On Saturday we had a 50th wedding anniversary party for my husband’s aunt and uncle. 50 years of marriage is an amazing accomplishment and we wanted to help them celebrate this milestone with family and friends.
Since the happy couple has no children of their own, my husband and I planned the party and took care of all the details.
We knew we wanted to feed everyone, but we didn’t want to just do cold cuts. My husband had the idea to serve baked potatoes and I thought it would be perfect.
We love potatoes and we figured it would be fun for people if we offered a variety of toppings.
So, I purchased 30 pounds of potatoes, got out all of my crock pots (and even borrowed a few), and purchased a bunch of food for toppings.
To quickly wash all of the potatoes I used my dishwasher. I had seen this idea on several sites and decided to give it a try.
Most sites suggested the quick rinse cycle, but I found that the potatoes needed longer so I used a regular rinse cycle after the quick rinse cycle. Then I let the potatoes air dry in the dishwasher.
The morning of the party Julia helped me poke holes in the potatoes, oil and salt the skins, and wrap them in aluminum foil.
We filled 4 large crockpots full of potatoes. I added a small amount of water to the bottom and then cooked the potatoes on low all day.
This worked out perfectly because we were gone from the house for a couple of hours to go to a birthday party. Then, we had to transport the potatoes to the party site. Yay, for crockpots!
We also served hot dogs in a crockpot. I had read how to do it at Crockpot 365, but the hot dogs we had were too tall.
So, I laid the hot dogs on their sides for 2 hours on high. I rotated the hot dogs after an hour. I think they did alright, but 4 hours on low might have been better.
A veggie tray rounded out our meal.
I did as much prep work as I could the day before the party which allowed me to focus on decorating instead of cooking the day of the party.
Here’s a recap of our baked potato bar.
Easy Baked Potato Bar
- Wash the potatoes in the dishwasher on the rinse cycle. Do not use detergent.
- Open the dishwasher door and allow the potatoes to air dry.
- Poke holes in the potatoes with a fork.
- Rub oil on the skins and salt them.
- Wrap each potato in aluminum foil.
- Put a small amount of water in the bottom of each crockpot.
- Place the potatoes in the crockpots.
- Cook on low for at least 8 hours or on high for 4 hours.
- Consider unwrapping the potatoes for your guests because they will be very hot.
- Provide a variety of toppings (see list below) for your guests.
Baked Potato Topping Ideas
- Sour Cream
- Shredded Cheese
- Chopped Ham
- Crumbled Bacon
- Cheese Sauce
- Chopped Broccoli (Cooked)
- Ranch Dressing
- Chopped Tomatoes
Bacon Cooking Tip: I have been cooking bacon in the oven for years and you couldn’t pay me to fry bacon now. Well, maybe if the price was right, but I am getting off track. Anyway…
Place sliced bacon on baking sheets with sides or in casserole dishes. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 25+ minutes or until desired crispiness is reached.
We had a lot of fun at our party and I wasn’t stressed about feeding a crowd because I allowed my crockpots to do most of the work.
Have you ever served a crowd with a baked potato bar? I highly recommend it.