Standard baked potatoes have this way of disappointing me. It’s not that they offend me, per se (particularly once topped with bacon and cheese), but they’ve never felt exciting enough to merit the full hour of high-temperature oven blazing it takes to bring them to fruition. Crock Pot Baked Potatoes, however, are an entirely different scenario.
An easy vegetable side dish I can put in my slow cooker, ignore for a few hours, then return to find perfectly cooked, all without having to turn on the oven? SOLD.
Also, where there is a Baked Potato, there will bacon and cheese and maybe even avocado if I’m feeling crazy. SOLD AGAIN.
Crock Pot Baked Potatoes – A Better Cooking Method
Here is how the idea of “baking” potatoes in the crock pot came to be. My sister told me about a build-your-own-baked potato bar at a party she’d attended. Each guest grabbed a baked potato, then loaded it up at a DIY topping bar the host had provided.
It sounded like a brilliantly easy, delicious way to entertain. I have yet to encounter a single person who doesn’t enjoy a loaded baked potato every now and then.
Plus I’ve learned the hard way that, when I’m hosting a party, it’s integral to my sanity to prep as much as possible in advance. This baked potato party would be a snap to do ahead of time, with the exception of one small detail.
Baking the potatoes.
I didn’t like the idea of having my oven tied up for the full hour plus it would take to bake the potatoes the traditional way immediately before the party started. If the oven was full, how would I heat the Skinny Chicken Enchilada Dip and Shrimp Guacamole Bites? Important details.
That’s when it hit me: what if I could roast the potatoes in the crock pot instead? (That’s before I thought of an Air Fryer Baked Potato.) I mean, Crockpot Mashed Potatoes are already fantastic!
I was a genius.
As, it turns out, so are the folks at Cook’s Illustrated, the magazine put out by the wonderfully obsessive recipe testers at America’s Test Kitchen.
Long before I’d come up with the idea, they’d devised a crock pot baked potato method of their own.
Rather than reinvent the wheel (Cook’s Illustrated tests its recipes dozens of different ways, so I was confident they’d already made my mistakes for me), I decided to give their method a go.
I was worried the crock pot baked potatoes would be too mushy and lack the fluffiness I love most in classic baked potatoes, but I was thrilled with the results.
The potatoes could not have been easier to prep, the cooking process was completely hands-off, and making the potatoes in the slow cooker left my oven free for greater endeavors (ahem, Vegan Apple Crisp).
You can also cook the crock pot baked potatoes on high heat or low, depending upon when you need them to be ready.
Once the crock pot potatoes were cooked, it was time for them to meet their ultimate destiny: a shower of toppings.
I stuck with the classics—bacon, chives, and cheese (all the essential toppings for Potato Skins, in fact!)—then piled on a big dollop of plain nonfat Greek yogurt, my favorite healthy swap for sour cream. It’s creamy and pleasantly tangy like sour cream but packs far more protein for a fraction of the calories.
In the cheese arena, I like to use a fully flavored, melty cheese like sharp cheddar, because a small amount goes a long way.
How to Make a Crock Pot Baked Potatoes Bar
For a full-on baked potatoes bar, I’d suggest adding heartier toppings too:
- Chili (might I suggest this Healthy Turkey Chili)
- Blanched broccoli
- Pulled pork (I can practically feel Ben leaning over my shoulder requesting this)
- Black beans
- Tex-Mex anything: salsa, cilantro, sliced jalapenos
In the cooler fall and winter months, I can see these Crock Pot Baked Potatoes being the food MVP of a fall game watch or even tailgate.
You can even start the potatoes at home, then bring them right along with you in your slow cooker.
In the warmer months, this slow cooker potato method is also ideal, because you won’t need to heat up your oven for a full hour to enjoy a fluffy baked potato at your barbecue or cookout.
What To Serve with Crock Pot Baked Potatoes
- Pork. Baked potatoes would make a great side to Air Fryer Pork Chops.
- Chicken Breast Recipes. Baked chicken breast makes a nice main dish to accompany Crockpot Baked Potatoes.
- Canned Salmon Recipes. Baked potatoes can also be served alongside a Salmon Patty.
Crock Pot Baked Potatoes
For The Crockpot Potatoes
- 4-6 russet baking potatoes
- 2-3 teaspoons olive oil (1/2 teaspoon per potato)
- 1-1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt (1/4 teaspoon per potato)
- Aluminum foil
- Freshly grated cheese such as extra sharp cheddar
- Nonfat plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
- Chopped chives
- Cooked and crumbled bacon*
- Scrub the potatoes and dry completely. For each potato, tear off a piece of aluminum foil large enough to wrap around the potato completely. Prick the potato all over with a fork, then place it in the center of the foil. Drizzle with 1/2 teaspoon olive oil and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Rub the salt and oil over the surface of the potato, then wrap tightly with the foil sheet. Place in your slow cooker.
- Cook the potatoes on high for 4 to 5 hours or low for 8 to 10 hours, until soft. Do not overcook, or the potatoes may become soggy. Remove and carefully unwrap (the potatoes will be hot). Split and top with cheese, chives, bacon, and Greek yogurt as desired.
- *Easy bacon cooking methods: Air Fryer Bacon and Oven Baked Bacon.
- The cooking time will vary based on the size of your potato. Large potatoes will need longer, while smaller potatoes will cook more quickly. I think this method would also work well with other types of potatoes (such as Yukon gold) or sweet potatoes, so feel free to experiment.
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Did this for party. Cooked 12, stood them “up” in crock pot. Forgot to poke, no issues. Used vegetable oil, then sprinkled with garlic salt before wrapping. So good, so easy!
I’m so happy that you enjoyed them, Selina! Thank you for sharing this kind review!
I’m cooking 10 for a camping party! Did you still use the method of high 4-5 hours and low 8-9 hours?
Hi Becky! I’ve never tried doubling the recipe, so it would be an experiment, but I’d say that a second layer in the crock pot should be OK. You should rotate their positions halfway through and be prepared to extend the cooking time. Since the crock pot is more full, the potatoes may need longer.
How long were the 12 potatoes cooked for? Wanting to try this for camping
Hi Tanya, I’ve never tried doubling the recipe, so it would be an experiment, but I’d say that a second layer in the crock pot should be OK. You should rotate their positions halfway through and be prepared to extend the cooking time. Since the crock pot is more full, the potatoes may need longer.
These were perfect for our C friendly vacation! We brought along our griddle and crock pot and made all of our meals right in our hotel room. I threw these in the crock pot before we left, and after hiking all day in the cold fall rain, it was so nice to be able to change and settle in with a hot meal. I pre-washed the potatoes at home to make it easier. A+, would make on vacation again, and of course this is my new go-to for at home baked potatoes.
I’m so happy that you enjoyed the recipe, Alyssa! Thank you for sharing this kind review!
These turned out perfect snd super easy. To make it even easier, I first sprayed the foil with olive oil spray (either store bought spray or I have an oil misto), sprinkle salt on the oil, pricked the potato, then wrap. It covers the potato in oil and salt without having to rub it.
I’m so happy that you enjoyed the recipe! Thank you for sharing this kind review!
This sounds awesome! my only concern are the comments about the old ceramic crock pots cracking. I’m almost embarrassed to say, my crockpot was a wedding gift in 1980! but I love it! It is ceramic, but NOTHING sticks to it. always an easy clean up. Would like more remarks on any others that have used the ceramic pots and were thye ok?
Hi Terri! I hope you’re able to try the recipe and get some added insight from others who’ve used older crockpots!
My 1st large crockpot was era 1983. Used it many times a week. Finaly it cracked after about 30 years. Don’t wory, just use it as long as it was meant to be used. They’ve made more…
Would this work with out the foil? Wondering… Will definately try this :)
Hi! I believe other readers have tried the recipe without foil and had success. I haven’t tried them this way myself, but you’re welcome to experiment.
I’ve made these many times. I wash, put in the crickpot wet, don’t poke holes, don’t wrap in foil.
Hi RM! Thank you for your feedback!
Came here looking for this exact thing! My friends laugh at me because I say foil is for “rich” people. Lol
I have exactly 2 minutes before work and I can make these baked potatoes!!!
Regarding crockpots cracking, I’ve read that if you soak your crockpot in water for a long time, water can get into small cracks in the enamel surface and lead to breakage when heated. Just FYI. Potatoes in my crockpots now – fingers crossed since I’ve often soaked it prior to reading that!
Hope you enjoy them!
Great idea! Can’t wait to try this weekend.
Hope you enjoy it!
I make these all the time at home, (in the oven when we do it at our friends, no counter space for a CP) HOWEVER, I use seasoning salt & sometimes I add a dash of the Longhorn steak seasoning
Hi Susan! So glad you enjoyed the recipe! Thank you for this kind review!
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