How to Bake a Potato

Baked potatoes have long been staples in most American dinner tables. A tasty baked potato can be a perfect complement to any meal or it may be a meal just by itself. Not only are they filling, tasty, and low in calories, but baked potatoes are also easy to make.

What you Need

  • Russet potatoes
  • Canola or Olive oil
  • Sea salt or kosher salt
  • Oven
  • Baking tray
  • Steps to Bake a Potato

    1. Cleaning the Potatoes
      • Clean the potatoes with cold water and a stiff-bristled brush. Take care not remove any of the skin.
      • Check for any discolored spots or bruises after thoroughly cleaning the potatoes. These marks may be removed by simply digging them out using your fingernail.

    2. Preparing the Potato
      • Poke holes all over each potato with an average fork. These holes allow steam to escape while cooking. Make sure that the holes are evenly spaced to allow for even baking.
      • Rub a small amount of oil on the skin of each potato. Set the potatoes on the baking tray. Make sure to spread them out evenly.
      • Sprinkle salt over the potatoes evenly. Turn them over to coat the entire potato.

    3. Baking the Potato
      • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
      • Set the baking tray on the center rack of the oven.
      • Bake the potato for about an hour. Cooking time varies with the size and number of the potatoes.
      • After an hour, take the potatoes out of the oven. Use an oven mitt to gently squeeze each potato to see if they are done. Cooked potatoes are squished easily and soft on the inside. The skin should puff up. It should also be crispy and golden brown.
      • Put the potatoes back into the oven for another 15 minutes if they are not yet done. Repeat this procedure until they are cooked.
      • Take them out of the oven once they are done. Let them cool for about 5 minutes before serving.

    4. Opening a Baked Potato:
      • Using a fork to make a dotted line, stab half-way around the potato.
      • Squeeze at both ends of the line with your thumb and index finger. The potato should pop right open.