My idea of heaven is a great big baked potato

and someone to share it with.

–Oprah Winfrey

Seriously. There is nothing easier, tastier or more adaptable than the baked potato. They are easy to grow, cheap to buy, simple to cook, almost impossible to mess up, and delicious no matter how you serve them.

Surprisingly enough though, many people don’t know how to cook this budget friendly tuber so this evening, just in time for dinner, I am going to teach you.

According to, the potato “is the world’s fourth largest food crop, following rice, wheat, and maize. The Inca Indians in Peru were the first to cultivate potatoes around 8,000 BC to 5,000 B.C.”

Skip ahead to its arrival in America. Arriving originally in 1621, they made their claim on our lands and our stomachs round 1791 by Scotch-Irish immigrants and spread their spud-tacular goodness quickly and easily into American cuisine in any number of styles.

But the baked potato is a classic. Hot, filling, easily dressed it is as easy as it comes. To make the perfect baked potato:

  1. Preheat your oven to 500º F
  2. Scrub your potato well.
  3. Dry your potato well.
  4. Using the tip of a sharp knife, poke three shallow holes on each of the flatter sides of your potato.
  5. Rub with Olive Oil.
  6. Sprinkle lightly with salt.
  7. Place directly on oven rack in the middle of the oven.
  8. Bake for 40-50 minutes, depending on the level of crispness desired from your skin.
  9. When finished cooking, remove to plate using a pot holder.
  10. Slit top open along the length to release steam.
  11. Pinch split ends towards each other to fluff.
  12. Dress as desired
  13. Enjoy!

Here are some examples of deliciously dressed potatoes:

So don’t forget the humble baked potato next time you are in a pinch for dinner.  By the time they are done baking you will have cleaned the kitchen, set the table, and even had time to put on some lipstick before your hubby walks through the door.


Elizabeth Leonard
About Elizabeth Leonard

Health, Lifestyle, and Creavity Coach. Writer. Food Life Photographer. Peaker, Cooker, Eater. Whisky and tea lover, plaid and Outlander addict.