The secret to perfect Baked Potatoes in a fraction of the time: cut them in half! That's right, we roast potato halves instead of whole potatoes. Not only do they take less time, they also have perfectly caramelized edges and a soft, fluffy interior.
OVEN: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large, dark sheet pan with parchment paper. Don't skip the parchment paper; it really helps the potatoes cook evenly without the cut side getting too hard.
CLEAN POTATOES: Thoroughly scrub the potatoes using cold water to remove all the dirt and any debris. Completely dry the potatoes and cut the potatoes in half lengthwise.
PREPPOTATOES: Place the potatoes, flesh side down, on the sheet pan. Pierce the skin of the potato 3 to 4 times with the tines of a fork. Flip the potatoes flesh side up. Drizzle the oil over all the potatoes and take your time to rub the oil into both sides of the potatoes so all parts of the potatoes are sufficiently covered. Evenly sprinkle 3/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/8 teaspoon of pepper over all the potatoes (3/4 teaspoon and 1/8 teaspoon for ALL potatoes, not each). Now flip again, so the potatoes are flesh side down. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt over all the skins of the potatoes and remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper on the skins.
BAKE: Bake flesh side down for 35-45 minutes, checking at 35 minutes. Check for doneness by inserting a fork into the biggest potato. If it goes in easily, the potatoes are ready! If not, add an additional 5 minutes. Cook until fork tender, checking every 5 minutes.
ENJOY: Remove from the oven and serve with your favorite toppings. We like a pat of butter, Cheddar cheese, sour cream, and green onions or chives. See the blog post for more ideas. Make sure to taste the potatoes and add additional salt and pepper as needed.
Note 1: Potato size: I have also tested this recipe with potatoes that are 9-13 ounces in size. Add an additional tablespoon of oil and they bake for about 10 minutes longer. You'll need to add an additional sprinkle of salt and pepper on the larger potatoes after baking (taste first). Also, while you can cook more than four potatoes at a time, remember that the more potatoes on the sheet pan, the longer the overall cooking time will be.Nutrition information does not include the toppings.