How to Make the Perfect Baked Potato

Okay… making the perfect Baked Potato is somewhat subjective… everyone has their own idea about just what is the perfect Baked Potato.

For me… the perfect Baked Potato has a crisp outer skin and a uniformly soft inside… with lots of butter… oh wait… scratch the butter part… that’s not part of the recipe.

Actually this isn’t so much a recipe as a “How To”… so let’s get to it.. but first a few tips.


Russet potatoes make the best baking potatoes.

I have always brushed my potatoes with oil and my potatoes don’t drip oil while cooking, but others, such as Alton Brown, dip the potatoes in oil… then you do have to be very careful about dripping oil.

Put a small pan on the rack below the potato to catch any dripping oil from the potato to prevent any oil fires.

I use Extra Virgin Olive Oil to coat my potatoes, other sources (Alton Brown) use Canola Oil… I have used that in the past and found no difference… I just prefer to use Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

One little tip I did get from Alton Brown that is pretty neat… to open his baked potatoes.. he takes a fork and pierces a line of holes down the center of the top of the potato… then pinches it open… it does work like a charm… you should try it. Be careful though… steam will come out.

Sour Cream... don't forget the sour cream!

All you need:

Baking Potatoes
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
A cooking brush (basting)
A fork

All you need to do:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Clean and dry the potatoes.

Pierce the potato all over (about 6 times)… to allow steam to escape while baking (and to prevent exploding).

Brush the potato with the oil.

Place on a rack in the middle of the oven and bake for about an hour or until the skin is crisp and the inside is soft when pierced with a fork.

Add more time when baking more than 4 potatoes.

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