Be honest! Who here has had to "Google" how to cook a baked potato in the oven?
When I was growing up, my mother could not force me into the kitchen. She tried to teach me, but I had zero interest. Eventually, she gave up and let me be. As an adult, I paid dearly for this lack of interest. This history means that I have had to learn everything about cooking as an adult. That includes learning how to make a baked potato in the oven.
Oh AND I had to learn basics such as how long do potatoes last.
If you are in a hurry, the easiest way to cook a baked potato in the oven is to preheat the oven to 410 degrees, poke some holes in the potato and bake it for an hour. If you want a baked potato that everyone will brag about, read on.
The key to making the best-baked potato is all in the prep. The fact is that a potato cooked in the oven will always be better than a potato cooked in a microwave. However, here is how I bake a restaurant quality baked potato.
Wash that potato. The potato skin is so darn tasty, and that is why we need it to be clean. Don't just rinse the potato. Scrub the potato under lukewarm running water.
Dry the potato. It is my experience that this little known important step makes a big difference. Dry the potato with a cotton kitchen towel and then let it air dry for a bit. The dryer the potato is when it goes in the oven, the crispier the skin will be.
We love these lint-free kitchen towels.
Stab a few holes in it. If you don't put some holes in the potato before putting it in the oven, it will hiss during the cooking process. This sound is unpleasant, but even worse, it could build up pressure and explode in the oven if it doesn't have vent holes.
Rub it down with olive oil. The olive oil serves two purposes in this process. First, rubbing a baking potato with oil will help the skin crisp up during the cooking process. Second, it will help the salt stick to the skin.
Roll the potato in coarse salt. The key here is to use far more salt than you think that you should. Don't be shy with the salt. What I do is tear off a piece of aluminum foil and put the potato on it. Then I douse the potato with salt. The salt gets all over the foil. At that point, I roll that potato in the salt until it is evenly covered.
Note: We love these pull-up foil sheets. I don't have to worry about cutting my hand when tearing the foil. They are awesome.
Wrap the potato in the foil.
Bake the potato in the oven for 1 hour.
The baking time for your potato will vary based upon your oven but 1 hour is a general average. We cook ours for 1 hour and 10 minutes, but our oven is a bit older.
The potato is done when you can easily pierce it with a fork. Be careful not to overcook your baked potato. The texture can switch too mushy pretty quickly. I like to allow the potato to rest with the foil slightly open for 4 -5 minutes.
Time your meal so that you can serve that oven baked potato piping hot. Also, serve it out of the foil so that everyone can see that salted beauty.
Just last night, I served oven baked potatoes cooked precisely like this, and they were the top item on the plate. Cooking potato in the oven is worth the time and the effort!