A baked potato makes a fitting side dish to many meals. Pair it with a fancy steak dinner or a backyard barbecue, either way you won’t be disappointed. They’re even delicious and filling on their own for a light dinner or a great lunch.
Now, I know that making baked potatoes in the oven does take some time. So, since you’re at it, and the oven is on already, make a double batch. Have one for dinner and store the extras in the refrigerator. Leftover baked potatoes make a quick and easy lunch. Try the potato with some steamed broccoli and a pat of butter. Go the traditional route with some butter and sour cream or go all out and top it with some leftover chili.
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Baked potato ingredients
This recipe is for one potato, if you need more repeat the ingredients and make as many as you need.
- 1 Large Baking Potato, or as many as needed
- ½ – ¾ teaspoon Canola Oil, per potato
- ¼ – ½ teaspoon Coarse Salt, per potato – We used kosher Salt
- Sour Cream
- Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Making baked potatoes without using aluminum foil is really simple. The best part of using this method is that the skin turns out just as delicious as the fleshy inside. Actually, it’s my favorite part!
Start by preheating the oven to 375°F. Then, scrub the potatoes thoroughly using a vegetable brush and pat dry.
Prick the potatoes a few times on all sides with the tip of a sharp knife. This allows the steam that builds up inside the potato to escape while it’s baking.
Can the potato explode in the oven if you don’t prick it? Yes, it can. It’s never happened to me because I don’t want to test the theory. Cleaning the oven is not fun!
Next, rub each potato with the oil; then rub it all over with the salt. Repeat with any additional potatoes.
Bake the potato
Place the potatoes on a baking sheet or shallow pan.
Bake them in the preheated oven for about 60 minutes. The cooking time is going to depend on the size of the potato. We used very large baking potatoes, so 60 minutes was the magic number. But, if yours are not that large, test them after 40 minutes or so, just to gauge the remaining time.
Test if they are done by inserting a sharp knife into the thickest part of the largest potato. If the knife slides in and out easily, without any resistance then they’re done!
If the knife does not slide in and out easily, they’re not ready. Continue cooking for 10 minutes at a time and test again.
Prepare and serve
I want to start by saying that the potato will not only be hot, but there will be steam accumulated inside. Be very careful! That said… Cut the potato down the middle running the length of it. I like to do a slight zig zag line down the center. Once it’s cut, let some of steam escape.
Then, push the sides in gently to open the middle. Since the potato is hot, use paper towels or a clean kitchen towel to protect your fingers.
Now, grab a fork and start fluffing the flesh. Try not to disturb the skin and be careful with the steam escaping while you fluff.
Alright, your potato is fluffed and ready to go. We loaded it up with butter, sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese and crispy bacon. Add the butter first so it starts melting. Then, add the sour cream, cheese and bacon.
Your oven should still be warm. If you’d like, pop it back in to melt that cheese a little bit more. A couple of minutes should do it.
Potatoes are easy to make, easy to find and easy on the budget. They’re also delicious! The next time that five-pound bag of potatoes goes on sale, buy it! And have no fear; there are plenty of exciting uses for the humble potato. Here are a few to get you started:
- Sausage and Potatoes Skillet
- Mashed Potatoes
- Chicken Fricassee
- Carne con Papas
- Loaded Potato Salad
- Baked Potato Slices
This recipe is for one potato. If you need more, just repeat with each additional potato, make as many as you need.
- 1 Large Baking Potato or as many as needed
- ½ – ¾ teaspoon Canola Oil per potato
- ¼ – ½ teaspoon Coarse Salt per potato – Kosher or Sea Salt work well
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Prep the potatoes
- Scrub the potatoes thoroughly using a vegetable brush and pat dry.
- Prick the potatoes a few times on all sides with the tip of a sharp knife.
- Rub the potato with the oil
- Rub the potato all over with the salt.
- Repeat with any additional potatoes.
Bake the potatoes
- Place the potatoes on a baking sheet or shallow pan.
- Bake the potatoes in the preheated oven for about 60 minutes. The cooking time will depend on the size of the potato, adjust more or less time accordingly.
- Test if the potato is done by inserting a sharp knife into the thickest part of the largest potato. If the knife slides in and out easily, it’s done. If the knife does not slide in and out easily, continue cooking for 10 minutes at a time and test again.
Cut the baked potato open
- Cut the potato down the middle running the length of it. Be careful during this step. The potato will be hot and there will be steam accumulated inside.
- Push the sides in gently to open the middle. Since the potato is hot, use paper towels or a clean kitchen towel to protect your fingers.
- Fluff the fleshy inside with a fork.
- Dress the potato with your favorite toppings and enjoy.
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