I’ve always loved a great baked potato. In fact, when at a favorite steak house, I’ve been known to get every bit as excited about the baked potato as I am the steak.
Oddly enough, though, I’ve recently become an EVEN bigger potato fanatic. I have no explanations as to WHY but since I began eating Gluten Free, my cravings for baked potatoes are almost non-stop. My daughter Emily (who also recently had to begin eating Gluten Free) has similar cravings – only her potato of choice is sweet potatoes.
Although I can’t explain the increased cravings, I can certainly take care of them. It just so happens I like my own baked potatoes as well as – and often better than – potatoes gotten at restaurants.
Although it’s different from most people, I don’t wrap my potatoes in foil before putting them in the oven. To me, doing so kind of just”steams” the potato rather than “baking” it. I like for the skin to have a slight crispiness to it when I cut into it. If it doesn’t’ have that slight little crunch sound when the knife cuts into the potato, I don’t get quite as excited.
Step By Step To Perfect Baked Potatoes
- Wash your potatoes well. I have a little scrub brush (fittingly in the shape of a potato, because I’m quirky like that) that I like to use on my potatoes.
- After they’ve been washed well, oil them down with butter, vegetable oil, or olive oil. It’s like you have a little spa for potatoes and you’re the masseuse.
- I roll my greased up potatoes in a little sea salt or Kosher salt. Trust me, this little extra step makes a world of difference.
- Pierce your potatoes about 4 or 5 times to allow steam to escape. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP. An exploding potato is a hideous thing.
- Bake your potatoes directly on a rack in a 400 degree preheated oven for 45 – 50 minutes. Place a cookie sheet on a lower rack to catch any drippings. The timing depends upon the size (density) of your potatoes.
How To Test For Done-ness:
There are several ways to check to make sure your baked potato is cooked thoroughly. Below are the most commonly used (with my own personal method listed first).
- Use an oven mitt to give the potato a slight little squeeze. If there’s a bit of “give,” the potato is done. If there’s no “give,” return it to the oven.
- You can also check for a potato’s done-ness by taking its temperature. The internal temperature should be 210 degrees F.
- Some people check their baked potatoes by piercing them with a fork. If the fork doesn’t meet any resistance, they know it’s showtime.
And showtime is a beautiful thing.