Jacqui Wedewer/The Daily Meal

Recipe of the Day: How to Cook a Baked Potato

Once baked, load up the potato with cheese, sour cream and more
Jacqui Wedewer/The Daily Meal

Potatoes are always a crowd favorite. Whether they're served as a holiday side dish or alongside a juicy steak, the popular starch is as timeless as it gets. But, when it comes to cooking potatoes, the No. 1 question prevails — what's the best method? Sure, mashing them or putting them into a decadent casserole dish is fine and good, but if you want to keep it simple, a baked potato is a true classic. But, what's the best way to bake a potato? Turns out, it's a lot more complicated than simply tossing a spud in the oven.

Potato Recipes for Cheesy, Mashed and More

Although it takes a little more time, baking potatoes gives them a crisp exterior that elevates the skin rather than tossing this vitamin-loaded shell into the garbage can. Plus, when you load them up with sour cream and scallions, baked potatoes hit the spot every time. 

To make the dish, you'll just need russet potatoes and common pantry items, like olive oil and salt. Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees. Then piere the potatoes on each side with a fork. Roll the potaotes in a generous pour of olive oil and season them on all sides with salt. Bake the potatoes for one hour. When they're done, load them up with your favorite toppings and serve. 

Baked potatoes are a great side dish for weeknight dinners, but it may not be the best option for holidays where you need extra room in the oven. If that's the case, check out more of our delicious potato recipes, rife with different techniques from twice baked to slow cooker

The Best Baked Potato 

Ingredients

3 Russet potatoes, rinsed and scrubbed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
Optional toppings: sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, scallions, bacon bits, butter

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Pierce the potatoes several times on each side with a fork.

Pour olive oil into a bowl and roll potatoes in the oil.

Season all sides of the potato with salt.

Related

Bake directly on the oven rack for 1 hour.