The conventional wisdom about baking potatoes passed down through generations of cooks is that if you don’t poke them, they’ll blow up.
As a busy parent, I’m always looking for shortcuts in the kitchen. Poking potatoes before baking them was such a tedious chore that I eventually stopped doing it. What that a wise decision?
Well, I’ve baked a few dozen potatoes now without any poking, and no explosions.
So based on my own experience, poking potatoes is unnecessary… or did I just get lucky? Also, some people think it’s only necessary if you’re microwaving the potato.
I did some Google research and found that though exploding potatoes are rare, it does happen from time to time. It happens both in the oven and in the microwave. It has even happened when people poke holes, but don’t poke them deep enough.
My theory is that a few rare potatoes have some air trapped inside. Although these are very rare, if you don’t poke these potatoes, they will blow up.
There is an easier alternative to poking, though. All you have to do is get a sharp knife and cut a slice through each potato before cooking. No more tedious poking, and it should resolve the explosive potato problem.