Slow-Cooker "Baked" Potatoes

My husband is not a baked potato fan.  He's made that very clear.  Several times..... He is, however, a huge fan of twice baked potatoes.  So I've found the perfect compromise since I do appreciate a good baked potato.  I scoop out his potato and mix it with a little butter, milk, and cheese (as I would for a twice baked potato), but I don't bake it a second time.  Instead, I spoon it back into the shell and throw it under the broiler for a minute or two.  This makes him a very happy guy.

I am a big believer in using small appliances to make your life easier and the slow-cooker is one of those that I tend to lean heavily on.  I was shocked the first time I'd heard someone used a slow-cooker for "baking" potatoes.  I'm not sure why I was so surprised, I guess I'd just never thought of using it for this purpose before.  I now almost always bake them in the slow-cooker (in the summer I use the grill instead - those instructions are below as well). 

Slow-Cooker "Baked" Potatoes
Russet Potatoes, cleaned & dried
1 Tablespoon olive oil (more if cooking more than 4 potatoes)

Lay out 4 sheets of aluminum foil, each large enough to wrap around 1 potato.  Prep the clean potatoes by pricking several times with the tines of a fork or a small paring knife.  Using your hands, rub olive oil on the skins.  Sprinkle the potato skins with a little bit of salt.  Set each potato in the center of a piece of foil and tightly wrap the foil around it, making sure none of the potato is exposed.

Slow-Cooker Instructions:  Set prepped potatoes in the bottom of the slow-cooker and cook on low for 4-5 hours, for medium-size potatoes, or until a knife easily cuts into the potato.  **up to 8 hours for large potatoes**

Grill Instructions:  Preheat the grill for indirect grilling.  Place the prepared potatoes off of direct heat, on the grill grates, for 1 - 1 1/2 hours, keeping the grill temperature around 300 - 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

Once potatoes are cooked, carefully unwrap and slice open.  Place on a serving plate and using a fork, mash the inside slightly and add toppings as desired.  Serve.

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