How to Make the Perfect Baked Potato

Potato with Sour Cream and Chives

I know the “they sayers” say you’re not supposed to store potatoes in the refrigerator.  Well, I can guarantee you, they don’t live in Arizona.  If I don’t store my potatoes in the refrigerator, they sprout quickly.  Therefore, my microwave times are based on chilled potatoes.  We all know microwaving time depends on the wattage of your microwave.  Blah, blah, blah.  Back to the potato…once things heat up here, I don’t like to use my oven in the evenings.  It seems so wrong to listen to that air conditioner hum while the kitchen is heating up from the oven, but I love baked potatoes.  Here’s how I speed up the cooking process.

Start with a couple nice, medium-sized, russet potatoes.  Scrub well with cool water to remove surface dirt and clean the skin.  [I use a washcloth to scrub mine.]   Microwave two potatoes on high for 3 minutes.  Turn and poke with a fork.  Microwave another 3 minutes.  Check doneness with a fork.  Your fork should go in without much resistance.  If not, microwave another minute or two until fork pierces potato easily.

While the potatoes are nuking, tear off a square of aluminum foil for each potato.  Splash olive or vegetable oil on foil.  [You want enough oil to coat the entire potato skin with it.]  Roll the hot potato in the oil.  Use your hands to finish coating the potato skin with oil.  Sprinkle liberally with Kosher or Sea Salt.  Roll potato tightly in foil.

Place on the rack in your barbeque grill while you’re grilling the meat or in 350°-400° oven for 20 to 30 minutes along with whatever else you’ve got in the oven.

In the summer, I start the grill.  While it’s heating up, I make the potatoes, put them on a rack in the grill, then start the meat once the grill’s good and hot.  Whether in the oven or the grill, don’t forget to turn the potatoes occasionally or they’ll be petrified on the bottom.

When you’re ready to eat, start slicing the center about a half inch from the end and leave about a half inch at the end of your cut.  Gently push the ends towards the center to open the potato.  Add butter, sour cream, chives, cheese, bacon bits – whatever you like.  It’s all good.

So, now you know, finishing the potato in a grill or conventional oven is the secret to the perfect baked potato.


Potato with Butter
Perfect Potato, well-done, flakey and smothered in butter.



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