The taste of extra crisp baked potatoes served with sour cream is something incomparable to other dishes. However, making this scrumptious dish requires perfectly sized spuds and an oven. Rather, you should have a clear idea about the best baking temperature and directions. This is because, in this process, the heat source used in this process plays a crucial role in getting perfect results.
An oven with very low temperature settings gives underdone or unevenly cooked potatoes, while a very high setting will yield overcooked ones. So, in order to avoid such frustrating situations, learn the correct oven temperature for baked potatoes. And the rest is to follow basic baking steps, like poking the potatoes with fork from all sides and placing them in the middle rack.
Temperature for Baking Potatoes in the Oven
Potatoes are best baked in moderate heat. Do not think of baking them quickly, at a very high heat, or you will get uncooked potato flesh in the center and a burnt outer skin. The perfect oven temperature for baked potatoes is between 400 – 425° F or 200 – 220° C for medium-sized potatoes. If you are using a gas mark oven, consider setting the temperature to 6 or 7. In case, your oven is of convectional type, the ideal temperature is 375° F. Potatoes are done, when the internal temperature measures 210° F.
Temperature Units of Conversion
The directions for oven control may vary based on the model. We come across recipes that mention cooking temperatures in degrees Fahrenheit. However, what if it is given in a Celsius scale? The reading is more confusing, if you are cooking in a gas mark oven. In simple terms, Fahrenheit is similar to twice the reading in Celsius. For example, a low setting of 225° F is equal to 110° C. The same is represented by ¼ in a gas mark oven. A very hot setting of 475° F is similar to 240° C and 9 in a gas mark oven respectively.
Baking potatoes in the oven is very simple. The only concern is that it requires about 1 hour, including the preparation time. The first step is selection of medium-sized potatoes (preferably russet variety) and cleaning them with a stiff-bristled brush. Ensure that you do not skin them. Poke them from all sides with a fork, inserting it to about ½ inch deep.
Preheat the oven to 400° F. As per your choice, you can directly bake the poked potatoes or season them with oil and salt before baking. For the latter case, rub the outer skin with cooking oil and then sprinkle salt. Place the prepared potatoes in the middle rack of the oven. Bake for about 40 minutes and check if they are ready by piercing them with a fork or measure the internal temperature. If required, bake them for another 5 minutes or until they can be mashed easily.
In case of smaller potatoes, a 350 °F setting and baking for 40 minutes is ideal. To be more precise, the oven temperature setting is correlated with the potato size and baking duration.