How To Bake Potatoes

Forget wrapping in foil or poking with holes. Follow Food Network Kitchen's step-by-step how-to for perfect potatoes with a tender, fluffy interior and crackling, crisp skin.

To Start

Position the oven racks in the bottom and middle of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees F. Put the potatoes on a baking sheet and drizzle with oil.

Add Oil

Use a pastry brush to evenly coat the potatoes with the oil.

Season with Salt and Pepper

Season with flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Place on Oven Rack

Put the potatoes directly on the upper oven rack and put the baking sheet on the rack below them to catch any drippings. Bake until the potatoes are soft when squeezed and the skins are crispy, about 45 minutes.

Cut Down the Middle

Cut a slit about 3/4-inch down the length of each potato.

Push Open

Hold an end of the potato in each hand and push down and inward to open the potato up.

Top with Butter

Top each split baked potato with a pat of unsalted butter.

Season and Enjoy

Season with flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Sprinkle with cut fresh chives if you'd like.

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