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First post I know Smiler.

I recently started running a mobile kitchen and wanted to serve smoked bake potatos stuffed with pork, cheese and what not.

I've got the smallest cookshack avalable with a black dial, and I was attempting to "cook" 15 lbs of taters at one time in there... some of them were barely touching but for the most part were not, on two separate cooks I've put them in for at least 6 hours @ 250, and they are still not cooked!!! (I think, heck maybe they are over cooked).

I'm new at this whole thing! I did bathe them in EVOO and rolled them in kosher salt and poked some holes in them, then placed them on the rack, no foil.

I would love to get this dialed in as the oven makes the house too hot!

Maybe if I cooked less at a time, but for how long?

I hope someone on here has some potato experience.

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I don't know if this is a joke or not. First post, running a mobile kitchen, don't know how to bake a potato? Hmmmmm..... What are you cooking that's easier than baking a potato? Confused

You can't bake a potato in the traditional sense at 250*. It's not hot enough to quickly modify the starch in the potato to get the fluffy texture that makes a baked potato really good. They'll be cooked, but not what people would expect for a "baked" potato. You can smoke them for a while and then transfer to a hot oven to finish. Using smoked meat is the easier method and likely just as effective if smokey flavor is what you're after.

Look down in the brisket forum at the picture posted by Smokin yesterday of burnt ends and think about getting some of that on your potatoes. People would line up. And don't poke holes in your potatoes.
For me, the electric CS's aren't great at it. The reason is they are designed to be a HUMID environment and thus, they don't come out fluffy white. And no one wants a grey potato. You NEED the moisture to evaporate from inside the potato and the design of the CS is actually intended to keep moisture in the smoker (you could open the door once an hour or every 30 min to dump humidity but you will extend the cook time)

I'd also check the Health Dept and trying to use a small Cookshack.

Now smoke some brisket or pork and put that on a regular potato and they'll be fine. Stuffed BP are the rage around here (and Thanks Todd for the Burnt End plug) LOL

As far as 6 hours, you say not cooked and over cooked, which do you think? Im thinking over.
Todd, I appreciate your disposition. As a first post I knew it was a dangerous one.

In fact it's a real question. I've been in the real estate industry for over 10 years...recently a friend who owns a large business offered to let me set up a mobile food trailer on his property, because we've been struggling. Since then I've been learning a lot. I've learned to make great pulled pork, great ribs, and some other great offerings.

I have no formal training and did not know anything about potato's aside from the a few I've made in the micro in the past, which came out fine.

I was hopeful that I could make them in the cookshack so that the house would not heat up, we're in florida and it's still freeking 90. Some of the other guys on other smoking forums had appeared to be making them, but I imagine they were not turning out a fluffy product like I'd like. I guess beause of the temp and the starch conversion situation that will not be possible. Smiler

Maybe I could start them in the microwave then move them to the smoker for more flavor?

Again Todd thanks for taking the time to respond. I've already put 30 lbs of potato's through it and could not get it to work...leaving some in for 8 hours...and couldn't figure out what was going on. Do you think the microwave idea would work?
Check out this link on botulism if you plan on holding cooked baked potatoes in foil.

One chef in El Paso made more than thirty people sick with four hospitalized in 1994 after making Potato Salad with left over baked potatoes he had held for a long period of time.

Do some research and take a food safety course like "Serve Safe" if you plan to sell to the public.
Tom, thanks for the links and the advice, just what I needed.

Bacchus2b, thanks for the info, I was not holding them in there, I was attempting to "bake" them in there (with no foil). Then held them in a fridge wrapped in suran wrap and reheated when ordered (in the micro) to make sure to avoid the botulism.

Smokin Okie, yah I think they were over cooked, but it was hard to tell when they were done as they were never light and flaky, like a real baked potato. Probably have to find another way, maybe just finish them in the smoker.
Hi Tiny,
I'm glad you're for real and I wish you well. Back in the old days, 2006, when construction was a paying trade, I did that for a living too.

I don't know how long the potato will hold a smokey flavor after smoking if you smoke it first, for say an hour at 180*, then hold it until you're ready to finish it off in the oven. I suspect that it will hold the flavor pretty well though.

Careful about the saran wrap though, since it would be essentially the same as foil wrap and could lead to very serious food safety issues.

How many potatoes do you need to bake, and how many will you sell(at most) in a 30 minute period?

I ask because restaurants that use baked potatoes usually have a rotation baking schedule where they add a small tray of potatoes to the oven every 15 minutes as they remove a small tray that has been baking for an hour. A digital timer that sounds every 15 minutes makes this a very easy process. If you're selling most of these potatoes at lunch, you could just throw in a couple of trays at 9:30 to have them all ready by 10:30, but if you need them throughout the day, the rotation system can give you top quality, freshly baked potatoes every few minutes.

All this is based on the assumption you have room for a small oven in the trailer and access to power. Maybe not a good assumption. But being a fan of stuffed potatoes myself, I can tell you that a well made potato is something people will come back for, so I'd do it right or find something else to top with meat.

Here is a small oven that would work well. It says it will hold 4 half pans, but with potatoes being thicker, I suspect that it would hold just two. Anyway, you'd get 4 quarter pans, that would each hold about 6-8 potatoes, then starting in the upper left corner of the oven, you'd add one pan, then 15 minutes later add another upper right, then 15 minutes later lower right, then lastly lower left. On the hour you'd remove the upper left and add another tray of raw potatoes, and so on and so on...... Using a 40 count potato, you could generate 24-32 potatoes per hour and they'd all be fresh and tasty.

Small Oven

Depending on your needs, a home style counter top "toaster oven" might work fine, but I don't think you'd have much success with the microwave. They don't do one potato very well, and if you're trying to do multiples you'll find they take as much time or more than a regular oven.

Go to the pro section and do a search for "prison chef". You'll find a bunch of posts from several years back discussing various menu items to sell from his mobile kitchen. Might get a few ideas.
WOW great info Tod and thanks for putting in the time to respond.

I'll do some searches and check into a small oven maybe. It's hard because business is sporadic which makes timing them a bear. I'm hopeful as business builds I can better time the taters. For now I might have to think of taking them off till it's busy enough. Just thinking out loud.

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