Sunday, September 19, 2010

Perfectly Baked Potatoes

Perfectly Baked Potato   I don't know about you, but I love potatoes! I like potatoes cooked just about any way possible. But when it comes to baked potatoes... I love a crispy, salty skin and a soft fluffy inside. I finally figured out how to make the perfect baked potato.

Perfectly Baked Potato
   1 large russet potato
   olive (or canola) oil
   Kosher salt

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. You can bake directly on your oven rack, but I learned very quickly that I don't like to clean the oven racks when they have baked on oil. So for me... I take an old baking sheet and cover it with foil (makes clean up a breeze), and then I place a rack on top of the baking sheet. You do need the potatoes to be on a rack to get the crispy skins.

Once your rack is ready, wash the potato (or potatoes) thoroughly with a stiff brush and cold running water. Using a standard metal fork, poke 8 to 12 deep holes all over the spud, so that moisture can escape during cooking. Dry the potato (or potatoes) well.

Place about 2 tablespoons of oil in a small bowl. Rub oil onto the skin of each potato until it is throughly, but lightly coated.

Sprinkle each potato with kosher salt, and place each potato directly on the rack in the middle of the oven or on the rack that is on your baking sheet. If you place your potatoes directly on the oven rack, place a baking sheet on the lower rack to catch any drippings. If your potatoes are on a baking sheet with a rack, place the baking sheet in the middle of your oven.

Bake 1 hour or until the potato skin feels crisp but flesh beneath feels soft. I usually poke my potatoes with a fork to see if the inside is done.
Baked potatoesTo serve, create a dotted line from end to end with your fork.
Create a dotted line with your fork.Then crack the spud open by squeezing the ends towards one another.
Squeeze the potato from both ends.Your potato will pop right open. But watch out for steam.
The potato will pop open.Add a ball (or scoop) of butter and serve while piping hot!
Add a scoop of butter.Note: If you are cooking more than 4 potatoes, you’ll need to extend the cooking time by up to 15 minutes.

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