There’s nothing quite like a perfectly baked potato – crispy on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside. A baked potato is a versatile and satisfying dish that can be enjoyed on its own or as a side to various meals. While it may seem like a simple dish to prepare, there are a few tricks to getting that perfect result every time. Here are some tips for making the perfect baked potato in the oven.
- Choose the Right Potato
Not all potatoes are created equal, and choosing the right one can make all the difference. Russet potatoes are the best for baking, as they have a high starch content and a thick skin that crisps up nicely in the oven. Look for potatoes that are medium to large, and avoid any that have soft spots, sprouts or blemishes.
- Preheat the Oven
Preheating the oven is one of the most important steps to achieving a perfectly baked potato. Preheating the oven allows for even cooking and ensures that the potato will cook through to the centre without becoming too crispy on the outside. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Prep the Potato
Before placing the potato in the oven, it’s important to prepare it properly. Start washing the potato thoroughly under cold running water to remove any dirt or debris. Next, pat the potato dry with a paper towel and use a fork to pierce the skin several times. This will allow steam to escape during cooking and prevent the potato from exploding in the oven.
- Add Some Oil and Seasoning
Adding oil to the potato’s skin can help it crisp in the oven. Use a pastry brush to brush a little olive oil, vegetable oil or melted butter onto the potato’s skin. This will also help to prevent the skin from becoming dry and tough. Then, sprinkle the potato with a little salt and any other seasonings you like, such as pepper or garlic powder.
- Bake the Potato
Place the potato directly on the middle oven rack and bake for about an hour. The exact cooking time will depend on the size of the potato, but most medium to large potatoes will take about 45-60 minutes to cook through. To test if the potato is done, insert a fork into the centre – it should slide in easily without any resistance.
- Add Toppings
Once the potato is fully cooked, it’s time to add your favourite toppings. You can keep it simple with just a little butter and salt, or get creative with toppings like sour cream, chives, bacon bits, cheese, or chilli. Before adding your toppings, slice the potato open and fluff the inside with a fork.
- Serve and Enjoy!
The final step in making the perfect baked potato is to serve and enjoy it while it’s still hot. Baked potatoes can be served as a side dish to various meals or enjoyed as a satisfying snack.
In conclusion, making the perfect baked potato in oven is a simple but satisfying task that can be easily achieved with a little know-how. By following these tips, you’ll be able to create a perfectly crispy and fluffy potato every time. Remember to choose the right potato, preheat the oven, prep the potato, add some oil and seasoning, bake the potato, add toppings, and serve and enjoy!