As most of you know, I’m not a huge fan of using the microwave for anything more than heating up a cup of tea. I mean I really don’t even like microwave popcorn. A billion years ago I was at a friend’s house for dinner where she said she would cook. Bonus! Right?! So I helped her prep the salad and she said “Time to make the baked potatoes” which what immediately followed was something just horrifying! Imagine the look on my face as she threw they gorgeous russets in the microwave and said “10 minutes and we’ll have baked potatoes”.
Um.. no.. that’s not baked. Zapped, Nuked, or heated maybe but definitely not baked. Like a gracious guest I kept my mouth shut and let her do her thing. I hate those people that throw their 2 cents in when it’s really not wanted. FORTUNATELY while we were eating she commented on how she can never get her potatoes to taste like restaurants. They are always just … bleh no matter how much butter/salt/sour cream that is thrown on it.
Then she looked at me with that “help me” face and I said “I can show you how to do it if you want”. See some people take offense to stuff like this which is odd. I mean you’re asking for help but yet when you offer suggestions they look at you like you’re evil. Fine.. call me evil but I can eat least make one mean baked potato in the oven 🙂 LOL
Fortunately she was all to appreciative of my showing her how to make these. We broke up the baking sheet, some tin foil, olive oil and salt. As she stood there, she just kept saying “is that it?” Nothing else?
I chuckled and just said “Sometimes simplicity is best in the kitchen. Think of the potato as your canvas. Once it’s done you can turn it into your masterpiece!” I explained that when you baked these you had two options – baking directly on the oven rack or on the pan. The real difference is you don’t have to flip the potatoes if you bake them on the rack. The drawback is that since they are covered in oil and salt, you have splatters and drips on to your oven that can either cause a fire or make it smoke. Plus the cleanup sucks.
About an hour later (her taters were ginormous!), we sat down to true baked potatoes. Her first bite and reaction was priceless! Folks I thought she was going to jump up from the other side of the table, pick me up, spin me around and kiss my forehead! LOL
She kept thanking me over and over for teaching her some kitchen voodoo magic (as she called it). I just laughed and said, no magic – just basics.
The following week she called me to tell me that she ate 10 pounds of potatoes herself! Yeah, I think I created a small obsession for her. LOL
Anyway, if someone offers to bake you a potato in the microwave, they are not your friend and you do not need that type of negativity in your life *wink*Print
Oven Baked Potatoes
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- 1 Large Potato (per person) – I prefer the restaurant style baking potatoes myself
- Olive Oil
- Sea Salt
- Preheat the oven to 400 and place the rack in the middle.
- Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil. – this is optional. You can cook eat potato directly on the rack but I highly recommend placing a lined cookie sheet on the rack below to catch the drippings.
- Scrub each potato with cool water, not hot!
- Dry the potatoes thoroughly with a paper towel.
- Using a fork, pierce each potato a good 4-5 times ensuring you go deep. If you don’t do this, the tater will explode… trust me on this! 🙂
- Slather each tater with oil ensuring it’s coated evenly.
- Sprinkle with Sea Salt.
- Either lay on the lined cookie sheet or the rack.
- Cook for roughly 45 minutes to an hour depending on the size of the potato.*
*Note: if you bake it on the sheet, flip them about every 20 minutes. Baking on the rack directly, you don’t have to flip.
Insert a fork or wooden skewer into the potato. It should go all the way in. The skin should be crisp and the flesh soft.
Now, as you notice, not once did I say “Wrap the potato in foil”. Don’t do it. Period… EVER! It’s not going to harm it but if you wrap the potato in foil it ends up “steaming” the potato rather than baking it. It’ll taste good but it’s be really, really soft and the skin will be just blah.
So back to my story above. About oh I don’t know a few weeks later we all got together. This time I helped her make the meal which included the potatoes using the above method. She was absolutely thrilled by the outcome as well as her guests. Stuff like this… that’s what makes me happy 🙂
Recipe Reviews & Comments
Cathy Smith says
I like to eat the skin of a good baked potato. I rarely eat restaurant’s potatoes cause never sure how well they wash those skins. But at home there is nothing like them, I love em as much as the tater inside. You are correct this is the only way to eat them, but I had never thought to put the directions down in a recipe. Thanks for reminding me.
Loved the recipe and the humor.
So what is a “restaurant style” baking potato, and what is the weight equivalent of ginormous?
They are actually packaged/labeled with the wording “Restaurant” or “Restaurant Style” potatoes. They are always Russet.
Typically they are. 4-5” in length and 3-5” in diameter. Weight can range from 8-12 ounces though I have seen some that are bigger.
Best Kitchen Wishes!
Scott Skidmore says
Alot depends on where I’m at. Home I’ll pierce, rub oil and bake on the rack. Camping I’ll pierce, rub oil and cover with foil then by the coals.
Either way make extras they make excellent cottage fries for breakfast the next morning. As they’re already fully cooked one can slice them a little thicker. Goes great with ham and fried eggs. (Or bacon, sausage, chorizo, y’all get the point)
Mari Bresler says
This is a go to recipe.. WE LOVE IT!
Val Vafiadis says
Awesome story and recipe. Thank u. 🙂
Aw thank you so much!
Best Kitchen Wishes!
S. West says
Best baked potatoes ever! Thanks for the simple instructions. Will cook potatoes like this from now on
Thank you so much!!!
Best Kitchen Wishes!
Jackie Walton says
I’ve always used microwaved spuds(Well my husband has)
So a million thanks I will try your way tonight.
I’m actually the friend that Lori was talking about in this post. I’ve known Lori for over 30 years and she is the most unselfish person, grateful person I have ever had the pleasure to know and call a friend. Since you were there for the day of this dinner you really don’t what happened. Lori was nothing but beyond grateful; almost too grateful.
One thing you don’t know is when you’re a chef you almost never get invited over to someone’s house for dinner because most people think they will be judged. If you actually knew Lori you would know that when I invited her over she actually cried because no one does that. I could have served her box mac ‘n cheese and hot dogs and she would have been truly appreciative.
I was the one that commented that my potatoes never taste like a restaurant. Lori, knowing me, simply offered to show me how to do it. There no judgement, no offense – no nothing. I could have said no and she would have been fine with it but I asked for her help.
So when I say you were dead wrong with how you interpreted her post, you are. It’s funny as Lori texted me asking me to read your response and to re-read her post asking if she did come off as – what did you call her “ungrateful” and I told her she was crazy, that you obviously read it wrong and that she is still the best person I know.
Sincerely the friend that STILL supports Lori, her blog and her true genuineness.
I understand this is an old post, so maybe there’s been some personal growth here. But, before I could even get to the recipe, I was taken aback by your story, and to be frank, disappointed. You claimed to go over to a “friend’s” house, where this person opened up their home and made dinner for you. And in return, because they had the audacity to microwave a potato, you were displeased. As if that’s not enough, you smiled in this “friend’s” face and waited (by your count) years to address it, not by offering them directly a better method of cooking potatoes, but by making a blog post about how disgusted you were. Does this “friend” support your blog? I wonder how they felt after reading how horrified you were, when they were simply doing something nice for you. I pray none of my houseguests are ever this ungrateful, and if they are, to tell me upfront so that I can cut them out of my life sooner rather than later.
The thing with posts is you cannot control how people interpret it, they read the whole thing verbatim or what you’re conveyed intent is received the same way.
It appears you missed this passage where she says she could never make them like a restaurant, gave me the look of “help me” and my simply saying I could show her.
“ FORTUNATELY while we were eating she commented on how she can never get her potatoes to taste like restaurants. They are always just … bleh no matter how much butter/salt/sour cream that is thrown on it.
Then she looked at me with that “help me” face and I said “I can show you how to do it if you want”. See some people take offense to stuff like this which is odd. I mean you’re asking for help but yet when you offer suggestions they look at you like you’re evil.”
And then you might have missed the part where she thanked me for years.
“She kept thanking me over and over for teaching her some kitchen voodoo magic (as she called it). I just laughed and said, no magic – just basics.”
CLEARY your interpretation was anything than intended but I can assure you got it wrong. 100% dead wrong. And as for how my friend took it, she knew about the post before I even published it as I sent it to her to make sure she was ok with it. She actually loved it,
That being said, happy new year.
Best Kitchen Wishes!