1. Wash the potatoes thoroughly, then prick them with a fork in several places. These holes allow steam to escape from the interior as they cook. Without them, the potatoes will explode.
2. Wrap the potatoes in foil if you want the skin soft, and leave them unwrapped if you want them crisp. If you’re cooking on a grill, wrap them in foil.
3. Place potatoes on the rack of a 425°F oven. Bake 45 to 70 minutes (depending on their size). To bake on a grill, wrap the potatoes in foil and turn them a few times as they cook. To test for doneness, gently squeeze the middle of the potato (use a potholder)— it will give easily when done.
4. To serve, cut a slit along the top of the potato, then pinch it together to open. Add your favorite toppings and enjoy.
Microwaving a potato takes only about 6 to 10 minutes, depending on its size. The problem is that the skin is wet, not crisp and dry. For this reason, whenever I have the time, I microwave the potato for 4 to 5 minutes, then place it in a preheated 425°F oven for 20 minutes or so. This method cuts down on the conventional baking time and results in a nice crisp skin. Remember not to use foil in a microwave!
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To Top It All Off
Every baked tater needs some good toppings.
* Bacon bits
* Shredded cheddar cheese
* Chopped chives
* Grated Parmesan cheese
* Sour cream
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