Does Wrapping Potatoes in Foil Cook Faster?

Last Updated on May 24th, 2023

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Wrapping potatoes in foil for baking does not allow them to cook faster. As the oven or grill temperature increases, the foil has to heat up in order to lock in moisture and heat within the foil casing.

Once the heat builds up under the foil, it quickens the cooking process, but adding this extra layer to the potato actually increases the cooking time. In addition, by locking in the moisture, the foil creates a tent around the potato and allows a steaming effect to occur.

This will result in a fluffy and fully cooked potato, but it will take more time than cooking them naked.

Foil wrapped potatoes on fire - does it cook faster?

Is This a Myth?

Wrapping potatoes in foil for cooking is a long-standing cooking practice and is not a myth. Cooking in foil allows the potato to be steamed inside rather than roasted.

Wrapping potatoes in foil is also helpful for keeping the skin of the potato soft and moist rather than crispy. By cooking the potato over high heat for an extended time, the skin and insides dry out and become denser.

The duration of time that it takes to cook potatoes wrapped in foil versus not wrapped is the myth. Due to the foil needing to build up the heat between the empty space of the foil interior and the skin of the potato, it takes more time to cook completely.


Why Doesn’t it Work?

This method of cooking does work. However, it does not expedite the cooking time. Because there is a space between the potato and the foil, it takes longer for heat to build up and permeate the potato to its core.

This causes the cooking process to take longer than if you were to place them directly into the oven or over the grill. By allowing the potato to cook uncovered, the heat from the oven or grill is able to begin cooking and heat the potato immediately upon exposure.


How Can You Speed Up Cooking Potatoes?

There are a few ways that the cooking time for potatoes can be sped up. The most common way is to boil or steam the potato. Water is a better heat conductor and allows the potato to reach its internal cooking temperature a lot faster than roasting.

In addition, you can chop the potato in half or smaller sections prior to cooking. Finally, if you want crispy skin with the roasting method, you can steam your potatoes in the microwave or steamer.

Once 75% cooked, the potatoes can be transferred to the oven or grill to crisp up the skin and exposed areas.


Is Using Aluminum Foil for Cooking Unhealthy?

Using aluminum foil for cooking is not considered to be unhealthy. One thing that you should consider is the frequency with which you cook using aluminum foil. If used too often, it can introduce excess aluminum into your body.

However, you would have to use a high quantity of aluminum foil and a borderline excessive rate. Many people believe that cooking with foil can have reactions to acidic foods or can expose you to unnecessary toxins.

In order to achieve something like that, you would have to consume a large quantity of food cooked in aluminum foil for a long period of time.


Should You Poke Holes in Potatoes Before Baking?

You can absolutely poke holes in potatoes before the baking process begins. There are a couple of reasons why this is a good idea. Firstly, adding holes in the potato skin can allow excess moisture to escape while cooking.

Reducing the moisture in the potato while it bakes will change the texture and flavor of the potato. Once the potato is done, rather than a crunchy and juicy snack, you will be left with a mealy and dense grainy substance that crumbles from contact.

In addition, giving the excess moisture a place to escape will help keep the potato skin from rupturing.


Final Thoughts on Does Wrapping Potatoes in Foil Cook Faster

In conclusion, potatoes can be cooked in foil. However, it is a myth that cooking potatoes in aluminum foil will decrease the cooking time needed. In fact, it adds a significant amount of time needed to get a fully cooked potato.

Covering potatoes in foil for cooking creates a steaming effect. Therefore you’ll end up with a steamed consistency rather than a roasted potato. By baking the potato uncovered, the heat is able to directly dry out the skin and add crispness.