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How to Bake a Potato in the Oven

How to Bake a Potato in the Oven Till it Reaches Creamy Goodness

Head on here to find out how to bake a potato in the oven, to enjoy this creamy goodness, that works well when teamed up with anything from spices to sauces. Find out how this is done...
Tastessence Staff
Last Updated: Mar 7, 2018
Potatoes are known for their high content of carbohydrates due to their starchy interior. The skin is where all the potato nutrients lie, and can be eaten without them as well. Potato wedges come with the skin still on, whereas regular French fries come skinless in texture. This is a delicious side dish that most people love, that goes well with steak, barbecue wings and anything that is grilled or deep-fried. It can be experimented within a multitude of ways, and can be turned from ordinary mush to tasty delight. Potatoes can be made by baking, grilling, boiling or deep-frying them. These range from skinned stiff crunchy slim cuts, to wide skin clad moon wedges, to of course the infamous mashed potatoes. Here we explore different methods to bake a potato in the oven with foil and without. Even microwave methods are what you'll find here, if you prefer using that instead.

Different Methods

Baking a potato is a cinch, that doesn't require you to have a diploma in cooking to know how to get this done in a jiffy. Just remember to carefully follow the procedure to avoid any mishaps in the kitchen when making microwave or oven-baked potatoes.

Baking a Potato in the Oven with Foil

What You'll Need:
  • Aluminum foil
  • Olive/vegetable oil
  • Salt
  • Two medium-sized spuds
  • Baking tray
Method

When wrapping the potatoes in aluminum foil, just remember that this method makes potatoes turn mushy and smooth in texture, as opposed to being slightly flaky. Preheat your oven to 400°F. First make sure your spuds are nice and brown in color, without a greenish color layering its outside. This can prove to be poisonous when eaten. Also avoid sprouts that stick out around the skin, since this too when ingested in large quantities can be harmful. When you see that skins are nice and brown, without patchy colorings, you're good to go.

First off, wash the spuds under normal running water and avoid soaking them in water. Use a bristled brush, like an old toothbrush to rub off excess mud or unwanted elements stuck onto the skin. Once that is done, towel dry them to avoid any kind of moisture presence. Take each spud and puncture each surface side with roughly four pokes using a kitchen knife/fork. Don't make them too large, small holes will do about an inch deep. This ensures that no steam is trapped within the potato, causing it to burst from the pressure build up. You wouldn't want its guts splattering the inside of your oven, or microwave for that matter.

Lightly coat each spud with your preferred kind of oil, and then dust off with salt. Wrap it nicely in one layer of aluminum foil each and place them on the baking tray. Slip them in, and set your timer at 40 minutes. If you're using large potatoes, turn up the timer to 60 minutes instead. After it goes off, put on a pair of oven mitts first, and take a stab at the spuds to see if the knife penetrates easily. If it does, it's a sure sign that your potatoes are done. Slip them out of the oven; using a sharp knife, make an incision in the center of the potato all the way down and then with your oven mitts squeeze either side of the potato to let it bulge open with the starchy insides. There you have it, oven made mashed potatoes, that go well with say splattered butter, garlic dip with cheese, a sprinkle of fresh chives and some more salt for taste. Toothsome!

Baking a Potato in the Oven Without Foil

What You'll Need:
  • Olive/vegetable oil
  • Baking tray
  • Salt
  • Two medium-sized spuds
Method

Like the previous method, follow everything as instructed except this time eliminate the use of foil. The skin when exposed to direct heat, will crack and attain that nice crunchy exterior after it's done. Just remember to add in your oil for that effect, and roll it in salt. The insides of the potato will be more flaky and separated, as opposed to it being mushy when eaten into when done with the foil technique (steaming). Again the oven is preheated to 400°F with the spuds on a baking tray timed at 40 minutes or more depending on its size. There you have it - crunchy layered potatoes, that can contain any kind of preferred condiment, meat shredding or sauce dip to make it the perfect dish.

Baking a Potato in the Microwave

What You'll Need:
  • Two medium-sized spuds
  • Olive oil/vegetable oil
  • Salt
Method

Like the foil technique, this way of cooking potatoes makes them come out smooth and soft in texture. Repeat the above mentioned steps of the other techniques of how to bake a potato. When placing it in an oven, you can either choose the potato option on your microwave for it to automatically set itself to cook the potato in the right amount of time. You can repeat it twice if the potatoes aren't soft enough. If you don't have such an option on your microwave, then place them in for about eleven minutes on high. A 7-8 ounce potato will take 7 minutes to cook, double the size of that will take 11 minutes. Check your potatoes using a knife again, to make sure that they're nice and soft upon insertion.

These tips and ideas on baking a potato in the oven and microwave can find you experimenting with a spud's texture, balancing out its use to fit a certain kind of dish preference. I hope these ideas get you baking up a storm in your kitchen, with lots of potato recipe ideas at your disposal, on how to make these simple ground vegetables into a mouth-watering spread. Bake away!
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