How to Bake a Potato in a Toaster Oven Like a Pro
1. Shop for the best potatoes
To gain a clearer understanding how to bake a potato in a toaster oven, first and foremost, you need to shop for the right kind of potatoes.
In fact, baking a potato using this method has less to do with the actual baking and more to do with the preparation before putting your tasty taters into the toaster oven.
First, make sure that your potatoes have a brownish tone to them and not green.
Second, if you want to bake more than one then they both should be of similar size so that they cook evenly. Lastly, but most importantly, smaller sized potatoes are ideal for baking in a toaster oven and will take less time to cook.
2. Get set up in the kitchen
Before you bake a potato in a toaster oven, the main things that you’ll need before you start are a bristle brush, fork, toaster oven tray rack, olive oil, and some optional ingredients that you can use at your discretion.
Below is a short list of other ingredients you could add as extra toppings after baking the potatoes. Use whatever strikes your fancy.
- Cheese (Mozzarella, Cheddar, Blue, or Feta)
- Fresh ground black pepper
- Sea salt
- Black beans
- Sour cream
- Bell peppers
3. Prepare your toaster oven for baking the potatoes
Pre-heating your toaster oven is optional.
Some people actually prefer smaller toaster ovens to conventional ovens since toaster ovens can yield more consistent results with the way the potatoes come out in the end. Plus, it isn't absolutely necessary to pre-heat the toaster oven. A large conventional oven usually requires that you pre-heat to 350 or 400 degrees.
However, with a small toaster oven, you can save time by skipping the pre-heat stage and simply stick the potatoes in after you have prepared them for baking.
*Remember to keep the toaster oven away from flammable materials that could catch fire. Keep things like paper or wood far from the areas surrounding the oven. Of course, avoid putting foil or any other materials that could catch fire near the heating elements. Practice safety at all times whenever using your toaster oven.
The next key steps involve the preparation of the potatoes.
4. Clean the potatoes and poke them
Once you have the potatoes you want, grab your bristle brush. Scrub them with the brush, rinse them under cold water and dry them off.
Next, take your fork and poke the potatoes several times so that the steam can escape from them while they are baking in the toaster oven. Four or five pokes with the fork across each potato should suffice.
5. Oil the potatoes and add other ingredients
Part of this step is optional, but it really depends on your taste buds. Before baking, rub some extra virgin olive oil on them. This is definitely recommended and healthier than other oil alternatives.
In addition, after applying the olive oil, you may want to try rolling the potatoes in coarse salt. Sea salt is better than regular salt.
Note, some people like to “bake” their potatoes by wrapping them in aluminum foil. Remember that is technically a “steamed” potato so don't use any foil off if you want an authentic baked potato with crispy skin.
6. Place the potatoes in the toaster oven to bake
After your tasty troops are prepped and ready to go then it’s time to put them in your trusty toaster oven. Open the toaster oven door and place the potatoes on the baking rack. Make sure that the potatoes are aligned in the middle of the toaster oven and not pushed too far back or too close to the edge of the rack.
Bake them for about 45 to 60 minutes. However, if you have already pre-heated the toaster oven to 400 degrees (Fahrenheit), then you can cook for less time.
7. Check the potatoes with a fork
After 45 minutes is up, take your potatoes out and poke one of them with a fork again. If it’s soft and tender then it’s okay to stop baking. But if the potatoes aren't quite ready, put them back in the toaster oven for a few more minutes. Another ten minutes should do.
8. Add ingredients and serve your baked potatoes
Slice your potatoes in half and get ready to serve them with your meal. Here are some other optional ingredients you can add that weren't mentioned at the beginning of the article: butter, bacon bits, chili, tuna, broccoli, cream cheese, and chives.
Now, hopefully, you understand how to bake a potato in a toaster oven like a pro and can confidently serve it at the dinner table without any doubt.
Enjoy eating your baked potatoes!
Please leave a comment below to share your thoughts and other baked potato tips.