Tasty Tuesday: Perfect Baked Potatoes


Okay, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “Like anyone doesn’t know how to make a baked potato.” Either that, or “Man, she sure does like potatoes.” Well, yes, I do. In fact, I might even go so far as to say they are my favorite vegetable. I like them in any disguise. And as a busy singleton, I can and do live for a while on simple meals like baked potatoes, tuna salad, and waffles. When I was growing up, my mom used to make baked potatoes in the microwave. It is definitely the quickest method, but really not the tastiest. I have experimented with different ways of cooking baked potatoes over the years, and I’m going to share with you my failsafe recipe. It’s easy, I promise.

All right, first you’re going to take a potato (any kind) and wash it. Scrub the dirt off (please use something with bristles) and cut out any bad places. Using a sharp knife, stab slits into the potato all over. Careful not to stab your hands, kids. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Put about a tablespoon of cooking oil (any kind will do) on a small plate. Dip the potato into the oil and use your thumb to spread it out over the potato. You might do that on each side. Now sprinkle salt (any kind) onto the potato for a light, all-over coating. Set the potato directly onto the oven rack (in the middle), and leave it there for one hour. (“One hour, one hour, one hour! Thaaank YOU!” Can anyone ID the movie?) At that point, use a potholder to pull the rack out a little and transfer the potato to a plate. Let it sit on the plate for about a minute before you cut into it, so that it cooks just a little bit longer. Now, have your way with it using the toppings of your choice.

A couple of tips:

If you are using the smallest size red, new, or fingerling potatoes, you need to bake several at one time to use the instructions above. If they are so small that they’re going to fall through the bars on your oven rack, you should use one of those baking pans with the built-in rack over a pan. The reason for not using just a regular baking pan is that you want the air to be able to circulate all the way around the potato for even cooking.

If you’re using a gigantic baking potato, you might want to leave it in a little bit longer than an hour. Also, let it sit on the plate for maybe 4 minutes to continue steaming itself.

Sometimes I crank up the oven to 400 degrees F, because I like my potato skins as crispy as possible, and the higher heat seems to do the trick.


1 Comment

  1. Jen said,

    April 14, 2009 at 10:34 am

    “Singleton” has nothing to do with it. I often make meals out of cereal, waffles, or oatmeal.

    Also, I do my potatoes similarly, except on a baking pan and using specifically olive oil.

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