
The convection setting will allow you to bake more than one tray of cookies at a time, evenly, without the need to rotate them midway through baking.
Cooking Foods with a Cover
If you’re covering up the food with a lid, like a braise, or covering a casserole dish with foil, moisture loss won’t be an issue, so its best to cook on a convection sitting since it’ll cook much quicker.
Toasting or Dehydrating
When toasting or dehydrating food, the goal is to remove moisture as quickly as possible, consequently a convection oven is far more efficient than a regular oven.
Can You Use a Convection Oven for Baking a Potato?
Cooking your potatoes to baked perfection is quite ecstatic to achieve when using a convection oven. In fact there isn’t much a convection oven can’t cook! A convection oven will cook at a faster pace, but with a much lower temperature than your regular oven. There are certain methods that’ll help acquire that irresistibly golden and crispy exterior, and you don’t need a foil or an oven tray!
What Temperature Should You Cook a Baked Potato?
You can bake your potato at a temperature as low as 300F, but if you wish to have them cook quicker, up to 375F will work too. The flexibility of temperature makes it much easier for when you plan to cook more than one type of food in your oven. If you want to roast some vegetables to have on the side, or perhaps some fish sticks, you can easily match the other item’s temperature needs. You should also know that the higher the temperature you cook at, the crustier your potato skins will be. Similarly when cooking at a very high temperature, with the hopes of the food cooking faster, you might end up burning the entirety of it instead.
How Long to Bake Potatoes in a Convection Oven?
The time it takes for your baked potato to cook will depend on the size of your potato, and the temperature you had set your oven to be preheated to. Undercooking your potatoes will cause them to be hard when cutting in to them, and overcooking them will dry them out. Here’s a mini guide to highlight what this means:
Medium Sized Potatoes (About 5 ounces)
- Cook for 90 minutes at 300 degrees
- Cook for 60 minutes at 325 degrees
- Cook for 45 minutes at 375 degrees
Large Potatoes (Eight to 10 ounces)
- Cook for 80 minutes at 325 degrees
- Cook for 60 minutes at 375 degrees
How to Bake Potatoes in a Convection Oven?
Now that you’re aware of the beneficial elements in cooking most of your food in a convection oven, perhaps you’d want to try cooking a potato, in hopes to achieve the perfect crispy exterior, with a beautifully soft interior. Take a look at these simple and easy steps below:
- Choose Your Potatoes
- Wash Your Potatoes
- Pierce Your Potatoes
- Grease Your Potatoes
- Salt Your Potatoes
- Cook Your Potatoes
- Check if They’re Cooked Properly
- Serve Your Potatoes
Choose Your Potatoes
If you prefer to have a soft and fluffy baked potato, you’ll want to choose a potato variety that has a high starch content. King Edward and Desiree are two types of varieties. They’re also suitable for crisping up as their skin doesn’t hold moisture very well.
Russet potatoes, commonly known as Idaho potatoes, are also great for baking. If you’re baking more than one potato, try to select potatoes similar in size when you’re at the store. This way, they’ll all have roughly the same cooking time, simplifying the cooking process.
Wash Your Potatoes
Once you’ve selected your perfect potatoes for baking, rinse them under cold water and scrub the skins off them well. You can use a stiff bristle brush to scrub your potatoes ready for cooking and eating. Don’t forget you’ll be devouring the delicious and potentially crispy skins of these potatoes, so remove any discoloured spots or bruises that you can see on the surface of the vegetable with the tip of your knife.
Once you’re done cleaning each potato dry them thoroughly with a paper towel and set them down on a chopping board. At this point, you don’t want to soak them for long, as you won’t want to get them soggy. You shouldn’t use hot water because this will start softening the outside of the potatoes, and the insides won’t be able to keep up.
Pierce Your Potatoes
Using your knife, you need to pierce each potato deeply several times, at approximately one-inch intervals. Doing this allows the steam to escape during the cooking process. Forgetting to do this may cause them to explode and make a terrible mess of the oven.
Grease Your Potatoes
You can use olive oil, butter, or any other cooking oil (vegetable oil, canola oil, etc). Pour a small amount of oil or melted butter into your palm and rub it into each potato skin, covering every inch.
Salt Your Potatoes
Now that you’re potatoes are shimmering with grease, the salt will stick to them easily, and they’ll be ready to bake. Pour out some coarse grain salt onto a plat and roll each potato over it until they’re light coated in salt.
Depending on what you’re planning to eat your potatoes with, you could also add some spices or seasonings to the salt to make a mixture. Try using some garlic powder, onion powder, or Cajun seasoning to make those potato skins even more scrumptious.
Cook Your Potatoes
Your potatoes are ready to cook, so place each potato directly on to the rack. It doesn’t matter where you place them in the oven, they’ll cook perfectly. Your potatoes will start to brown where they’re touching the rack, so flip them over halfway through cooking to prevent them from over-browning.
You can also place a baking tray or sheet of aluminium foil on the shelf directly underneath the potatoes to help make the clean up a tad easier.
Check if They’re Properly Cooked
There are several ways to check that the baked potatoes are cooking properly. The most reliable and efficient way is to use a meat thermometer, which should read 210 degrees Fahrenheit when they’re ready. If you don’t have a meat thermometer, you can simply stick a fork into the potato, or give them a squeeze with an oven mitt.
If you’re using a fork, it should pierce the skin, sink into, and pull out of the potato flesh easily when it’s done. If you’re using an oven mitt, the potatoes should submit easily when you squeeze them, which will tell you that you’re ready.
Serve Your Potatoes
When you’re satisfied with the softness of your potatoes, remove them from the oven, and slit them open on the top with a long and wide cross. Using your thumbs and index fingers, pinch the edges of the potato and push down into them to encourage the fluffy interior to pop up slightly. Be careful when doing, this, as the potato will be very hot releasing lots of steam, especially if its freshly pulled out of the oven.
Baked Potato Toppings
You might stick to traditional potato toppings like butter, cheese or sour cream. However, you can also transform your baked potato into an entire meal with the right toppings. For instance, let’s take a look at the variety of different, delicious toppings that you can go for:
- Cheesy Coleslaw
- Tuna Mayonnaise with Red Onion
- Shrimp Mayonnaise and Shredded Iceberg Lettuce
- Chilli Con Carne
- Baked Beans and Cheese
- Hummus, Olives and Tomatoes
A combination of two of my favourites when loading baked potatoes with potent toppings, delicious, and delicate enough to satisfy every craving. The perfect comfort food. Try this deliciously tangy coleslaw, terrific every time, perfect for dunking on top of a freshly baked potato, steam breaking through the cool topping. Here’s what you’ll need:
- 400g of white cabbage
- 1 large red onion
- 2 carrots peeled
- 300ml fraiche
- 200ml mayonnaise
- 175g mature cheddar grated
- 1 tbsp mild mustard
Thinly slice the cabbage and onion and coarsely grate the carrots. Put all the ingredients into a large bowl and mix well. Cover and refrigerate or serve instantly.
Tuna Mayonnaise with Red Onion
Tuna salad is a light and refreshing comfort food classic. Made with a few contrasting ingredients, such as canned tuna, mayonnaise, onion and celery, it’s the perfect combination of creamy and crispy. Serve this in a sandwich, wrap it in lettuce, or stuff it into an avocado half for a healthy snack. A perfectly delicious tuna salad, thrown on top of a freshly baked potato is the epitome of scrumptious evening meal. For this baked potato topping you’ll need:
- Canned tuna
- Finely diced red onion
- 2 tbsp parsley
- 1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard
- Salt and Pepper
To begin with, you’ll need to drain your tuna. Place the drained tuna in a medium-sized bowl, then add the mayonnaise, celery, red onion, parsley, and Dijon mustard to the bowl. Use a fork to mix everything, while breaking up any large pieces of tuna. Season with salt and pepper, and enjoy with a freshly baked crisp potato!
Shrimp Mayonnaise and Shredded Iceberg Lettuce
A very simple salad, that includes nothing but highly seasoned shrimp, iceberg lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise. A mighty fine salad, that will taste impeccable when paired with a crispy, fluffy baked potato. Here’s what you’ll need for this recipe:
- 1 large head iceberg lettuce
- 1 1/2 pound small to medium shrimp, peeled, deveined and patted dry
- 1 tbsp cooking oil
- 1/2 tsp cooking oil
- 1/2 tsp Cajun seasoning
- 1/2 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup mayo
- 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
- Kosher salt, and freshly cracked black pepper
- Wash and drain the lettuce but do not spin it. Tear it into bite sized pieces and set it aside in a large lidded storage bowl.
- Heat the oil in a large skillet, over medium high heat, add the shrimp and sprinkle with Cajun seasonings and Old Bay.
- Sauté just until they’re pink and set it aside to cool
- Toss the lettuce with mayonnaise
- Top with tomatoes and their juice, season with salt and pepper, and add to the cooled shrimp, tossing again.
- Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate, giving it a toss every now and then to mix it up. You might prefer the taste of this salad, when it’s cold, contrasting perfectly with your piping hot baked potato.
Chilli Con Carne
This great chilli recipe, has to be one of the best toppings to serve over a baked potato, an easy favourite that’ll quickly use most of your cupboard’s ingredients. You’ll need:
- 1 large onion
- 1 red pepper
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 heaped tsp hot chilli powder
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 500g lean minced beef
- 1 beef stock cube
- 400g chopped tomatoes
- 1/2 tsp dried marjoram
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2 tbsp tomato puree
- 410g can red kidney beans
- Start by preparing your vegetables. Chop 1 large onion into small dices. Cut 1 red pepper in half lengthways, remove the stalk and wash the seeds away, then chop.
- Peel and finely chop 2 garlic cloves. Start cooking, put your pan on the hob over medium heat.
- Add 1 tablespoon of oil and leave it for 1 to 2 minutes until hot.
- Add the onion and cook stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, or until the onion is soft, squidgy and slightly translucent.
- Tip in the garlic, red pepper, 1 heaped teaspoon of hot chilli powder or 1 tablespoon of mild chilli powder, 1 teaspoon of paprika and teaspoon of ground cumin.
- Give it a good stir, and let it cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally
- Brown 500g pf lean mined beef. Turn the heat up, add the meat to the pan and break it apart with your spoon or spatula. The mix should sizzle a bit when you add the mince.
- Keep stirring and prodding for at least 5 minutes, until the mince is in mini mince-sized lumps, and there are no signs of pink bits. Make sure you keep the heat hot enough for the meat to fry and become brown, rather than just stew.
- Make the sauce, by crumbling 1 beef stock cube into 300ml hot water, and pour this into the pan with the mince mixture.
- Add a 400g can of chopped tomatoes. Tip in 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram, 1 teaspoon of sugar, and add a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Squirt about 2 tablespoons of tomato puree and stir the sauce well.
- Simmer it gently, and bring the whole thing to a boil, giving it a good stir and close the pot with a lid. Turn down the heat and allow it to bubble for 20 minutes.
- Check on the pan every now and then, so that you can stir it making sure that the sauce doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan, or isn’t drying out. If you notice that it is, then add a couple of tablespoons of water making sure that the heat is really low. After simmering gently, the sauce mince mixture should have a thick and moist consistency.
- Drain and rinse a 410g can of red kidney beans in a sieve and stir them into a chilli pot. Bring it to the boil again, and gently bubble without the lid for another 10 minutes, adding a little water if it looks too dry.
- Take a bit of the chilli and season it.
- Now replace the lid, turn off the heat, and let your chilli stand for 10 minutes before serving. This will allow the flavours to meet, blending beautifully.
- Serve this with your freshly baked potato, allowing the wonderfully spicy topping to seep into the fluffy baked potato, every mouthful, a delightful treat.
Baked beans and cheese
Classic plain beans, are the perfect topping for a baked potato, especially when they’ve been heated in a saucepan, with a generous pinch of pepper, and a little salt, topped with some grated cheese to create an intricate masterpiece, begging to be devoured. What if we recreated this with some of the best potent ingredients, introducing a new combination of flavours for you and your families to enjoy. For this recipe you’ll need:
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped yellow onion
- 3 cloves garlic sliced
- 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 1/4 cup fresh rosemary leaves,
- 15-16 ounce cans of cannellini beans, rinsed and dried
- 3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- Crushed red pepper
- Salt and pepper
- 1/4 cup shredded Fontina cheese
- Preheat the oven to 400F. In a large skillet heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onions, garlic, and 1/8 teaspoon of salt. Cook and stir for 5 minutes or until they’re tender. Bring to a gentle boil, for 5 minutes or until they’re slightly thickened.
- Stir in the beans and half the parmesan. Season to taste with crushed red pepper, salt and black pepper. Transfer to a rectangular baking dish. Top with the remaining parmesan and Fontina. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until they begin to turn light brown around the edges. Sprinkle with some rosemary before serving.
Hummus, Olives and Tomatoes
I don’t know about you, but hummus is the key to mending many souls. Especially when it’s homemade, the taste is even more glorious, and once you’re comfortable with it, you can adjust your own seasonings to your liking. One way to create a banging hummus, is with roasted chickpeas, and a simple yet refreshing cucumber salad, with toasted pine nuts. A perfect snack, and incredible topping to have with your baked potato. You’ll need:
- 1 cup hummus
- 1/2 cup green olives
- 1/3 cup sun-dried tomato
- 1 tsp hot pepper flakes
- 4 to 10 leaves of chopped basil
- Use your favourite brand of hummus or make your own with this delicious recipe
- Pat excess oil from the sun-dried tomato between a couple sheets of paper towel before chopping
- Add hummus, olives and tomatoes in the bowl of the food processor – pulse until well combined – no big chunks. Stir in red pepper flakes by hand
- Add a clove of garlic
- For a more intense olive-tomato flavour, use only 3/4 cup hummus in recipe
- Rough chop basil and sprinkle over the top
Baking a Potato in a Convection Oven
Cooking a potato in a convection oven, is the perfect way to create a crispy and fluffy potato, ready to be devoured with your favourite toppings. A convection oven allows your food to cook evenly without the fear of half being uncooked or undercooked.
How Long Does it Take to Bake Potatoes in a Convection Oven?
In a convection oven, the potatoes should be balked at 375 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes, turning them halfway through their cooking time.
Is Convection Good For Baking Potatoes?
Cooking your food faster at lower temperature is quite efficient and great for cooking quick meals like baled potatoes, with a satisfyingly crisp exterior.
Is it Better to Bake or Convection Bake Potatoes?
Convection ovens cook up to 20% faster than regular ovens. Generally you’re supposed to lower your oven temperature at least 25 degrees lower than a regular oven.
What Temperature Should a Baked Potato be Cooked at?
Try baking your potatoes at 400 degrees for about an hour to achieve great crispy results. Smaller potatoes might take a little less time, while larger potatoes – 1 pound or ,more – might take a little more.