© 2013 Aaron Atkinson

Exploding Spuds

Growing up, Mom would always use a fork to poke holes in the skins of our potatoes before she baked them.

Young Aaron: Why do you poke holes in the potatoes, Mum?

Mom: If I don’t, they’ll explode when I bake them.

It sounded far-fetched, but I believed her. Years later when I started baking my own potatoes I’d poke holes in the skins to keep them from exploding.

Then one day a couple of years ago I thought back on our conversation and decided to see for myself if an unholy potato would indeed explode in the oven. So after washing my spud I put it directly into the pre-heated oven without any holes and I waited for the big bang. It never came. That potato baked perfectly with no negative side effects. So, myth busted, I’ve baked dozens of un-poked potatoes and they all baked just fine.

Until tonight.

When I opened the oven I saw the potato pictured above. Sure enough it had exploded. There were shards of spud browning on the bottom of the oven while the papery skin hung ripped and ragged.

This one’s for you, Mom – henceforth I shall once again poke my potatoes prior to baking them.


  1. Betty Atkinson
    Posted August 23, 2013 at 1:59 pm | #

    Also, they are supposed to bake faster. But what do I know. 🙂

  2. Aaron Atkinson
    Posted August 27, 2013 at 1:13 am | #

    You might be right. Once it blew up it baked in a jiffy.

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