Baked potatoes are one of the most loved foods around.
They are also one of the easiest foods to make.
You can even get the kids in on the preparation if they are old enough to be in the kitchen.
Did You Know?…
Not all potatoes are good baking potatoes.
New potatoes, available in the spring or early summer, tend to be waxier and don’t bake as well.
The best potato for baking is an Idaho potato or any other potato marked as a baking potato. They will usually tell you on the bag or on the sign in the store.
Cooking baked potatoes is best done when you have another reason for the oven to be on already. That way you aren’t using extra energy just for a few potatoes in the oven.
I often make oven baked potatoes when cooking a roast or casserole.
Just pop them in the oven next to whatever you are cooking and let it sit. You can’t get much easier than that.
- baking potatoes, Idaho or another baking potato
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- Wash and scrub the potatoes. Dry them then grease them lightly with a bit of butter.
- Bake the potatoes for 40 - 60 minutes. The cooking time will depend on the size of the individual potatoes. When they are half done, puncture the skin once with a fork and turn them over.
- When the potatoes are done, serve them with your choice of toppings suggested below, or create your own treat.
Suggested Toppings:Add any or all of the following:
- sour cream
- chopped chives or parsley
- grated cheeses
- cheese sauce
- broccoli with cheese sauce
- and of course salt and pepper to your taste
The traditional topping for baked potatoes is salt, butter and sour cream (maybe with a few chives chopped into it).
The rule book goes out the window on this one. If you like it, and you think it goes well with potatoes, put it on. Generally things that are moist, like sauces or sauced food (like chili) work best on baked potatoes.
Microwave Baked Potato
You aren’t really baking a potato when you cook it whole in a microwave, but most of us refer to it as a “baked potato”. There are two important points to remember when cooking a whole potato in the microwave:
- ALWAYS use a knife to make small cuts all around each potato. If you don’t do this your potato can explode in the microwave as it cooks and the inside heats up. You need to create ways for the steam to escape the cooking potato.
- Wrap the potato in a piece of paper towel. This will help it to cook and keep moisture in the potato.
- Cook each potato on high for 4 to 5 minutes, based on the size of the potato. A large potato will take about 5 minutes.