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The Perfect Baked Potato

We eat a lot of potatoes in this house. Baked, fried, boiled, mashed….we’ve never met a potato dish we didn’t like. 🙂 But one of our FAVORITE ways to consume this starchy tuber is the traditional baked-in-the-oven way.

There’s just something about the perfect baked potato that is…well…perfect! But as simple as baking a potato sounds, the perfect baked potato doesn’t just happen. It actually took me quite a few years to realize that there was a certain “art” to it.

Here is the way I do it inspired by What’s Cooking America.

Start with the right kind of potato – a nice, starchy russet potato is my favorite for baking. According to food scientist Harold McGee, the cells of a high-starch potato separate when cooked so they soak up sour cream and butter. 🙂

Make sure that the skin has a nice even brown tone, and don’t buy potatoes that have sprouted or have a green tint to them. Choose potatoes of similar sizw; they will cook more evenly.

Preparation:

Preheat your oven and move the rack to the middle position.

If time is not an issue I like to baked my potatoes at 325 degrees for 90 minutes. However, I know this isn’t always possible, so if you’re pressed for time you can bake the potatoes at 400 degrees for 45 minutes, or 350 degrees for 60 minutes.

Rinse and scrub each potato under cold running water. Dry each potato thoroughly.

Remove any bruises or discolored spots with a sharp knife.

Pierce each potato 3-4 times to allow the steam to escape during baking.

If you decide to wrap your potatoes in aluminum foil before baking, this will result in the skin being soft, not crispy, and the insides will not be the light, flaky texture you are looking for. Of course this is personal preference…but I much prefer the perfect BAKED potato to the steamed variety. 🙂

Rub the outside of the potato with olive oil or vegetable oil then sprinkle with kosher salt. This will make your potato skins perfectly crisp and salty!  Yum!

Place the potatoes directly on the oven rack in preheated oven.

Bake for:

45 minutes at 400 degrees
60 minutes at 350 degrees
90 minutes at 325 degrees (preferred)

Potatoes are done if tender when pierced with a knife or fork.

NOTE: If you’re cooking more than 4 potatoes, extend the cooking time 10 – 15 minutes.

Remove potatoes from the oven, slit crosswise across the top with a knife. Squeeze and pinch the potato towards the middle.

You now have the perfect baked potato ready for your perfect choice of toppings! 

Mine are butter, sour cream, chives/green onion, salt & pepper. Perfection! What are yours?

The Perfect Baked Potato

Jill Nystul
There’s just something about the perfect baked potato that is…well…perfect! As simple as baking a potato sounds, it actually took me quite a few years to realize that there was a certain “art” to it.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr 40 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 185 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 4 Potatoes
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil or Vegetable Oil
  • 2 tsp Kosher Salt

Instructions
 

  • Preheat your oven and move the rack to the middle position.
  • Rinse and scrub each potato under cold running water. Dry each potato thoroughly.
  • Remove any bruises or discolored spots with a sharp knife.
  • Pierce each potato 3-4 times to allow the steam to escape during baking.
  • If you decide to wrap your potatoes in aluminum foil before baking, this will result in the skin being soft, not crispy, and the insides will not be the light, flaky texture you are looking for.
  • Rub the outside of the potato with olive oil or vegetable oil then sprinkle with kosher salt. This will make your potato skins perfectly crisp and salty! Yum!
  • Place the potatoes directly on the oven rack in preheated oven.
  • Bake for 45 minutes at 400 degrees, 60 minutes at 350 degrees, or 90 minutes at 325 degrees (preferred)
  • Potatoes are done if tender when pierced with a knife or fork.

Nutrition

Sodium: 1184mgCalcium: 64mgVitamin C: 24.3mgFiber: 5gPotassium: 879mgCalories: 185kcalSaturated Fat: 1gFat: 7gProtein: 5gCarbohydrates: 26gIron: 6.9mg

 


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