There's something about a warm baked potato oozing with butter and toppings. It's comforting and tasty too. Whether you're serving this popular staple with steak, chicken, pork or fish, they suit just about any menu and they're incredibly easy to make.
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 2 hours
- 4 baking potatoes, cleaned (baking or white potatoes are best)
- Salt and pepper
- 2 tbsp. olive oil or cooking oil
- 1 cup sour cream (optional)
- ¼ cup bacon bits (optional)
- 2 green onions, finely chopped (optional)
- 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded (optional)
- Preheat your oven to 400˚F. Make sure that the baking rack is no higher than the middle of the oven.
- After cleaning each potato, pierce the potato with your fork at least 10 times. This will allow for the potato to cook evenly.
- Next, place the potato on a large square of tinfoil. Baste the potato with oil and then sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
- Wrap each potato firmly. Every square inch of potato should be covered. It is ideal if the potato can be covered twice with tinfoil, to ensure that no part of the potato will burn and no oil will escape.
- Place the potatoes directly onto the rack in your oven. If you put them in a pan, the part of the potato that touches the pan will burn. It is not necessary to use a pan and for this recipe, it is better not to.
- Allow the potatoes to cook for 1 ½ to 2 hours. You may wish to turn them half way through the cooking process to promote even cooking. Just be sure that no oil can escape or you'll have a smoky oven!
- Using a pair of cooking tongs, remove the potatoes from the oven and allow them to cool for at least 10 minutes.
- Remove the tinfoil and cut a large "X" pattern in the top of the potato. This will hold all of your toppings.
- Allow each person to dress his potato with butter, salt and pepper to taste. If you're looking for more flavor, create ‘Loaded Baked Potatoes' by adding sour cream, bacon bits, green onions or chives and shredded cheese. Makes 4 baked potatoes.
This slow-cooking method brings out the flavors of the potato and leaves your taste buds crying ‘encore'. Dressed with all of your favorite toppings, the baked potato surely remains one of America's classic dinnertime sides.