Find: Glad Steamer Bags for Perfect Potatoes

glad bags.jpgGet better results when you prepare a “baked” potato by using Glad Steaming bags in the microwave.

While restaurants bake their potatoes on high heat in commercial grade ovens, most of us don’t have the hour it takes to wait for them to cook nor the desire to heat up our kitchens at home. Microwaves have released us from needing the oven to cook potatoes, but they can still yield uneven results, with some spots of the potato more done than others.

Pre-washed, pre-wrapped baked potatoes are time-saving options but naturally cost more than plain baking potatoes. Glad Simply Cooking Microwave Steaming Bags offer a compromise between the convenience (and slightly higher price) of pre-wrapped potatoes and the time-consuming oven baking of raw potatoes.

Potatoes cook in 6 – 8 minutes, depending on their size and number (larger bags can hold more than one). I’ve found that the potatoes cook more evenly and are moist and fluffy but not soggy. The flesh peels away from the skin easily. The bags can be used a couple of times without losing their effectiveness; I’ll cook two potatoes, then cook two more using the same bag. Although the manufacturer instructs not to re-use bags due to the possibility of cross-contamination, whole potatoes cooked in batches wouldn’t pose the same risk as, say, steaming fish and then steaming broccolli in the same bag. 

The bags work for other vegetables as well, but potatoes are a truly fool-proof use for this kitchen helper, and the gains in your time and more efficient use of energy are considerable. Use a bag to quickly cook a potato for your lunch and add a topping like chili, roast chicken or barbeque. It’s cheaper than a frozen dinner and a good way to use up your leftovers besides.     

Remember those zipper bag omelete recipes that were passed over the web (you put egg, ham and cheese in a zipper bag and tossed it into boiling water)? The recipes were discouraged later because the bags weren’t intended designed for boiling, leading to a concern of potential chemical breakdown into the food. Microwave steaming bags once again offer us the promise of a real breakfast with no dishes left in the sink; toss in two eggs, stir, then add ingredients and cook on high for 2 minutes.

The company provides other unexpected recipes for the bags, like beef stroganoff starting with uncooked noodles – just slice the sirloin steak thinly and add beef broth to cook the noodles. Ready in 5 minutes with virtually no cleanup? I like it!