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There’s no question that we love a good potato recipe. Whether they’re mashed, smashed, sliced, or fried— potatoes are one of the best comfort foods you can make. And, if you ask us, the easiest way to prepare potatoes is to bake them in the oven. With their crispy skin and fluffy interior, baked potatoes only need a pat of butter and a sprinkle of salt to turn them into a delicious side dish for steak or chicken. Of course, you can also serve them as a meal on their own—just stuff them with toppings like bacon, cheese, and sour cream or check out Ree Drummond’s Buffalo Chicken Baked Potatoes (they’re a game day winner). But before we get ahead of ourselves, read on to find out everything you need to know about how to make a perfect baked potato.
When it comes to making baked potatoes in the oven, the process is simple. All you need is the right type of potato (russet is best) and some oil (for that crispy skin). They’ll bake in the oven—without any foil we might add—in just about an hour. And while some people use the microwave to “bake” potatoes, the oven will cook your potatoes more evenly, so they come out perfect every time. Once you have the method down, you can get as creative as you like. Try BLT Baked Potatoes, Twice Baked Potatoes, or even Baked Sweet Potatoes.
What type of potato is best for baking?You can really bake any kind of potato, but the best potatoes for baking are those that are low in moisture and high in starch, like a russet or an Idaho potato. Waxier potatoes like yukon golds or red-skinned potatoes won’t result in a fluffy center when baked.
What temperature do you bake potatoes at?We recommend baking potatoes at 400˚ to get the best texture inside and the crispiest skin on the outside.
Should baked potatoes be wrapped in foil?No! Wrapping potatoes in foil holds the moisture in—which means the potatoes will start to steam. If you wrap them in foil you’ll be left with soggy potatoes instead of crispy ones. Baking them on a baking sheet (or even directly on the oven rack) spaced apart lets the air circulate around them for more even cooking.
Should I poke holes in potatoes before baking?Yes! Pricking the potatoes with a fork creates tiny holes that allows steam to escape. This prevents your potato from bursting open in the oven (and making a mess!).How long should you bake a potato for?Depending on the size, 50 minutes to 1 hour at 400˚ should do the trick and result in perfectly fluffy flesh with crispy skin.
How do you tell if a baked potato is done? Once your timer goes off, you can check to see if your potato is done by piercing it with a paring knife—it should slide in easily. You can also give the potato a squeeze (with oven mitts on!) to feel if it’s soft.
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Yields: 4 servings
Prep Time: 0 hours 5 mins
Cook Time: 1 hour 0 mins
Total Time: 1 hour 5 mins
baking potatoes (such as russets)
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- Preheat the oven to 400˚. Scrub the potatoes clean and dry them, then prick them all over with a fork.
- Place the potatoes on a baking sheet. Rub them all over with the canola oil and bake until they are cooked thoroughly and soft in the center, about 1 hour.
Leftover baked potatoes can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days—they won’t be quite as crisp on the outside, but they’ll still be good!
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