Yesterday I was thinking of baked potatoes to go with the broiled lamb steak and broccoli I wanted to serve for dinner. Usually we don’t get baked potatoes for dinner because I fail to prep in time to serve them.
So my reasoning for quick baked potato prep went like this:
Wash potatoes; put into cold oven; set heat for 375 degrees; set timer for one hour; go watch program on TV while they bake.
The timer went off and I went to the kitchen to check to see if the potatoes were done. I gave the one on the right a quick squeeze and it appeared to be done. I checked the one on the left and it still felt a bit hard.
“Odd.” I thought
What happened next was stunning! I began to pull my hand out of the oven, thinking to let it finish baking, and
It exploded covering the entire oven and the oven door with potato dust!
Now I am certain that we have all heard the admonishment to prick your potatoes before baking, but has any one of you ever actually experienced this event? I would venture to guess that you, like me (until last evening) has not.
I went looking to find some scientific explanation of how this works, and strangely no one learned speaks of such common science. However, those of us with even limited exposure to scientific learning know that anything that builds up pressure without allowing it to vent will explode. Ever had a balloon pop in your face when you tried to inflate it?
(Only in the 60s could they bring this to you with such verve… HA!)
In the case of my potato, it had built up steam and my little squeeze caused a weakening in the skin. I am very grateful that the exploding potato waited for me to remove my hand and stand up before blowing up!
Well, I guess it had to happen sooner or later. My brand new oven has now been christened.
There were two things I did differently this time:
- I didn’t coat the skins with olive oil
- I put them in to cook while the oven came to temperature
This could have had something to do with it, or it could have been just a fluke. One thing is certain; from now on I will stab all my potatoes before baking!
Now there are some out there who think this can only happen in a microwave, and others who think this is just an old wives tale. I am here to tell you that they are wrong.
Has anyone else out there been the victim of strange kitchen science?
ACCOLADES: My husband Bob cleaned up the mess for me while I went out put the animals away, and when I came back in the mess was gone. Isn’t he sweet!