The Baked Potato

173 Ratings
Recipe courtesy ofAlton Brown

Total: 1 hr 10 min Prep: 10 min Cook: 1 hr

Yield: 1 potato per person

Level: Easy



  • 1 large russet potato (If it looks like Mr. Potato Head®, you've got the right one.)
  • Canola oil to coat
  • Kosher salt
  • Optional toppings, such as butter, sour cream, shredded Cheddar and/or scallions


  • Heat oven to 350 degrees and position racks in top and bottom thirds. Wash potato (or potatoes) thoroughly with a stiff brush and cold running water. Dry, then using a standard fork poke 8 to 12 deep holes all over the spud so that moisture can escape during cooking. Place in a bowl and coat lightly with oil. Sprinkle with kosher salt and place potato directly on rack in middle of oven. Place a baking sheet on the lower rack to catch any drippings.

  • Bake 1 hour or until skin feels crisp but flesh beneath feels soft. Serve by creating a dotted line from end to end with your fork, then crack the spud open by squeezing the ends towards one another. It will pop right open. But watch out, there will be some steam. Add toppings if using. 

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Cook's Note

If you're cooking more than 4 potatoes, you'll need to extend the cooking time by up to 15 minutes.

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173 Ratings

Mike and Mary
I've been cooking my taters pretty much like this for a long time, and it's perfect. BUT, don't put the salt-covered potato *directly* on your oven rack, the salt will, and trust me on this ;) , corrode the rack eventually. Just a little piece of aluminum foil under the potato will still allow it to cook like desired, but will prevent the risk of ruining the oven rack.<br /> See All Reviews Post Review

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