The Best Way to Cook a Baked Potato

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Last night, my DH asked, “How do you cook a baked potato?” I froze.

Here’s how the conversation went down. (For background, this is for Poker Night’s menu of deviled eggs, barbecue bakers, and banana pudding. Women are banned.)

DH: What kind of potatoes should I buy?
Me: The biggest ones at the grocery store. (Couldn’t think of one potato name. Russet? Yukon? Nope, none of them came to mind.)

DH: What temperature?
ME: 350, 400, 425 degrees–just until they’re done. (This elicited an, “Are you going to help me or not?” response.)

DH: In foil, right?
ME: Oh, no. That steams them and makes them mealy.
DH: When I go over to people’s houses, they’re always in foil.
ME: Really? I’ve never cooked them in foil.

…..the conversation went on for awhile. And then, because I’m a total geek and humiliated by my lack-of-baked-potato-confidence, I started searching online about the best way to cook a baked potato. Turns out, it’s a very polarizing topic–Who knew?

From my research, here are some of the best ways to cook a baked potato.

1. Scrub with a brush to clean–but not too hard.

2. Rub with olive oil (or melted butter). Then roll with sea salt or garlic mixture. Here’s a rock salt method too.

3. Potatoes really do blow up if you don’t prick them with a fork or knife (but just a few times or they’re more likely to dry out).

4. If you microwave for 3-4 minutes per potato and then oven bake, it’ll bake faster. Or, microwave and then put in the oven to get the skin crispy. The combo-cooking method is popular.

5. Baking at 400 degrees for 60 minutes seems the most common baking time. However, 350 was the runner-up. (See Alton Brown’s Basic Baked Potato Recipe Recipe.)

6. Loaded baked potatoes are a great–and cheap–way to feed a crowd. (Seriously, this Poker Night menu is ultra cheap. Shopping list is basically eggs, potatoes, meat for slow-cooker bbq, instant pudding, bananas, and Nila Wafers.) For variations, check out 5-to-Try: Baked Potatoes.

So, what have I missed? Are you a die-hard microwaver or oven purist? Do share. I’m now obsessed.

Jennifer

COMMENTS

  1. Mallory

    I’ve always been an oven purist, but I might have to try the combo method next time!

    October 20, 2009 at 9:28 am

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