How to Bake a Potato

Also known as a jacket potato, a baked potato has a crispy skin and a really fluffy interior. Read on to know how to bake a potato.
| Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A baked potato is a dish that can be served as a side or even a meal. Being a good source of vitamins, potatoes are loved the world over. If you own an oven you can easily bake a potato. The steps below will show you how!

Baking a Potato - You'll Need

  • A few Russet Potatoes
  • Olive or Canola Oil
  • Salt
  • A Stiff-Bristled Brush
  • A Fork
  • Some Paper Towels
  • An Oven
  • A Small Bowl
  • A Container
  • A Baking Sheet

Steps to Bake the Potato

  • To begin, use a stiff-bristled brush and water to clean the potatoes. Next remove all miscoloured spots and bruises. You can either dig them out with your finger nails or use a fork or a knife.
  • Once that is complete, use a fork to poke the potatoes. While doing so ensure that the holes you make are evenly spread to so that the potato is cooked evenly. Now use paper towels to dry out the potatoes. Once that is done, heat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Now take a small bowl and add some oil in it. Pick up a potato and lightly dab it with it. Use you hands to spread the oil over the entire potato. Repeat this procedure with the other potatoes.
  • Next salt each potato lightly and put it into the container and wait for the oven to heat. Once it is ready, arrange the potatoes in the oven over a baking sheet, in order to catch drippings.
  • Let the potatoes remain in the oven for about an hour. Before taking them out ensure that the skin if puffed up and the potato is crispy and golden-brown in color.
  • Use a fork to open the baked potato and be very careful while doing so since potatoes retain heat for quite some time!

Using a Microwave to Bake Potatoes

If you are very hungry and cannot wait for an hour to bake a potato; don't worry since you can also do so using a microwave. Here is how...

  • First wash the potato using a stiff-bristled brush and water. Then remove the bruises and miscoloured spots. Next poke about 6 to 12 holes in the potato and then wipe thoroughly with a paper towel.
  • Once that is done, cover a ceramic plate with a paper towel and place the potato on top. Do ensure that it is not plastic.
  • If it's a large potato, bake it on "high" for about 5-6 minutes. If the potato is medium in size bake it on "high" for 4 minutes. If it is small bake it on "high" for about 3 minutes.
  • After the specified time, take the potato out of the oven and leave it on the kitchen counter for a few minutes. Then open it with a fork and enjoy.

Baking Tips

  • If you want to judge the temperature of your potato accurately you can use a meat thermometer. Potatoes are usually baked when they reach a temperature of 210 degrees.
  • Baking potatoes in the oven is a better option that in the microwave since potatoes may lose some of its nutrients when baked in the microwave.
  • It is always advisable to wear an oven mitt when handling potatoes that are just out of the oven.

Toppings for Your Baked Potatoes

  • Cubed Ham
  • Pepperoni
  • Green Onions
  • Parsley
  • Black Beans
  • Salsa
  • Butter
  • Ketchup
  • Broccoli
  • Roasted Garlic
  • Chili
  • Cheese (goat, cheddar, blue, ricotta, feta and Parmesan)
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