Baked potatoes are the perfect match with steak, seafood or chicken; and of course they are absolutely perfect when served all by themselves!  And, yes, potatoes are Gluten Free!  But they can be tricky to bake if you don’t know how.  I found some secrets for making great baked potatoes and since I love sharing – I’m going to share the secrets with YOU! 

 

First of all I should tell you that I have made many mistakes learning how to bake Perfect Baked Potatoes
  • I tried baking potatoes in foil – that didn’t work well!  The potato skin became limp and damp and the interior was sodden and heavy.  Yes, I know that there are some mediocre Steak Houses that use this method.   Here’s why:  They want to keep the potatoes warm for an indefinite amount of time. 
  • Then I tried microwaving.  No.  No. No.  Microwave only if you are starving to death and cannot wait one second longer to eat. 
  • I also tried (I know you will think this is nutty, but I HAD to try it!) placing a nail inside the potato and baking it.  It was said that this would make the potato bake in half the amount of time!  However, when I tried it, the potato did not get done in half the time.  It was edible, so I guess it was a partial success…but the potato looked strange with the nail hole running down the middle of it when I cut it open.  Loser. You would not serve this to company.
  • I tried poking little holes in the potatoes with a fork and not poking holes in the potatoes.  Some cookbooks say, not to bother with pricking the skins with a fork, but I will tell you; after cleaning out my oven from a few exploding potatoes here’s my advice:  POKE THE SKINS!  There, now I’ve said it and I feel much better and your oven will thank you for following that advice!
  • I baked potatoes all different temperatures.  300, 325, 350, 375, 400, 425 and yes, 450 degrees.  And finally I found the temperature that I liked the best.  
  • I tried oiling the skin and not oiling the skin.
  • Oh, and I also tried partial boiling and then baking the potatoes. 
  • And finally, I tried organic and regular potatoes. Sheesh!  Perhaps, I should get a doctorate degree in “Potato Baking!”  Well, after all that, are you ready for my recipe?  It’s so simple; be prepared to be completely bored; but at least now you can enjoy Perfect Baked Potatoes!
 
PERFECT BAKED POTATOES
1.  Adjust your oven rack to the middle position. Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Wash and scrub even-sized Russet potatoes (7 to 8 ounces each).  I prefer organic potatoes.
  • Note: If you insist on using the gigantic potatoes that are sold in Warehouse stores (you know what I mean – the kind that are as big as your head and can weigh as much as one pound each – reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees).

2.  Poke each potato a few times with the tines of a fork.  

  • This allows the steam to escape.  Some people like to poke the potatoes mid-way through the baking; but I never remember to do this, so I poke them first and get it over with.

3.  Dry the potatoes; then rub each one with a small amount of oil or clarified butter.   Pop them in the heated oven, directly on the rack and bake for approximately one hour.  

  • Note:  For gigantic potatoes you will need to allow  90 minutes, or more; depending on their size.  These “big boys” take longer to bake than you think; however, they are impressive to look at when served.


That’s it!  You have a Perfect Baked Potato.  Aren’t they ridiculously easy to make?  The skins are slightly chewy and the interior is fluffy; now, you just need to add your toppings…

  • Butter (or use a dairy free spread), Chopped Chives, thinly sliced Green Onions, Crumbled Bacon, Parsley, Sour Cream, Cheese (or dairy free sour cream and cheese)…whatever makes you happy!  Add freshly ground salt and pepper.

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