A: Poke the potatoes with a fork just enough to pierce the skin so the potato won't burst when baking, especially in the microwave. Four or five times should be plenty. A potato is composed mainly of water, so poking them helps release steam as it cooks.
"Yes, it's good to prick them," Smith told Food52. "It pokes holes in the skin, which allows steam to escape. Otherwise, they could explode—it doesn't happen all the time, but it happens every once in a while. The potato is full of water it's trying to turn to steam, or water vapor.
Do you poke holes in potatoes before baking? We actually don't poke holes in our potatoes before baking! It is said that poking holes in the potato allows steam to escape the potato so it doesn't explode, but in reality, steam is actually able to escape from the skin (and we've never experienced a potato explosion!).
Potatoes can form rupture tears from steam buildup inside, if holes are not poked into them. This doesn't really hurt them, but the tears can be pretty unsightly when served. So folks just poke holes in them to let the steam out while they're cooking.
Poke the potatoes with a fork just enough to pierce the skin so the potato won't burst when baking, especially in the microwave. Four or five times should be plenty. A potato is composed mainly of water, so poking them helps release steam as it cooks.
"Yes, it's good to prick them," says Brennan Smith, a faculty member of the School of Food Science at University of Idaho. "It pokes holes in the skin, which allows steam to escape. Otherwise, they could explode—it doesn't happen all the time, but it happens every once in a while.
Prick potatoes with a fork before baking to shorten the baking time and to keep them from bursting. Place the potatoes on an unlined baking sheet and bake at 400 F for about one hour, or until tender.
Adding oil to potatoes before baking is perfectly fine, just a personal preference. Without oil the Idaho russet skin bakes up crispy, with oil the skin will carry a lot of the flavor of the oil so some people have a preference for using olive oil or peanut oil.
We recommend baking potatoes at 400 degrees F for about an hour. Smaller spuds might take a little less time, while larger baking potatoes over 1 pound might take a little more. For a fully baked Idaho Russet Burbank, the internal temperature should be right at 210 degrees F.
Why is it common to salt the exterior of a baked potato? A: Chefs started doing this years ago to allow the salt to absorb or draw out the moisture of the potato while baking, which results in a dry, fluffy potato. They used to do something similar with prime rib, sometimes baking it over rock salt.
Pierce with a fork.
Prick the potatoes four or five times on each side with a fork. This allows steam to escape from the baking potato.
The Food and Drug Administration advises you wash potatoes before you eat them. Potatoes grow in the ground, and carry not only dirt but also bacteria to the grocery store and later, your table. Pesticides also remain on potato skin; even organic potatoes carry some degree of contaminants.
Soaking potatoes in water helps remove excess starch. Excess starch can inhibit the potatoes from cooking evenly as well as creating a gummy or sticky texture on the outside of your potatoes. Cold water is used because hot water would react with the starch activating it, making it harder to separate from the potatoes.
NEVER BAKE POTATOES IN FOIL.
Foil wraps will not decrease baking time, but will result in a soggy potato interior with wet skin. Wrapping a baked potato in foil after it has been baked will allow you to hold up to 45 minutes, but the best method for holding a baked potato is in a bread warming drawer.
To make crispy roast potatoes, the temperature of the oven needs to be hot 220°C or 425°F - but if the oven is too hot the potatoes will burn before they crisp up. If the oven temperature is too cold your potatoes will not be crispy.
Bake 2 pounds of potatoes at 200 degrees Fahrenheit for 3 hours and 30 minutes. Bake 2 pounds of potatoes at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 2 hours and 30 minutes. Bake 2 pounds of potatoes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 2 hours and 15 minutes. Bake 2 pounds of potatoes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Poke holes in potato and wrap in foil. Bake in oven for 45 to 60 minutes until tender.
Oven: To make a baked potato in oven wrapped in foil, preheat the oven to 450ºF. Place baked potatoes in foil directly on your oven rack. Let cook for 45-60 minutes rotating after 30 minutes. Use a fork to pierce the potatoes to see how soft they are.
How long can peeled and cut potatoes sit in water before cooking, before they begin taking on too much water? A: We usually recommend no more than 24 hours. You can keep the potatoes from absorbing the water by making sure the water is not salted, and is chilled (you can even add ice to the water).
Boiling your potatoes for a little bit before roasting helps make sure that you get that beautiful crisp crust on the outside. If you don't parboil your spuds, the outside skin will remain quite tough, meaning that whatever fat you use will not be able to get inside the cracks.
Why use salt water for soaking potatoes? There's moisture naturally found in potatoes, and moisture is drawn to higher concentrations of salt. (This is a process called osmosis.) So, if you put the potatoes in a salt water bath, that will help draw out some of their moisture, resulting in crispier fries.
Low and slow—that's the mantra of the Perfect Baked Potato. If you've got the time to spare, cook the potatoes at 300°F for 90 minutes. If you need to speed that up, bump it to 450°F for 45 minutes. (Note: Your baking time will vary depending on the size of your potato and how hot your oven runs.)
Heat the oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Rub a little oil over each potato and put on the top shelf of the oven. Bake for 20 mins, then turn down the oven to 190C/170C fan/ gas 5 and bake for 45 mins-1 hr more until the skin is crisp and the inside soft.