As a 22-year-old busy guy, I’m not a great cook. I’ll usually only cook my own food a few times a week, but when I do cook, I like to know that I’m doing everything as well as I can. The baked potato is one dish that everyone has some experience with, but it’s rarely cooked perfectly. Some people will make a potato that isn’t crispy at all, or even worse, they’ll try to use a microwave for the potato. That’s pretty much the biggest insult you can throw at a russet potato, and that potato will be bland and rubbery.
Making a good, crispy baked potato isn’t hard, and it’s a skill that even the most confirmed bachelor should have. Here’s a quick guide to making a perfect baked potato.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, then clean your potato.
I usually use russet potatoes, since they’re the classic brown baked potato, but you can use red potatoes if you’d prefer. It’s up to your taste buds. Run some hot water over the potato and scrub it with a brush or washcloth, being careful not to peel off any skin. You can, however, dig out any bad spots that you see. They’ll be discolored or mushy, and depending on the age of your potatoes, you’ll probably run into at least one. Once your potatoes are completely rinsed, set them on a plate with a little bit of canola oil in the middle. Poke each potato two or three times with a fork, to about halfway through the potato.
- Oil your potatoes.
I use the canola oil because I think it tastes the best, but you can use olive oil if you’d like. More important than the type of oil is the amount of oil–you don’t want to go too nuts. Just dab the potato in the oil, then use your hands to spread the oil all over your potato. This is what’s going to make your potato skin real crispy, so don’t skip this step. After the potato is covered in oil, lightly sprinkle it with salt.
- Put the potatoes in the oven.
Heat rises, and makes potatoes crispy, so put them on the top rack, and put an empty pan on the bottom rack. The pan will catch all the juicy baked potato goodness that comes out of your potatoes, saving your stove from needing a cleaning. Give them an hour and a half or so, and check them often.
- Eat the potatoes.
Awesome and crispy, right? Fantastic.
Do you have a different method for cooking baked potatoes? Post in our comments section below.
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