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Re: [Phys-L] physics and potatoes

We had a pretty lengthy discussion about this a few years back.
Go to
and search on
physics and potatoes
potatoes foil

-----Original Message-----
From: Phys-l <> On Behalf Of Anthony
Sent: Monday, December 3, 2018 8:34 PM
To: Phys <>
Subject: [Phys-L] physics and potatoes

A colleague recently asked me about the physics of baking potatoes wrapped
in foil. I remember my dad always doing this on the grill when I was younger.
I think restaurants did it back then. Not any more? Or did restaurants cook
the potatoes first and then wrap them in foil to keep them warm (since
restaurants never cook potatoes to order as it takes too long)?

I always though that foil conducted heat and made the potato cook faster.
It then trapped the heat inside to assist in the baking process. I searched
online and read that the foil actually steams the potato since the moisture
can't escape and so the skin will become soggy. But the foil also reflects IR
radiation, making the potato cook slower. Or is foil only good when cooking
potatoes in a campfire or on a charcoal grill? There seems to conflicting info
online with all of this.

Any master chefs on this list? Does anyone know the real physics behind
potatoes and foil?