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How to bake a potato in the oven

Updated on August 16, 2010
This potato looks like a butt
This potato looks like a butt

Baking potatoes made easy and tasty

Baking potatoes is both simple and provides a tasty treat. Potatoes are not just an empty food with starch, they have other nutrients as well that can be an important part of your diet. There's a reason they were the staple food of the Irish in the 1800's before the famine. Potatoes get a bad reputation because people overdo it with potatoes that have been made unhealthy by frying them, particularly with french fries.

You need potatoes and an oven

First, you need to buy the right potatoes. For baking potatoes, you want Russet potatoes. Buy the small ones because then you get a higher concentration of skin, which tastes better when baked.

Now you need an oven. A microwave oven will not do. Microwaves will bake the potato faster, but it will also kill pretty much everything healthy in the potato. You might as well be stuffing dirt into your mouth, except dirt actually has nutrients.

You need some oil. Use olive oil. Motor oil is not a good substitute, and if you just had to ask yourself that you've got a lot more problems than not knowing how to bake a potato.

You also need some salt. Sea salt is best, but that crap table salt will also work if you don't really care about quality.

Let's get to work and bake some potatoes

Use the scouring side of a sponge to clean the potatoes, but be very careful not to skin them. You need that skin to protect the potato during baking and also for taste. Remove spots that have strange colors, as they won't taste too great after being baked (or before, for that matter).

Now stab your potatoes. Don't go O.J. on them, just use a fork to stab each potato a few times. This will allow steam to vent out while the potato is baking.

Use a clean towel to dry your potatoes off. Stuff the towel into a duffel bag and fly to Chicago. Oh wait, I said don't go O.J. on these potatoes, so nevermind that last bit. But do dry your potatoes.

Preheat the oven to 350.

Rub a thin layer of oil on each potato. You can now put a little salt on the potatos and it'll stick in the oil layer.

Put the potatoes in the oven on one of the regular oven trays (not on a pan or over aluminum foil). Put a baking sheet on the tray below the potatoes, as they will drip a little and some crumbs will fall off. You don't want that stuff building up on your heating element.

In about 80 minutes your potatoes should be done. They'll be crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Open them up, add some spices of your choice and eat!


Submit a Comment

  • Jane Bovary profile image

    Jane Bovary 

    8 years ago from The Fatal Shore

    You're so right about that potato...


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