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Here's how to bake a delicious baked potato in the oven:

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  • Baking potatoes (russet potatoes are a popular choice)
  • Olive oil (or vegetable oil)
  • Salt
  • (Optional) Black pepper, garlic powder, or other seasonings


  1. Preheat your oven to 450°F (230°C). This high temperature is key to achieving a crispy skin and fluffy interior.

  2. Wash the potatoes. While optional, you can wash your potatoes to remove any dirt or debris.

  3. Poke holes in the potatoes. Use a fork to poke several holes around the surface of each potato. This allows steam to escape and helps prevent them from bursting during baking.

  4. (Optional) Rub with oil and season. Drizzle some olive oil (or vegetable oil) on the potatoes and massage it gently over the skin to coat them evenly. Sprinkle generously with salt. If desired, you can add other seasonings like black pepper, garlic powder, or dried herbs.

  5. Bake the potatoes. Place the potatoes directly on the oven rack or on a baking sheet. Bake for 45-60 minutes, or until tender when pierced with a fork. The cooking time can vary depending on the size of your potatoes.

  6. Check for doneness. Gently squeeze the potato in the middle with a mitt or oven mitt. It should yield to gentle pressure but not feel mushy. You can also insert a fork or knife into the center. If it goes in easily, it's done.

  7. Let cool slightly and serve. Once baked, take the potatoes out of the oven and let them cool for a few minutes before handling. You can slice them open or serve them whole.


  • For a crispier skin: After 45 minutes of baking, you can increase the oven temperature to 500°F (260°C) for the last 5-10 minutes to crisp up the skin.
  • Foil wrapping (optional): Wrapping the potatoes in aluminum foil can trap steam and shorten cooking time slightly, but it might result in a softer skin. If you prefer a softer skin, wrap the potatoes loosely in foil before baking.
  • Salt timing: Salting the potatoes early allows the salt to penetrate further, resulting in more evenly seasoned potatoes.
  • Larger potatoes: Larger potatoes might take longer to bake, up to 75 minutes. Check for doneness periodically by piercing them with a fork.
  • Serving suggestions: Baked potatoes are a versatile dish. Enjoy them plain with butter and sour cream, or load them up with your favorite toppings like chili, cheese, broccoli, pulled pork, or salsa.

By following these steps, you can enjoy a perfectly baked potato in your own oven!

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