Last week I was sent some McCain Ready Baked Jacket Potatoes to review. According to McCain "The Ready Baked Jacket is bought part-baked and drizzled in sunflower oil and it is these two elements that give it the texture of a traditional spud in the oven."
Erm, OK then! Being rather curious to taste these new fangled baked spuds I jumped at the chance to try some for free. They were sent to me in a special 'keep things frozen' box with some cute microwave oven mits and loads of recipes I could try if I wanted to.
However, I wanted to taste the spud without faffing about and disguising the flavour so I could tell exactly what it was really like.
The McCain Ready Baked Jacket Potatoes come in a 2 pack for £1.29 or a 4 pack for £1.99. Not particularly cheap, you could get 2.5kg of baking potatoes from the supermarket for £1 on offer last week.
They're easy to prepare, you just take them out of the freezer, liberate them from the packaging and microwave them. It took 7 minutes for 2 potatoes cooked at the same time.
The potatoes are already cut slightly so I just cut them a little deeper and tucked in. I ended up adding a sprinkling of cheese after the first couple of bites because my spud just wasn't the same without it. LOL
So what did hubby and I think of them? Well, they tasted fab and fluffy on the inside - pretty good but not quite as delicious as totally oven cooked jacket potatoes. However the skin was floppy, not crisp and not that great at all to be honest. The potato skin had the colour of an oven baked jacket potato but I was disappointed there was no crispy skin and not quite the depth of flavour that oven baked spuds have.
I quite often make my own convenient baked potatoes by baking them in advance, freezing them and then whipping them out to microwave when we need them. I'm sure some people will buy them who want a quick dinner or lunch on the run but probably won't be us buying them.
McCain have produced a fairly decent microwave baked spud but the skin lets it down. The skin was softer and saggier than a traditionally baked potato and consequently didn’t have the depth of flavour you get when a baked potato is fresh from the oven.
The inside of the spud was lovely but they are expensive and I can't say that I would buy them for our family. They're expensive for what they are and I can't bear not having a crispy skin on my baked potatoes. However, if you’re stuck at home or work, with minutes to spare and only a microwave to hand, they’re worth a try. Much better than some of the dire, cremated and tasteless baked potatoes that I have had the misfortune to purchase from High Street chains cafes.
Here's one of the recipes I was sent with the McCain Ready Baked Jacket Potatoes:
Cheesy Stuffed McCain Ready Baked Jackets with Ham
Preparation and cooking time: 10 minutes or less
2 McCain Ready Baked Jacket Potatoes
3 or 4 spring onions, sliced
75g cooked ham, diced
50g grated mature Cheddar
50g soft cheese
Follow the instructions on the pack to cook the McCain Ready Baked Jackets. Then cut in half and allow to cool.
Scoop the flesh from the cooked potato and mix with the ham, cheese and spring onions. Use the mixture to refill the potato skins then you could grill the four halves until golden and crisp. Serve with side salad.
Tip: This is a great recipe for using up leftover cheese, so experiment with your favourites. Blue cheese or Parmesan are great options.
I was sent, for the purposes of this review, a frozen delivery of the McCain Jacket Potatoes which retail at £1.29 for a twin pack and £1.99 for a 4 pack.