I love a good baked potato. Now, load it up with toppings and I’ll eat that any day of the week! Whether it be butter, sour cream, salt and pepper or pile on some sauteed onions and peppers followed by some diced ham and some Homemade Ranch Dressing… My oh My, delicious! Get creative and load it with some bacon, cheese and chives. How about slathering that baked potato with some homemade Chili? Oh, and twice baked potatoes!
Since potatoes don’t really have a distinct flavor, you can do so many things with them. But first we need to bake ’em and get them nice and tender. The method I’m going to share here is my personal favorite way to do it, in the oven. Are there other ways? Of course, and I’ll note a few throughout this post.
Here’s how I bake ’em.
How to bake a potato
When picking out baked russet potatoes, try to get them all to be about the same size and shape. That way they’ll bake in the same amount of time. The ones shown here are around 10-12 ounces each.
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
So, lets get started with prepping the potato for the oven. Wash them thoroughly and pat dry. I like for the skin of my potatoes to be tender, so I wrap them in aluminum foil. If you like a crispy skinned potato, skip this part.
Once you wrap the potatoes in aluminum foil, (or not… if you like a crispy skin) place them directly on the middle rack in your preheated 425 degree oven.
So, here’s a general rule of thumb for baking time. For these 10-12 ounce potatoes, figure about an hour. If they’re smaller, less time and if they’re bigger, more time. About half way through the baking time, turn the potatoes over. (Use an oven mitt to protect those pretty hands!)
How to test for tenderness? I put on an oven mitt and gently squeeze the potato. If it’s still hard, they’re not done. If they are soft, they are! Simple as that.
Remove from the oven and place on a protected surface or go ahead and put them on a plate. Let them rest for a few minutes. They will retain their heat for a long time. Now you’re ready to cut them open and eat them any way you’d like!
A few notes for baking potatoes:
- If you like a tender skinned baked potato, wrap in aluminum foil before baking.
- If you like a crispy skinned baked potato, don’t wrap them in aluminum foil for baking.
- If you don’t have an hour to bake the potatoes, pierce the skin on each potato a few times with a fork and microwave each one for 1 minute. This will cut the time about in half.
- Can you fully bake a potato in the microwave? Yes, but the taste and texture of the skin and flesh will be a bit different. Not my favorite way, but it can be done. To microwave a baked potato… wash and pat dry the potato, pierce the skin a few times with a fork and wrap in a paper towel. Microwave on high for one minute, turn the potato over and microwave on high for another minute. With an oven mitt, check for tenderness and microwave 30 seconds at a time until it’s of the desired tenderness. Be sure to use an oven mitt, they will be hot!
Here’s the printer friendly recipe.