Baked potatoes are pure Americana -- synonymous with steak dinners and outdoor barbecues. The popularity of the baked potato lies in its simplicity; hearty starch cooked to steaming perfection that hosts myriad condiments and additions. A few easy preparations – cleaning the potato, venting it to release steam and wrapping it in foil to prevent scorching – results in a classic side dish that impresses and satisfies.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Wash and scrub the potatoes in cold water using a kitchen brush. Dry with paper towels.
Poke several holes in each potato using a fork. This allows steam to escape and prevents the potatoes from exploding in the oven.
Wrap each potato in one layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Place the potatoes directly on the oven rack.
Bake the potatoes for 45 minutes or until tender.