Cook a jacket potato in just 20 minutes with chef’s teaspoon method

Phil Vickery gives energy saving tip for cooking potatoes

ITV’s This Morning resident chef, Phil Vickery showed viewers his method of cooking a jacket potato in 20 minutes in the oven using a teaspoon. 

He admitted that cooking jacket potatoes “do take a bit of energy” and you don’t have to “cook them twice” as he prefers. 

Instead, he suggests “microwaving them” to begin with “and finishing them in the oven for a crispy skin”. 

Phil also said anyone filling a jacket potato and then placing “them back in the oven” should consider “finishing them under the grill to cut the energy down”. 

Another trick he has when cooking jacket potatoes is “scoring the potato around the outside” while it’s still raw with a “sharp knife” otherwise the potato “will explode”. 

He explained: “Sometimes if you start potatoes in a cooler oven and [the temperature] gets hotter, it bakes the skin so tight they will expand and explode. Not all the time, but it does happen, so I always [score] them.” 

Phil’s last tip was to use a teaspoon to speed up the cooking process. He revealed how it works: “I also put a teaspoon in the potato – not when cooking in the microwave – but [cooking the potato in] a conventional oven, [as] it cuts the cooking time down by at least about 20 minutes.” 

Presenter Phillip Schofield asked: “Is that because the spoon gets so hot the heat goes down the spoon [handle] and into the centre of the potato?” 

“Yes,” Phil replied. “You can use ready-made jacket potato spikes and you put them on all four and into the oven, or you can use a skewer, but it certainly makes a difference.”

As for how long it takes to cook a jacket potato if you use the teaspoon method, the chef revealed: “I reckon it will take 15-20 minutes off the cooking time, so 35-40 minutes as opposed to an hour.” 

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Using a teaspoon, combined with blasting the potato in the microwave beforehand reduces the cooking time even further. 

But remember, don’t put the teaspoon in the potato when it goes into the microwave as this is a health and safety risk. Only put the teaspoon in the potato when it goes into the oven. 

Phil’s method of cooking jacket potatoes: 

1. Place jacket potato in the microwave on high for three minutes, turn it over and microwave for another three minutes. Note, the more jacket potatoes that are in the microwave, the longer the cooking time. 

2. Transfer the potato to a baking tray and season with salt, pepper and olive oil. If you want super crispy skin, make small piles of table salt and place a potato on top of each pile. The salt dehydrates the skin and makes it crispy. 

3. Push a teaspoon handle into the side of a jacket potato and bake for 20 minutes. 

The cooking times are dependent on the size of the potato; a bigger potato takes longer to cook.

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