I know, “perfect” is such a subjective word. I guess I should say “my particular version of a perfect baked potato” but that is kind of long. You can not just throw a baked potato in an oven with some holes in it and then take it out and call it perfect, at least not in my books. I did some research and found out how to make a baked potato so that it is nice and crispy on the outside and perfectly fluffy on the inside.
After washing and pricking your potatoes with a fork, moisten a paper towel with canola oil and put a thin layer all over the potato. Sprinkle with kosher salt and put in a super hot oven (mine was 500F!) right on the rack and leave it there for an entire hour. If it is a small potato, bake for less time. A big potato like this one needs a whole hour.
I learned this trick from the lovely Paula Deen. To make the potato all fluffy inside, cut down the top and then using your tongs (or fingers if you can handle the heat) crush the potato a little:
Nice and fluffy on the inside, nice and crispy on the outside! From here you can fill it with whatever you want.
Considering it is getting hot here because spring has finally found us in Nova Scotia, I decided to bake potatoes last night because I have no idea when it will be cool enough to make them again. For those of you with a barbecue, you can use that instead of heating your whole house like I did.
There is nothing better than a perfect baked potato and if I am going to eat all those carbs and toppings, it better be the potato of my dreams!