Setting up a Baked Potato bar at your next barbecue takes the humble baked potato to the next level!
Now that the summer has started our backyard comes alive with a hub of activity, whether it’s just our little family or extended family and friends, spending time enjoying a leisurely summer meal is what makes the season special.
There is nothing I enjoy more than feeding people. It is a passion of mine to make sure everyone leaves the table happy and full!
Tim is always in charge of the grilling. Truth be told I am not even sure how to turn the barbecue on, but the rest of the meal is up to me. Coming up with new side dishes and desserts is a challenge I fully embrace. This Grilled Corn on the Cob is one such side dish that is a big hit!
One way to ensure everyone has a memorable meal is a self-serve set up. Summer time is the perfect time for creating a self-serve Baked Potato Bar.
I have to confess, it wasn’t too long ago that I loathed making baked potatoes. They just took so darn long to cook. Oh, but the thought of rich, creamy sour cream melting into a piping hot potato always made the effort worth it!
That was until I discovered a few tricks that make cooking baked potatoes a snap.
(I will get to those tricks in a little bit.)
First, putting together a self serve baked potato bar is easy, quick, and chances are you already have a lot of the ingredients in your refrigerator and pantry. In my opinion no baked potato is complete without a heaping serving of sour cream. Anything you add on top of that is just a bonus.
I admit I am a bit of a sour cream hog. I tend to reload my baked potato as I am eating, so I spooned some into a little jar just for myself!
I put this baked potato bar together last weekend to celebrate the Victoria Day weekend with family. I think it is a safe bet that no one was disappointed!
The Campfire Cake was a big hit too! Nothing says summer like a campfire whether it is the first campfire of the season or the last!
Here are a few ingredient ideas for creating your own self serve potato bar, but really anything goes:
- Gay Lea Gold Premium sour cream or other full fat sour sour cream
- chopped fresh chives
- crumbled crispy bacon
- crumbled blue cheese
- baked beans
- chili (canned is fine, but homemade…yum!)
- Gay Lea Butter
- Ivanhoe Aged Old Cheddar Cheese, shredded
- crispy fried onions
It is always the best idea to set out your ingredients in a big tub or tray with about 2 inch high sides filled with ice to keep things appropriately chilled for food safety. The day I set out mine, we were literally eating straight away, so there was no risk of anything left sitting out in the heat!
These 2 cup ceramic bowls are perfect for holding the different toppings in a stye.
Choosing the best sour cream for your baked potatoes, and choosing the perfect sized russet potato are very important. And these two tips I am about to share have changed the way I feel about cooking baked potatoes completely.
Two tips for the best baked potatoes
First, after piercing your potatoes all over with a fork (we don’t want any potato explosions), arrange on a microwave safe glass plate and microwave about 10 minutes for 4 potatoes, then simply wrap in foil and finish off cooking on the barbecue. This will cut the actually time on the barbecue in half!
The second option is, and this is a good one, again pierce the potatoes all over with a fork, rub them with olive oil, wrap in foil and layer them in your slow cooker. Cook on high for about 4 1/2 hours or 8 hours on high. Ready when you are!
Here it is! My edible masterpiece. A heaping spoonful of Sour Crème, a sprinkling of chives and shredded aged cheddar, a tiny bit of bacon bits with a side of baked beans!
So tell me. What’s on top of your ultimate baked potato?
Until next time….