How to Bake a Potato
1) Preheat the oven to 400°F
2) Wash and dry as many Russet Potatoes as needed (usually 1 per person). You can use a stiff brush or a rough glove to scrub the skins if desired.
3) Rub about 1/4 teaspoon of Olive Oil onto each potato. You can also salt & pepper the potato if desired.
4) Place the potatoes on a rimmed baking sheet and bake, turning after about 30-35 minutes. Then bake for about another 30-35 minutes until easily pierced with a paring knife or it gives (feels soft) when squeezed with a potholder.
5) Slice open and top with your favorite ingredients, some ideas are listed below.
How Long to Bake a Potato
Potatoes bake for about 65-75 minutes in a 400° oven, depending on the size. This baking time is for a common 8-10 ounce potato, so give or take from the time if you have tiny or huge potatoes to bake.
This is the tastiest and healthiest way to bake a potato. It will produce a crispy skin and tender inside so you can eat the entire thing.
Alternately, you can also place the potatoes inside aluminum foil to bake them. Simply wash and then wrap each potato in a piece of foil and bake. This method will produce a softer skin that is not as desirable to eat, but it does have some other benefits. One plus is that if you are baking other things in the oven, you can place the potatoes around the other items and bake them at the same time. You can bake them at whatever temperature you are using for the rest of the dinner, just adjust the time. If you are baking at 350°, the potatoes will take about an hour and a half to bake. Another plus is that you can keep the baked potatoes warm if you have some people arriving late for dinner – they keep warm for quite awhile inside the aluminum foil.
Potatoes can also be microwaved, but they must be pierced several times with a fork or they will explode in the microwave. Here too there is no tasty potato skin, the only advantage is time savings.
In the summer, you may want to bake potatoes on the grill. Place them on the side opposite from the fire and leave the grill lid closed for an even temperature. Using aluminum foil is best for the grill.
Toppings for Baked Potatoes
To make your baked potato extra special, try one of these toppings:
Leftover baked potatoes make great hash browns the next morning. Just cut them up and fry them in a little oil with salt and pepper. Add some peppers, onions and garlic if you like.
To find out how long baked potatoes last see our potato page.