How to Bake a Potato Like a Pro
1. Shop for the best potatoes
How to bake a potato correctly has less to do with the actual baking and more to do with the preparation before putting your tasty taters in the oven. First, make sure that your potatoes have a brownish tone to them and not green. If you want to bake more than one then they both should be of similar size so that they cook evenly.
2. Get set up in the kitchen
Before you bake a potato, the main things that you’ll need before you start are: a bristle brush, fork, baking sheet, baking paper and some optional ingredients that you can use at your discretion. Plus, you need something to bake your potatoes and usually that involves your conventional oven. Some people use smaller toaster ovens which can sometimes yield inconsistent results with the way the potatoes come out in the end.
3. Pre-heat the oven
Before you start to prepare the potatoes to put in, you can pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. If you want them done faster then you could always up the heat a little to 400. Place your rack in the middle position inside the oven. You’re almost ready to bake!
4. Clean ‘em and Poke 'em
Once you have the potatoes you want and the oven is heating up, 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 oven. Four or five pokes with the fork across each potato should suffice.
5. Oil and salt ‘em
This step is optional, but it really depends on your taste buds. Before baking, try rubbing some olive oil on them and rolling them in coarse salt. Sea salt is recommended. Lots of people like to “bake” their potatoes by wrapping them in aluminum foil. Remember that is technically a “steamed” potato so take the foil off if you want an authentic baked potato with crispy skin.
6. Place the potatoes in the oven
After your tasty troops are prepped and ready to go then it’s time to throw them in your pre-heated oven. Place some baking paper on the baking sheet and put the potatoes on. Slip the baking sheet on the middle tray of the oven and bake them for about 60 minutes. Remember, if you have pre-heated to 400 degrees then you can cook for less time.
7. Check ‘em out
After 60 minutes is up, take your baking sheet out and poke it with a fork again. If it’s soft and tender then it’s okay to take them out. Put them back in for a few more minutes if they need more baking.
8. Add ingredients and serve
Slice your potatoes in half and get ready to serve them with your meal. Here are a number of optional ingredients you can add: butter, sour cream, bacon bits, chilli, baked beans, ground black pepper, salt or even tuna. Now, hopefully, you understand how to bake a potato like a pro and can confidently serve it at the dinner table without any doubt. Enjoy eating your baked potatoes!