Twice Baked Potatoes
Updated: Jan 21, 2021
If you’ve never had twice baked potatoes, you are missing out! These potatoes are absolutely amazing. Can you really go wrong with cream, cheese and bacon? I don’t think so. These are the ultimate side to any protein and can be made “healthier” using skim milk or full flavor with whipping cream.
These can be made ahead of time and even frozen and stored in the freezer
Category: Vegetable, Appetizers & Sides
Weight: 4 potatoes
Grill: Combination of oven and Traeger
Heat Source: Gas and Smoke
Type of Wood: Traeger Signature Blend
Estimated Cook Time: 1 hour and 15 minutes
Actual Cook Time: 1 hour and 15 minutes
Cooking Temperature: 450 degrees in oven, 250 degrees on Traeger
Location of Purchase: Local grocery store
Cook Date: July 4, 2020
4 Russet potatoes
1 cup half and half (you can use skim milk is you want to shave some calories or go with whipping cream for full flavor. Only reason I did not do whipping cream for this cook was because my local store was out.)
1 cup cheese of your choice (feel free to mix and match if you like. For this cook I went with Sharp Cheddar as that is my preferred for loaded baked potatoes)
1 pound of bacon
1 tablespoon diced shallot
2 cloves of garlic, diced
½ tablespoons salt (you’ll also need salt for the potatoes as well)
½ tablespoons pepper
Butter (or olive oil)
Optional: chives for garnish
Step 1: Preheat either your grill or oven to 450 degrees, wash your potatoes and poke them with a fork a few times. You don’t want your potatoes to explode accidentally, so I highly suggest this step.
Step 2: Baked your potatoes for 25 minutes, unwrapped in the oven (or grill). I suggest using a wire rack on a baking sheet to elevate the potatoes and ensure an even cook. If you don’t have that, place them directly on the rack with a baking sheet below to catch any drippings.
At about the 20-minute mark, melt some butter. Remove the potatoes after 25 minutes and brush them with the melted butter (or oil) and season the outsides with salt. (I prefer a coarse salt with this step)
Step 3: This is a hybrid combination step. We are going to combine the second half of the potato bake and cook the bacon at the same time (if you prefer to pan fry your bacon, you can do so). Also note, bacon can be cooked ahead of time.
Return the potatoes back to the oven for an additional 20-25 minutes.
If you are baking your bacon, I recommend placing the bacon on a wired rack over a baking sheet. Similar to the potatoes, this elevates the bacon and allows it to be cooked throughout. Be sure to keep an eye on the bacon as, depending on thickness, it will need anywhere from 10-20 minutes to bake. If you are pan frying the bacon, do so and set aside on some paper towels to drain the grease.
After the potatoes have been in the oven (or grill) for roughly 45-50 minutes, you need to check for doneness. This can be done by gently squeezing the potato. If it’s soft and has a little give, they are done. If they are still firm, return to the oven (or grill) and check in 5 minute increments.
Step 4: Halve the potatoes length wise and let cool enough to be able to handle. Using a spoon, careful remove the contents of the potatoes into a mixing bowl. Be gentle here as you don’t want to break the skins. Granted, if you do, it’s not a huge deal.
Step 5: In a small frying pan, add some butter, the diced shallot and garlic. Cook for a few minutes just to get the aromatics going. You’ll add the entire contents to the potato mixture.
Step 6: Prepare the filling. From Step 5, take the butter, shallot and garlic and add to the potato filling in the mixing bowl. Add the half and half, bacon, half of the cheese, and salt and pepper to the mixing bowl. Mash the potatoes and thoroughly mix all ingredients together. Give it a quick taste and add salt/pepper to taste.
Step 7: Once the potatoes and ingredients are thoroughly mixed, you need to return the filling to the hollowed out potato skins. Fill all potatoes evenly and top with the remaining cheese.
Note: If you are saving these for later, this is where you can stop. You can wrap the potatoes in plastic wrap or place in Ziploc bags and save for later. These can also be frozen and stored for later.
Step 8: For this cook, I finished the potatoes off on the smoker at 250. Heat until warm throughout and cheese has melted.
Let me know what you think in the comments below! Any challenges you ran into? Please share with the community.
Lessons Learned (Note: I will update this section to include your lessons learned from the comment section)