Introduction: How to Bake Potatoes

About: I am just a guy, you know?

Look, I know we just met so this will be hard to hear.  But it's possible you don't know how to bake a potato.

I know that's hard to hear.

That's why I'm here.  To teach you the proper way.  It is easy, not quick, and results in a potato with a light, fluffy, butterable interior bursting from a crisp, salty skin.  The nutrients are in the skin, you know!

Step 1: The Stuff.


For realsies.  You can bake just about any potato, but for the romantic fluffy potatoes you will need russets.  Commonly known as Baking Potatoes.

Lots of people call for olive oil which is an okay thing.  But after the potatoes have baked you can't really taste it!  So what's the point?  I use plain old vegetable oil.

If you aren't using salt, your aren't seasoning your food correctly!  Properly salted food is an epiphany.  I am using kosher flakey salt, but table salt would work, too.  You'd need much less of it, though.  You're best off using a flaky, crunchy salt here.

To bake in.

A microwave.
Aluminum Foil.
A knife.

Step 2: Potato Prep

Wash your potatoes under running water.  Scrub them really, really well with a soft nylon brush.  They will appreciate it.  Then, you MUST dry them thoroughly.  You can either let them air dry or you can pat them dry with a towel.  But they need to be dry before the next step.

You CAN poke them with a fork right now.  Note the position of the hand.  It's much easier.  You don't need to go crazy, but you can if you really want to.  The holes let steam escape, you know.  If you want to be picky, and I certainly am, poke on two opposing sides of the potato, poking approximately every inch and a half.  The holes should line up latitudinally, if you imagine the potato standing up right as tall as it can because it is trying to impress you.

Step 3: Further Potato Prep

Now for the prepping!  I start by setting up a little cooling rack on a plate for oiled potatoes.  A bit of oil goes into a measuring cup - a tablespoon or three is about right.

As you can see in the pictures, I dip the potato into this oil.  What you can't see - because I didn't want to get the camera gross - is me rubbing that oil across the surface of the potatoes.  I dip each end and get them slick and oily and deposited on the rack.  Note, the oil is not very thick, just enough so there is a very thin layer.

After that, I sprinkle them with kosher salt all over.  I do this through a secret method I am only now revealing called "turning-them-a-quarter-turn-and-sprinkling-again."

Step 4: Bake!

I do three-fifty for an hour.  You can do four-hundred for fifty minutes.  As with anything, the time may vary.  You want to cook until these are "tender." How can you tell?  Stick a fork in 'em.  If it goes in easy, they're done!

This time, you can hold the fork like a normie.

Step 5: Enjoy!

Oh, the crisp skin!  Oh, the saltiness!  Oh, the creamy, fluffy interior when met with sour cream!  You can cut a fancy slit in top and
fluff it up, but i usually cut it apart for my toppings.

So that took, what?  An hour?  Easy peasy.  And there's barely any waste, since the crisp skin of the potato will encourage consumption.  Keep it real, friends.  I am off to consume empty carbs!

Old Bay seasoning
Sour cream
Olives (really!)