Each day, thousands of people search “how to bake potatoes.” So please, don’t be embarrassed to be here — you’re definitely not alone. We love potatoes in every form, but oven-baked potatoes will forever hold a special place in our heart. An easy side dish to any dinner, they really don’t need anything else besides a bit of butter and salt for a stellar side. Not to mention they’re the perfect base for a more filling meal and an awesome Baked Potato Bar.
Just load them up with bacon, cheese, and sour cream for a loaded potato dream, or if you’re feeling fancy pour homemade chili over the top and enjoy.
The Best Types Of Baking Potatoes
It’s controversial! However, Russet potatoes or Sweet Potatoes make great baked potatoes because of their thick skin and starchy, fluffy interior. Contrast that with waxy potatoes like Yukon gold, red potatoes, or fingerling potatoes: these are best for roasting and mashing.
Why You Need To Scrub Them
Those Russets you’re about to eat came from the ground and are probably still covered in a considerable amount of dirt. Give ’em a good scrub and rinse, friend!
Poke Steam Holes
Before baking, make sure to pierce your potatoes all over with a fork or a small pairing knife. This will help to release steam in the oven and prevent your potato from bursting (yes, you heard that right). You want to be really careful when poking holes – take your time!
The Key To Crispy Skin
Dry skin = crispy baked skin, and you definitely want to eat the skin — it’s got all the flavor (if eating the skin/peel is your thing). After you give the potatoes a good scrub, make sure to dry them thoroughly with a clean dish towel or paper towels: Moisture will result in soggy sadness. You’ll also want to rub them with olive oil. Not only does it help the skin crisp up even more, but it makes it taste better. However, oil is totally optional! season generously before baking. Without enough salt, they’ll taste boring and plain. However, salting a potato is totally optional. If you are maintaining a salt-free or low-salt lifestyle. You’re awesome!
No need to wrap them in foil!
Wrapping your potato in foil keeps the moisture in, leaving you with soggy skin instead of the crispy exterior most people enjoy. If you prefer a softer skin, then you can wrap the potatoes in foil before baking.
To Rack Or Not To Rack
If you have an oven-safe rack that fits inside a baking sheet, cook the potatoes on it. The greater the circulation under the potatoes, the better the results.
What Temperature To Bake Potatoes
High heat makes all the difference in the world. The baked potato oven temp is actually pretty fluid, from 375 to 400°F, so if your oven is set at a different temperature go ahead and cook the potatoes at that temperature, just know they might take a little shorter or longer to become tender. There are many recipes that call for a higher baking temperature: some as high as 450 degrees. These temperatures depend on your oven, your comfort and safety. You will need to gauge your cooking time accordingly – It’s your call!
How Long To Bake Potatoes In The Oven
One hour is about right; you may have to go a bit longer. BUT, to get a really good gauge when they’re done, measure the internal temperature. A fully cooked baked potato should register 205°-210°F. Confirm with your instant-read talking kitchen thermometer. Just insert it right into the middle of the potato. And once cooked, slice them open partially to release steam (and therefore to avoid gumminess).
Baked potatoes taste best straight from the oven. But if you want to make them in advance, let them cool completely before storing them in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
To reheat the potato, take it out of the refrigerator and allow it come to room temperature. Then, bake at 350° until it’s warmed through, about 15 minutes. Alternatively can reheat in microwave until desired temperature is reached.
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