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Baked potatoes for 100

Discussion in 'Side Items' started by 3montes, Jul 24, 2017.

  1. 3montes

    3montes Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I have to do bratwurst and baked potatoes for 100 Friday night for a groomsmen dinner. Weird combination I know. I will put the potatoes in my vertical and do the brats on Santa Maria.

    I normally don't do bakers in the smoker I generally do some other potato dish. Would it be a good idea to foil them first?. I don't want to spend a lot of time having to turn and move 100 potatoes around in the smoker to keep them from getting too dark and the skin getting hard.

    If I foil I would do it the night before the event so all I have to do when I get there is start the smoker and get them on. Any suggestions from any baked potato experts appreciated! [​IMG]
  2. b-one

    b-one Legendary Pitmaster OTBS Member

    No expert here but I think wrapping sounds like the best bet. Like you said that's a strange combo hope it goes smoothly!
  3. 3montes

    3montes Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Thanks b-one. Pretty sure I will foil just sounds like the safest and easiest way to do it. Not going to worry about oil and any spice by the time the sour cream, onions, cheese bacon etc. are put on no one is going to taste a little salt and pepper that I added! [​IMG]
  4. daveomak

    daveomak Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    If you foil them, immediately put them on ice or in the refer...   when done cooking, if you remove them from the heat, open the foil so oxygen can get to them.... 

    Foiled root crops is a great place to incubate botulism...  You don't want to even come close to any incubating..
    3montes likes this.
  5. 3montes

    3montes Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I never knew this thanks for the advice Dave! If I were to take them out of the foil after cooking and put them in a steam table would that eliminate the chance of botulism?
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2017
  6. daveomak

    daveomak Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Any "normal" oxygen. 20 ish% will not allow botulism to incubate...   Steam table works...  as long as the foil has been opened to allow air in...  

    I wish I knew more...  There are no time, temp, % oxygen charts that let me know exactly when botulism will incubate... 

    Only, it takes a pressure cooker / canner to kill it , or cure #1 kills it..  Sure wish I could find more definitive information...

  7. 3montes

    3montes Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Thanks for this information Dave. I did a little Google research on it myself last night as I had never heard of this before. We have done foil potatoes on the grill lots of times over the years and I see people do foiled bakers all the time. I don't need to know science behind it I just need to know that it can happen to prevent me from foiling these potatoes for 100 people. Anytime I can take a step in the direction of food safety I will always do so.

    My new plan is to just oil them a bit and put directly on the smoker. I will have to keep a closer eye on them than if they were in foil but the extra work is worth the peace of mind.
  8. 3montes

    3montes Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Just thought I would update. I decided based on Dave's information not to foil these potatoes. Pierced them with a fork rubbed in a little olive oil and sprinkled with kosher salt and put them in the vertical at about 300. I managed to fit all 100 of them in the vertical with room left over. They came out perfect! Everyone loved them.

    Thanks again Dave on the food safety tip!
  9. daveomak

    daveomak Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    You are welcome...  It's an ugly task but someone's got to do it.......  LOL....  
  10. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Epic Pitmaster Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Dave gave good advice. The article is detailed with the following typo or mistake...Clostridium bacteria are heat-resistant and can survive prolonged boiling.  To destroy the actual spores, food must be heated to temperatures of 250 F (120C) or higher, as in a pressure cooker.  Freezing does not destroy the bacteriums or the toxins produced by the bacteriums.

    This should read Spores as all known Active Bacteria, including CB, that cause food borne illness are destroyed through pasteurization times and temps and instantaneously at 165°F.

    CB Spores form when the bacteria senses living conditions are no longer optimal. These include temp increases over time like cool smoking sausage, without cure, from 100 to 170 over several hours, long term slow evaporation (>8+/- hours) like making jerky with low salt (<7%) or never heating to 160, overpopulation or loss of food source. The spores reactivate when conditions are optimal again, storing above sausage or jerky sealed in a bag at room temp.

    The Potato issue...Taters wrapped in foil and baked at 350+/- are essentially Steamed and the surface CB Spores are not heated to a killing 250+. Now give them time at less than 140, in the oxygen free foil , and you have bacterial growth and toxin formation. Note...less than 140! Holding Hot, just baked, foil wrapped potatoes above 140, like in a holding cabinet, oven or even a cooler, can be done safely and is done so in many restaurants daily. The Famous Tater Salad case was based on using Foil Wrapped Potatoes that had been stored at Room Temp, they just turned off the holding oven, until the next day. The CB spores reactivated and the bacteria made Toxin. The potatoes were taken from the room temp oven, diced and made into Tater Salad and folks got sick. Foiled Potatoes are not a problem! Improperly handled foiled potatoes are.

    Keeps going back to Keep Hot food Hot, Cold food Cold and understand the use of Cure before cold smoking...JJ
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2017
    3montes likes this.
  11. 3montes

    3montes Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Great info Chef Jimmy! Always learning things here! [​IMG]
  12. BigThicket

    BigThicket Newbie

    OP, how long did 100 potatoes take to cook at 300 degrees?