delicious spicy potatoes in glass dish in oven

Simple and Easy Ways to Bake Potatoes in the Oven

Potatoes are indeed one amazing plant. It has a nice amount of nutrients, like vitamin C and B6, as well as a solid amount of minerals such as iron and magnesium. But, besides that, these round veggies are a really great food choice. Potatoes in the oven are very tasty and easy to prepare

So, if you are a potato lover, oven-baked potatoes might be one of those to-go options for daily meals.

What is the best way to prepare potatoes?

People often opt to make deep-fried potatoes, which is definitely the unhealthiest option for potato preparation. Besides its unhealthiness, it can make your kitchen and you look like an oily mess, plus the fried oil smell will linger in your home (hair and clothes) for hours.

Doesn’t sound too appealing, you may agree? So, instead of standing beside the boiling oil, you can choose much easier, healthier, and definitely less smelly potato preparation. You can bake potatoes in the oven.

It’s really up to your taste what kind of oven potatoes you will make. The good thing is, there are lots of options. Oven-baked potatoes can be eaten alone, or as a nice side dish, or appetizer. 

Here are a few combinations and recipes in which you can incorporate potatoes:

Are potatoes in the oven healthy?

Considering that the vast majority of people eat French fries mostly, potatoes in the oven are a much healthier option. First of all, you won’t need any oil, which is the main reason potatoes turn out unhealthy. 

Oven-baked potatoes are prepared with hot air, and with some herbal spices if you like. Just watch out not to burn them, and they will remain pretty healthy.

Potatoes in the oven calories

The secret to some low-calorie roast potatoes hides in using less oil and a very hot oven. So, instead of pouring oil into the pan, try spraying a bit of cooking oil. That way you’ll get crunchy potatoes, but with much less fat. 

Before placing the potatoes into the oven, boil them in lightly salted boiling water for 3-4 minutes.

Each baked potato serving (7 ounces or 200 grams) prepared like this contains:

  • 176 kcal
  • 4g protein
  • 37g carbohydrates (of which 2g sugars)
  • 0.5g fat (of which 0.1g saturates)
  • 4g fiber
  • 0.2g salt

Of course, you can always opt not to use any oil for baking potatoes. That way, they will be even more low-calorie.

Which potatoes are best for roasting in the oven?

There’s been some rule, the starchier the potato – the better for frying. The waxier the potato – the better for mashing. Finally, the Yukon Gold potato – great for roasting. It’s somewhere between starchiness and waxiness, and that’s making it a perfect baking option. 

It will hold shape, and still caramelize nicely while having a creamy, silky, and buttery interior.

At what temperature to bake/roast potatoes in the oven?

The optimal temperature to bake potatoes in the oven is 400F or 204C for 45-55 minutes. Of course, cooking times can vary depending on the potatoes’ size, and the oven temperature. 

Cooking time for whole oven-baked potatoes:

  • 400F (204C): 40-50 minutes
  • 375F (190C): 50-60 minutes
  • 350F (176C): 60-75 minutes

Cooking time for 1 inch (2.5cm) potato cubes:

  • 450F (232 C): 20-25 minutes
  • 400F: 30 minutes
  • 375F: 35-40 minutes
  • 350F: 45-50 minutes

The easiest way to see if your potatoes are ready is to test them with a fork and make sure they are soft throughout.

How to bake potatoes in the oven without foil?

Since wrapping potatoes in foil doesn’t speed up the baking process, you can prepare it without foil. It’s actually quite the opposite, the foil has to be heated first, so the potato begins to bake later, and cooking times increase slightly. 

If you don’t like mushy, boiled-like potato texture, you should skip the potatoes in foil. So, here are some tips for easier potato baking without foil.

  1. Preheat the oven to the desired temperature and adjust the oven rack to the middle position.
  1. Wash and rinse the potatoes thoroughly, also make sure there are no bruises or some discolored, and green spots.

If the potato has green parts it might have developed an alkaloid called solanine, a bitter toxin, so throw it out if you bump into that kind of potato.

  1. Make sure to pierce each potato with a fork or sharp knife, about 4 times on each side, with 1-inch 2.54cm intervals. By doing this you prevent potato explosions inside your oven.

To be sure your potatoes in the oven will be perfect, you’ll need a good baking pan. Always have a couple of different sizes, so you can choose them by potato size. That way potatoes won’t be crowded and will bake more evenly.

You can find various baking pan options and buy them on Amazon.

Crispier potato husk tip

If you would like to have a crispy potato husk, you should try rubbing the potato with some olive oil, before baking. You can also roll the potatoes in some sea salt after oil rolling. 

Even though you want your potatoes to be crispy, make sure not to overcook them. That way you won’t end up with dry insides, instead, the potato will be nice and buttery inside.

How to bake potatoes in the oven quickly?

The easiest way to bake potatoes in the oven more quickly is to chop potatoes into smaller pieces or to choose bite-sized potatoes that can be roasted whole. If you decide to bake large, whole potatoes, prepare to wait much longer.

Here are a few tips to consider when you want to bake your potatoes quickly:

  • Heat oven to 425F or 218C
  • Chop the potatoes into small chunks, so they can bake faster and more evenly.
  • Spread the potatoes on the pan evenly, and make sure they don’t overlap each other.
  • Roast uncovered for 25 to 35 minutes, and stir occasionally until the potatoes are golden brown.

Can you freeze baked potatoes?

Sometimes you just end up with a bunch of leftover oven-baked potatoes. This happens very rarely, but it can be handy to know how to easily preserve leftover potatoes. 

It is said that baked potatoes will only last 2 to 3 days inside the fridge, but when properly stored in the freezer they can last for 3 months. Of course, it’s best to consume any dish within a month or two after freezing, because of the taste.

Bear in mind that freezing temperature needs to be kept at a steady 0F or -17C for best results. Baked potatoes contain some water, so if the dish is not packed properly, the potatoes will get grainy and watery consistency.

Freezing process for oven baked potatoes

  • Once your potatoes are cooled down completely, wrap every one of them in aluminum foil. 
  • Be sure the potatoes are completely wrapped in foil, so they are not exposed to freezing air. Extreme cold temperatures can ruin its texture during the defrosting process. 
  • Place the aluminum wrapped potatoes into a large, heavy-duty resealable plastic bag, and squeeze as much air as you can. Write the storage date with a marker and make sure to place the bag in the freezer.

Defrosting and reheating of baked potatoes

  • When you want to defrost your baked potatoes, just transfer the leftovers from the freezer to the fridge. Leave it overnight to easily thaw. 
  • If you need to defrost potatoes faster, you can place them in the microwave, and heat them on low. 
  • Reheating roasted potatoes is also very easy, and you can do it by using the microwave or oven. 
  • After thawing the potatoes, place them on a baking pan or microwave-safe dish, and reheat them. If you are reheating potatoes in the oven, cook them at over 350F or 176C.

To sum it up

Potatoes in the oven are really tasty and comforting. When preparing them, be sure to wash the potatoes thoroughly and avoid any that have green spots. During baking, pay attention to oven temperature, and cooking time, and don’t eat burnt potatoes. 

If you don’t like steamed-like potatoes, skip the foil. Take care of the leftovers properly by storing them in the fridge or freezer for later use. 

While paying attention to mentioned technical details, make sure to relax and enjoy these amazing veggies. After all, that’s what cooking is all about.

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