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How to Make the Perfect Baked Potato

Updated on July 2, 2014

Baked Potatoes with Crispy Outside

Yummy baked potatoes with large salt crystals
Yummy baked potatoes with large salt crystals | Source

Wash Potatoes

Remove Bad Spots

Cook Time

Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 1 hour
Ready in: 1 hour 5 min
Yields: One person per potato

Supplies Needed

  • Vegetable brush - for washing potato
  • Paring knife - to remove bad spots on potato
  • Fork - for poking potato
  • Small bowl, or paper towel or newspaper - to work over
  • Baking sheet - to place beneath potatoes
  • Plate - to place potato on once cooked


  • 1 per person Russet potatoes
  • 1 TBS Olive oil
  • 1 tsp Sea salt, (I prefer coarse salt for this recipe)

First Things

First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Second, wash the potatoes. I like to use a brush to scrub the potatoes while I wash them. This ensures all of the dirt is removed, and if you scrub a little hard, it thins out the skin.

Third, Remove any bad spots on the potato. A small paring knife works perfect for this.

Stab Baked Potato

Oil the Potato

Salt the Potato

Instructions - Making the Baked Potato

  1. Now that all of the preliminaries are out of the way, it's time to prepare the potato. Get out a small bowl to work over, or a paper towel or newspaper.
  2. Stab each potato a few times with a fork. Holes in the potato allow steam to escape during the cooking process, and will prevent the potato from exploding in your oven.
  3. Drizzle olive oil over a potato, rubbing the oil over the potato with your hand to cover the entire potato.
  4. Sprinkle sea salt on the potato, while still holding it in your hand, turning the potato over to cover all sides. NOTE: If you are eating a low-salt diet, you can skip this step or use a salt-free seasoning instead.
  5. Prepare each potato this way.
  6. Place potatoes directly on the top oven rack as shown.
  7. Place a cookie sheet on the lower oven rack, beneath the potatoes, just in case any of the potatoes drip.
  8. Set a timer for 45 minutes for small potatoes, 60 minutes for large potatoes.
  9. When the timer goes off, stick a potato with a fork to see if it's done. If it's fully cooked, the fork will insert easily into the potato. If it's not quite cooked, it will be harder to get the fork inserted, similar to when you stabbed it before cooking. If it's not quite done, re-set the timer for 5 or 10 more minutes, and check again.
  10. When the potatoes are fully cooked, turn the oven off and remove the potatoes from the oven. An easy way is to stab each potato with a fork, and place the potato on a plate.
  11. That's it! Your potatoes are ready to serve. Enjoy!

Potatoes in Oven

Finished Potato

Try it and let me know how you liked it.

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    • Amber Killinger profile image

      Amber Killinger 3 years ago

      Pamela, I too enjoy eating the skins of baked potatoes and would be so disappointed to have one served to me with a dirty, inedible peel. Thanks for the comment.

    • Pamela Kinnaird W profile image

      Pamela Kinnaird W 3 years ago from Maui and Arizona

      I enjoyed this old-fashioned, common sense approach. A lot of people I know these days don't wash their potatoes before they bake them and they don't puncture the potatoes with the fork to help them cook better. I don't really care about the latter but the former means I don't get to eat any of the skins -- even if I want to. Voting up, useful and interesting. Sharing.

    • HONEYSTAR profile image

      HONEYSTAR 6 years ago from Malaysia

      good sharing...thanks.