To begin, ensure that you choose a potato that is suitable for baking. In addition to making sure that it is free from bruises and sprouts, you will also need to make sure you buy the right kind. Generally, Russet potatoes are preferred above other types for baking purposes.
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Toss the potatoes into a strainer, and give them a thorough wash with cold water in the sink. Since potatoes are baked with the skin, it is essential to clean the potatoes thoroughly. Use a stiff bristle brush to scrub the potatoes free of dirt and soil.
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Once the potatoes are done, it is time to prepare them for baking. Use a fork to poke each potato all over. Do this 8 to 12 times, and make sure the holes you make are evenly spread out all over the potato. This will help the potatoes cook evenly in the oven.
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Pour cooking oil into your bowl, and turn by turn, place each potato in this bowl, to coat it thoroughly with the oil. Once the potatoes have been coated with oil, place them on a tray, and sprinkle them all generously with salt – you may use regular or rock salt.
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Place the potatoes on your oven rack for baking, and make sure you keep a baking sheet underneath, to catch any drips. Bake for roughly an hour, keeping the oven temperature at 350 degrees F. Check by poking them with a fork – you’ll know they are ready once the potatoes become soft on the inside, and the skin becomes crispy.
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Take the potatoes out and allow them to cool on the rack, for 8 to 10 minutes. Split down the centre, add on your favourite toppings – such as sour cream, cheese, chives, bacon, or butter – and serve.
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