Jacket potatoes are a quintessential comfort food in the UK. Traditionally baked in an oven until the skin is crispy and the inside is fluffy, they are a staple in many households. However, cooking a jacket potato in an air fryer might be the solution if you want to speed up the cooking process without sacrificing quality. In this article, we’ll guide you through the methods and tips to help you learn how to cook a jacket potato in air fryer UK style.
Choosing the Right Potato
UK residents often go for large baking potatoes for a perfect jacket potato in the air fryer. Varieties like King Edwards and Maris Piper are excellent choices because they are floury potatoes that are good at absorbing heat, leading to a fluffy interior and crispy skin. Potatoes are comparable if you’re in America, Russet, or Idaho.
Pro Tip: Always scrub your potatoes before cooking and pat them dry to prepare for seasoning.
The Importance of Oil and Seasoning
Choosing the right type of oil can make or break your jacket potato. Oils with high smoking points, like avocado oil, rapeseed oil (known as canola oil in the US), olive oil, or coconut oil, are ideal. They can withstand the high temperatures of the air fryer without burning.
As for seasoning, sea salt is a must. For an additional flavour punch, consider adding smoked paprika or garlic powder.
Microwave Method for Quick Cooking
If you’re short on time, this method can be a lifesaver.
- Piercing: Pierce your cleaned potatoes a few times with a fork.
- Microwaving: Place them on a microwave-safe plate and cook according to the size and number of potatoes. For instance, a single large potato might need around 8 minutes.
- Preparation for Air Frying: After microwaving, brush them with your chosen oil and season with sea salt.
- Air Frying: Place the microwaved potatoes in your air fryer (no need to preheat) and cook for about 8 minutes at 200°C / 400°F. This will make the skin crispy.
Air Fryer-Only Technique
If you have more time at your disposal, you might opt for this method:
- Preheat: Set your air fryer to 200°C / 400°F.
- Oiling and Seasoning: Brush oil around the outside of each cleaned potato, and sprinkle sea salt over them.
- Cooking: Place the prepared potatoes in a single layer in the air fryer basket. Cook for 40-50 minutes, flipping them halfway through.
How to Check if Your Jacket Potato is Ready
Determining the perfect doneness of your jacket potato can make all the difference in the final result. One of the most reliable ways to check is by inserting a sharp knife into the center of the potato.
If the knife glides through the crispy skin and meets little to no resistance from the flesh inside, you can be confident that your potato is fully cooked and ready to serve. The texture should be soft and fluffy, allowing for easy piercing.
However, if the knife doesn’t slide in easily or the inside still feels hard, your potato needs more time in the air fryer. In this case, continue air frying your potato in 2-minute intervals to ensure you don’t overcook it.
Be sure to check for doneness after each interval. This step-by-step method ensures you get that perfect crispy skin and fluffy interior every time without risking a dried-out or undercooked potato.
Jacket potatoes in the air fryer, UK style, are a blank canvas for a wide range of delicious toppings. Once your potato is perfectly cooked, the ritual begins:
- Slice it open carefully.
- Ensure not to burn yourself with the escaping steam.
- Use a fork to fluff up the velvety interior.
Traditionalists might opt for the simple yet satisfying combination of a dollop of butter, a sprinkle of salt, and a dash of pepper. This classic trio melts into the fluffy potato, transforming it into a comforting dish that feels like a warm hug from the inside.
But why stop at the basics when the possibilities are endless? Take your jacket potato to the next level by adding a generous portion of grated cheese—perhaps a sharp Cheddar or a tangy Red Leicester. If you’re in the mood for something heartier, consider spooning over some warm baked beans, a staple in many UK households.
Those looking for a bit of spice can top their potatoes with some chili, creating a fusion that’s as delightful as unexpected. From sour cream and chives to tuna and sweetcorn, your imagination only limits the options. Whether you’re looking for a simple side dish or a full meal, a jacket potato cooked in an air fryer offers a versatile platform to satisfy any palate.
Cooking a jacket potato in an air fryer is quicker and can yield great results. Whether you are in a hurry and use the microwave method or have the time for the air fryer-only technique, you’re guaranteed a jacket potato with crispy skin and a fluffy inside. Happy cooking!