There are some recipes that I feel like EVERYONE needs to know and this is one of those recipes!!! A classic baked potato….it should be simple, right?!? A quick internet search for “baked potato” will show you there are apparently about a gazillion ways to bake a potato. With or without foil? In the oven or in the microwave? 350 degrees, no 400 degrees? Ugh!!! And did you ever notice when you bake a potato at home it just never quite comes out like the kind you get in a fancy steakhouse or a nice restaurant? Well I’m here to let you in on the biggest baked potato secret! This one simple trick will give you light and fluffy, no fail, restaurant quality potatoes every. Single. Time. You’re going to die when you see just how ridiculously easy it really is!! For real. You won’t believe it!
Here’s all you’ll need: Idaho or russet baking potatoes, olive oil, salt, butter or toppings of your choice.
Gently wash potatoes and pat dry. Rub the outside of the potatoes with olive oil. Do not pierce with a fork! Seriously! I’ve pierced and I haven’t. And I’ve never once had a potato explode in the oven either way. So instead of risking jabbing myself in the hand with a fork (yup! I’ve done that more times than I’d like to admit to) I totally omit this step. I bet you can’t even tell the difference. Plus they look way prettier without all those little fork holes.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Yup! There’s my favorite kitchen supply making an appearance yet again. Sorry not sorry!! Sprinkle with salt on all sides. We haven’t made it to my super secret trick yet so keep reading!!
Bake in a 425 degrees preheated oven for 50 minutes to 1 hour depending on the size of the potato. It should be soft when you squeeze it in your hand. Also make sure you turn the potatoes over halfway through baking. So at about 25-30 minutes I make sure to flip the potato so that the bottoms don’t get too toasty brown. Is this totally necessary??? Probably not! But I think it makes for a better presentation.
NOW….HERE IS THE SUPER SECRET STEP!!!! RIGHT HERE!!!!! LISTEN UP!!!! Once the potato is cool enough to handle lift it up about 10 inches over a tray of cutting board. Now drop it. I’m not kidding!! Sometimes I do it twice! If your not good with distances start out low then try it a little higher. If you go too high you’ll end up with smashed potatoes. You’ll get the feel for it. Basically what’s happening is we’re loosening the inside of the potato so it’s light and fluffy on the inside when you cut into it. I told you it was ridiculously easy! Or was it ridiculous AND easy?!? Either way it totally works.
Cut a slit down the length of the potato with a knife. Be sure not to cut all the way through. I know you’re probably still thinking about that dropping technique but this really will take your potato from ho hum to epic!!! Just trust me on this one!
Pinch the edges together with your hands, to make the opening bigger, and “fluff” the potato up a few times.
Add the toppings of your choice! Butter, sour cream, cheddar cheese, bacon, chives, it’s all good here!! What are your favorite baked potato toppings?
Perfect Baked Potato
- 4 Idaho or russet baking potatoes, scrubbed and patted dry
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons salt
- butter, or toppings of your choice
- Step 1 Gently wash potatoes and pat dry. Rub the outside of the potatoes with olive oil. Do not pierce with a fork! Sprinkle with salt on all sides.
- Step 2 Place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake in a 425 degree preheated oven for 50-60 minutes or until potatoes are soft to the touch. Turn potatoes halfway through baking.
- Step 3 Remove from the oven. Once cool enough to handle, drop potato onto a cutting board or tray from about 10 inches up.
- Step 4 Cut a slit down the length of the potato with a knife. Pinch the edges together with your hands, to make the opening bigger, and “fluff” the potato up a few times.
- Step 5 Top with butter or toppings of your choice and enjoy!
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