Instructables

How to Bake a Potato

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Well if you get a CSA box like me you are keenly aware that potatoes are now in season. While there are many ways to cook potatoes there is one time honored way that I like best. That my friends is baking. This instructable will cover a simple way to make great fluffy baked potatoes with nice crispy skins.

Step 2: Prep the Oven

Set your oven racks with one at the bottom and one in the middle. On the bottom rack place a square of tin foil to keep drippings from dirtying up your oven. If you don't do this you may end up like my old upstairs neighbors with an oven that smoked horribly whenever they used it.

Next set the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit so it can preheat while we prep the potatoes for baking.

Step 3: Wash and dry your potatoes

I don't know about you but I really like to eat my potato skin as well as the meat of the potato. I have grown out of the eating dirt faze of my life however so the first step in prepping the potatoes is to wash them. If you are just making one potato wash it off under the tap making sure to wash all the dirt off. If making more than one potato I plug up the sink and use caught water to wash the rest of my potatoes. This way I save water.

Once you have washed your potatoes you want to rub them dry with a kitchen towel. This is an important step because if the potatoes are still wet they won't coat as well but I am getting ahead of myself.
 
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farcalled1 year ago
Not being Jewish I have no idea what "kosher" salt could be. I understand "kosher" or "Kacher" to mean allowed to bleed to death. How does this wok for salt?

Please try to avoid religious terminology when cookie things.
Sorry for the confusion.  Kosher salt is a type of salt sold here in the states.  The difference between standard table salt and Kosher salt is that kosher salt light and flaky while table salt is more granular like a fine sand.  I am attaching a picture.  So you can see what I mean.  Also if you are like me and like to get super informed or nerd out about salt you can check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kosher_salt.  Hope that helps.
DSC_4547.JPG
panglada2 years ago
I was nervous because I've never made baked potatoes before, but I followed your instructable and my potatoes came out soooooooooo delicious!! *applause* Thank you!
TinkeringProductions (author)  panglada2 years ago
I am glad to hear your potatoes came out well. It makes me happy to know my instructable is still helping.
thepelton4 years ago
If you find yourself with a bunch of smaller-than-plum size potatoes, the best way to cook them without risking them popping is to wrap them all together in a piece of aluminum foil for baking.  It beats having to hunt for parts of them all over the oven.
britsteiner6 years ago
Do you have suggestions on the types of potatoes to use, besides the sweet potato? (russet, yukon gold, new potato, ... )
I have personally baked russets, irish redskins, purples, white and Yukon Gold.  Like I said in another comment on this same 'ible, just be sure they're not under 1 1/2 inches (3.8 cm) or they'll explode.
Hmmm that's a tough one I have a farm share so I get a random assortment of taters this time of year. Russets are the classic baked potato and are tasty. I would have to say any high starch potato does quite well. The high starch potatoes yield a light fluffy center while low starch yield more of a roasted potato. Hope that helps.
thepelton4 years ago
I generally just wash the potatoes, check them for blemishes and dig those out, then put them in the oven at 450F for an hour without stabbing them repeatedly.  The only time I had a potato explode that way was when I overcooked a very small one under 1 1/2 inches (3.8cm).
Would there be any changes to the recipe in order to bake yams or sweet potatoes?
I do them both the same. I like a bit of salt with my sweet potatoes. If you don't I would still coat in olive oil and stab the heck out of it.
inquisitive6 years ago
If doing lots of spuds and floating them in the sink to wash them, try adding a generous dash of baking soda to the water-it will help get more dirt and yuck off of them. I always give them a quick rinse after scrubbing anyway. Great now I am craving spuds. Thanks!
matthewabel6 years ago
Man, this is an excellent Instructable. Love the stabby part.
I like that stabbing fork with the three prongs. It will leave distinctive marks! Why Kosher Salt?
I might try rubbing the sweet potato with natural sugar in the raw. I will remember your advice about the aluminum foil below. It might be disaster. Will let you know. This instructable goes way beyond just cooking hints. Well done!
I kosher salt is flaky and big it so does not stick super well so you don't end up with way too much salt. I tried it with table salt once and it got so coated I could not eat the skin. I think sea salt would be too big.
cornboy36 years ago
How do you make it in the microwave? I can't remember :(
TinkeringProductions (author)  cornboy36 years ago
I would stab it full of holes. I know my favorite part. Then run it for a minute at a time until I could slide a knife easily into the center of it.
Thanks but I just figured out my microwave has a potato function :D
you need to post cooking temp. its in pdf but not instructable.
It is the last line in step 2 where it says to preheat the oven. Thanks for your comments and I hope you have some tasty potatoes tonight.
Thanks for answering a Burning Question - you've done a great job!

Burning Questions likes KALX too, but there's no need to miss it with the advent of internet radio!

128k Live Stream
http://icecast.media.berkeley.edu:8000/kalx-128.mp3.m3u
Thanks for the link. I miss them most in my car or about town I really wish I could time shift their stream so I could take it on the go.
get an iphone and use the internet connection provided ....connect to car stereo
Sounds great! I might have to make one tonight :)
wobblestar6 years ago
Great Instructable.

Baked potato lovers, check out this:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ycSY7tHSdU

Yeah, Inow it's an ad, but the voice over by Rutger Hauer is cracking! Makes you wanto eat a baked spud ... NOW!

That was a funny vid!
thyubernoob6 years ago
MMMMm. 1st Butter, than cheese, oh the best....big table spoon of sour cream!!! Oh man I'm getting hungry!!!!
thyubernoob6 years ago
Be a man! Use your fingers!!!! LOL