Microwaving potatoes in a plastic bag. How can this be safe?
I recently was told by a relative that she places a scrubbed and washed whole potato in a plastic grocery bag and ties it shut. She then sticks it in the microwave and the potatoes come out wonderfully moist, not wrinkled and dried up. Fine and dandy, but what about the chemicals leeching into the spud?
I know that you can buy single baking potatoes/sweet potatoes wrapped in plastic with instructions to cook with wrap on in the microwave.
I made fabric pouches to bake my potatoes in. They are just big enough for one potatoe, but you can make them bigger for more. Sew two pieces of flannel together leaving an opening on one end to put the potatoe in after you wash it and pierce it. Comes out nice and moist.
Plastic wrap is the one that was first proven to leach chemicals in the condensation dripping into a dish of food. Wax paper puts paraffin wax into the food. So I use nothing on my potatoes in the microwave.
I decided that I really like the flavor of a potato that was BAKED in the oven and that the microwave only gives a boiled flavor. So I start them in the microwave until they are most of the way done and quite hot, then finish them for a few minutes in the oven for that toasty taste. Worth the extra minutes! I can tell which method was used whenever I have a restaurant potato. Wish you the best with feeding your family!
Years ago a friend told me about buying brown paper lunch bags to micro/bake potatoes. I scrub the potatoes, prick several times with a fork, rub a bit of butter or oil all over then place it in the paper bag. I then fold down the top and it`s ready to micro/bake. They always turn out well.
I do something similiar to this. I take a "zip lock" bag instead of a grocery bag. Other than that, I totally agree with what your friend says. Sometimes after I pierce the potato I will wrap each spud in a papertowel and put each one in the ziplock bag. Just be EXTREMELY cafeful when you open the bag. It will cause bad steam burns. (Do not let children do it!! :)
Interesting concept (the plastic bag), however, I'd say if the potatoes are coming out wrinkled and dry they're being over cooked. I've been cooking baked potatoes in the micro for years and have never had a wrinkled dry potato. They're always moist and perfectly cooked.
I personally couldn't/wouldn't use a plastic bag, but that's for my own reasons.
How I "bake" a potato in the microwave is to wash the potato, then pierce with a fork or knife several times. Wrap in wax paper and nuke about 6-8 min's and this will depend on the wattage of your microwave & size of potato. Mine has a potato setting.
I prefer to bake potatoes in the oven and think they come out so much better but I don't heat up my oven just to bake 2-3 potatoes. I use the microwave to do it when I don't have something else to bake along with the potatoes. Usually I plan on having a meat loaf, some chicken breasts or pork chops in there baking at the same time.
If you like sweet potatoes, you can also fix those in the microwave the same way, with the wax paper.
I would not use a grocery bag - but plastic designed to be microwaved should be OK - like plastic wrap. I purchase the ones already wrapped -they are cheaper per pound than loose potatoes and are convenient. I have had good success with them.
I buy potatoes from my grocery store that are individually wrapped in plastic and marked "For microwave cooking." They come out great.
I'd use the plastic domes that you put over a plate when microwaving. Has vents to let out steam, but doesn't touch the potato. They are less than $2.00 at WalMart!
I don't agree with the grocery bag, it's not micro safe... I poke about 5 sets of wholes in my potato and put it in the micro for 10mins with a micro cover with vents or sometimes i just use a piece of wet towel paper over them.. Never had any complaints about mine..
If your family does not like to eat the skins, then the microwave method is the way to go. I only do it this way if I am in a rush. I pierce them, then wrap each one in a paper towel. You will have to play around with the times depending on your microwave so they dont get overcooked and wrinkled. My family however likes to eat the skins. So first I microwave them for about half the cooking time. Then I put a thin coating of olive oil and salt on them and conitune to bake them in my toaster oven until the skins are nice and crispy. No leftovers here or anything to throw away. If your family likes "potato skins" they would really like them this way.
I would say absolutely DO NOT DO THIS! I don't know about the safety of the plastic, but have heard that it can leech into your food. But more importantly, what about the chemicals used in the ink on the bags? I would recommend steering clear of this idea.
Here are a couple articles you should read about microwaving food and then you can decide about the safety of microwaving food. I use the microwave but am considering buying a small convection oven, which is healthier and cooks faster than a conventional oven.
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