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As we head towards chillier temperatures the comforts of creamy, fluffy potatoes come calling. Potatoes are one of my favorite foods to curl up with. So to celebrate the return of cozy, here are 5 tips for making the best baked potato.

  1. Start with a potato variety built for baking. I selected a Russet Burbank for my baked potato because it has tough skin, so it holds its shape while it bakes while its interior becomes light and fluffy. There are two other varieties of russets available in Ontario – the Russet Norkotah and Frontier Russet. Both have similar characteristics to the Burbank and will work just as well.
  2. Pierce the potato all over with a fork before introducing it to the oven. A poorly ventilated potato can explode and no one wants to spend their evening cleaning potato innards out of their oven.
  3. Do not wrap your potato in foil. The foil will not decrease the baking time and it will reduce skin crispiness. Put your potatoes in the oven naked, preferably on a cooling rack inside a baking sheet. This will increase airflow around the entire potato.
  4. Season your spuds. Because you can’t season the inside, overcompensate on the outside. Generously brush the potato with a mixture of olive oil and butter and don’t hold back on the salt. Potatoes love and need salt.
  5. Aim for an internal temperature between 205°F and 212°F for maximum fluffiness. Anything lower than this will result in an overly dense potato.

Now that your potato is roasted all that’s left to do is to top it. Be free with your toppings. A baked potato is a blank canvas, so let your imagination run wild. Classic toppings include cheddar, sour cream, bacon, and chives. This rendition offers a stroganoff moment with sautéed mushrooms, yogurt, crispy shallots, and chives. But you could do anything from stuffing your spud with chili to adding nothing more than a pat of butter. The world is your oyster or I suppose your baked potato.

  • 2 Russet potatoes
  • 1 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt for sprinkling

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Place a cooling rack on a small baking sheet.

Pierce the potatoes all over with a fork and place them on the cooling rack. Bake the potatoes for 30 minutes.

In a small bowl whisk to combine the butter and olive oil. Take the potatoes out of the oven and brush them all over with the butter mixture. Sprinkle them liberally with salt and return them to the oven.

Bake the potatoes for another 30 minutes or until they register an internal temperature between 205°F and 212°F.

Slice the potatoes open with a knife and carefully push the ends towards the center of each potato to tease them open. Carefully fluff the flesh inside with a fork before garnishing with your preferred toppings.

Post by Susan of Rhubarb and Cod 

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