A convenient, energy efficient toaster oven is the perfect countertop appliance for preparing twice-baked potatoes. Unlike a microwave, a toaster oven cooks and browns food with radiant heat like a regular oven, so you can use foil or any oven-safe pan in a toaster oven. Rather than heating a large oven to make twice-baked potatoes, do the cooking in a toaster oven. It's also handy if you're cooking other foods at a different temperature in your regular oven. Plan on half a large baker per serving or two halves per serving if the potatoes are small.
Things You'll Need
Medium mixing bowl
Scrub and trim russet potatoes. Wrap each potato in foil and place it on the rack in a toaster oven preheated to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Insert a wood skewer into the center of one raw potato and leave it there during baking to test for doneness. When the skewer pulls out easily without sticking, the potato is done. Depending on the size of the potatoes and how many are in the oven, bake them for about 50 to 60 minutes.
Remove the potatoes from the oven, leaving the oven on. Allow the potatoes to cool slightly so you can handle them. Remove the foil and slice each potato in half lengthwise with a sharp knife.
Scoop out the soft potato flesh with a spoon, placing it in a mixing bowl. Leave about 1/4 inch of flesh near the skin to create a "shell."
Mash the potato with a potato masher or hand mixer, adding milk a little at a time until the potato is blended smooth and creamy. Add your favorite toppings to the potato and mix well. Sour cream, butter, shredded cheese, cream cheese, minced garlic, scallions or chives and bacon crumbles are a few possibilities.
Spoon the potato mixture into the potato skin shells. Sprinkle the filled potatoes with additional toppings, if desired. Place the filled potatoes on a baking tray and return them to the toaster oven set at 400 F. Bake them for about 10 minutes to melt the cheese and reheat the filling, leaving them a little longer if you prefer a slightly crusty top.
Bake the potatoes a day ahead or use leftover baked potatoes. Prepare the filling and bake the filled potatoes on a baking tray in a 375 degree F toaster oven until the potatoes are heated through.
If your toaster oven has a broiler unit, you can use it to brown the tops of the filled potatoes
Oven temperatures may vary among models. Check your oven manual for specific suggestions.