- Salt and pepper
- 4 (7- to 9-ounce) russet potatoes, unpeeled, each lightly pricked with fork in 6 places
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Dissolve 2 tablespoons salt in 1/2 cup water in large bowl. Place potatoes in bowl and toss so exteriors of potatoes are evenly moistened. Transfer potatoes to wire rack set in rimmed baking sheet and bake until center of largest potato registers 205 degrees, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
2. Remove potatoes from oven and brush tops and sides with oil. Return potatoes to oven and continue to bake for 10 minutes.
3. Remove potatoes from oven and, using paring knife, make 2 slits, forming X, in each potato. Using clean dish towel, hold ends and squeeze slightly to push flesh up and out. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.
Open up the potatoes immediately after removal from the oven in step 3 so steam can escape.
To produce baked potatoes with an evenly fluffy interior, we figured out their ideal doneness temperature: 205 degrees. Baking them in a hot (450-degree) oven prevents a leathery “pellicle” from forming underneath the peel. To season the skin, we coat the potatoes in salty water before baking; we crisp the skin by painting it with vegetable oil once the potatoes are cooked through and then baking the potatoes for an additional 10 minutes.
Best Baked Potatoes. To import, drag image to your MacGourmet recipe box.