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The ability to make "baked" potatoes in a slow cooker is pretty appealing: I can bake potatoes while at work without heating up my house or having to worry about fire hazards. After reading several recipes on the internet, it seemed that a cook time of 4 - 8 hours was normal.

However, my slow cooker has been cooking potatoes for about 14 hours now and most of them are still not cooked. On the other hand, after opening up the potatoes on the bottom layer they are over-cooked.

Judging by the plethora of recipes online, there must be some way to do this. Is there something I am missing?

Some more specifics:

  • My "recipe" consisted of poking holes in potatoes, wrapping them in foil, and adding them to my crockpot. I did this until my crockpot was full (8-9 potatoes).
  • Based on the wisdom of several internet sources, I did not add any liquids.
  • I am using a Rival 5-quart slow cooker like this one.enter image description here
  • 1
    Do you have a microwave? If so, you can use that to "bake" your potatoes on-demand in a matter of minutes. – ESultanik Aug 1 '17 at 17:02
  • Could you describe the result you're looking for? You can probably cook whole potatoes in a slow cooker, but if you're looking for a "baked potato" (crisp skin, fluffy interior) effect, you might be better off putting them in the oven and reheating them in the slow cooker. – Wolfgang Aug 2 '17 at 19:28
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How frequently did you lift the lid to 'look at them'? While water is not required convection is, and each time the lid is lifted all the hot air does exactly what hot air does...rises and escapes. The slow release of heat through the ceramic sides do not reheat the space quickly and if one peeks too often (or doesn't have a good lid), you will get the results you report, over done on the bottom, where the wrapped potatoes are in direct contact with the ceramic, and under done on top.

If not only from my experience doing so the sheer number of posts from people reporting success with 'baking potatoes in a crock pot' says that 'it is possible'. From comments above I believe you may have also managed to overcrowd the pot. I have never tried more than four 'good sized' potatoes at once and always had good luck. A quick scan of the articles offered from a quick google search (above) has mixed suggestions, from only cover the bottom (what I do) to fill the crock. Try again with few potatoes, in a single layer and keep the lid sealed.

  • +1 for overcrowding. You can also cook salmon in a slow cooker, but filling the pot with them would cause a disastrous differential in heating that would be good for no one. Stews/soups work better because the heat conducts through the liquid. If there's no liquid I would suggest only having a single layer. – Wolfgang Aug 2 '17 at 19:32
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Slow cooker needs liquid to be effective. There is very little air circulation.

A meat with fat will quickly melt fat so you can put it in dry.

Consider a potato dish with liquid even if it is just tomato sauce and quartered potatoes.

  • No, a slow cooker does not require liquid to be effective. There are many dishes from breads to pizza that can be made without liquid in a crock pot, including baked potatoes...which is what OP asked about. – Cos Callis Aug 2 '17 at 12:04
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    I'm not sure about this. Many recipes (such as this one) specifically say not to add water. So there must be some uses that don't require water - or else these recipes were never tested. – indigochild Aug 2 '17 at 13:03
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Slow cookers cook by virtue of the water in the foods being cooked. In your case, it sounds as if the potatoes still have their skin on: the skin prevents the water in the potatoes from escaping. So there is no free water in the pot which can turn into steam which can cook the potatoes.

I suggest that you cut the potatoes into pieces (halves, thirds, quarters, depending on their size) before placing them in the slow cooker. Then you can cook for hours. The result is not what I would call 'a baked potato', but it can be delicious.

I would add a sliced (but not diced) onion as well. This adds moisture and the sugars in the onion create a very good taste when cooked for many hours.

I didn't see your remark at first about sealing the potatoes with silver foil, but this has the same effect as the skin. Try without the silver foil - which doesn't add anything here. The foil is needed when cooking on a bonfire, but not anywhere else!

  • I tried this yesterday: definitely the taste of baked potatoes but not exactly what I was expecting! There was no free liquid in the pot - this was after about four hours on high. – No'am Newman Aug 5 '17 at 4:23

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