This Trick Will Reduce The Oven Time For Your Baked Potato

Ah, the humble baked potato; it's one of those dishes that's such a classic that we sometimes forget about it. But that would be a mistake – baked potatoes are a standby for a reason. Their crispy-on-the-outside, fluffy-on-the-inside texture makes an excellent side dish for nearly any type of protein, and can only be further improved by a rich dollop of butter, sour cream, or shredded cheddar cheese.

If you've baked a potato recently, then you may have noticed that these beauties actually take a bit longer to cook through than we expect them to at about an hour at 425 F, according to the experts at The Idaho Potato Commission. It's best to plan ahead a bit if baked potatoes are going to be on the menu, but if you haven't done so, then this handy trick can help slash potatoes' time in the oven down to just 30 minutes.

Start your potato in the microwave for a shorter bake time

When the craving for a baked potato hits, you might not want to wait around for an entire hour while the delicious spud attains its perfect degree of doneness, which, according to The Idaho Potato Commission, takes about 60 minutes in an oven set to 425 F. The good news is, there's a shortcut to baked potato goodness, and it involves a two-appliance technique.

For those who want to chow down on a baked potato ASAP, The Spruce Eats recommends a handy shortcut: washing the whole potatoes, pricking them with a fork, and then microwaving them on high for five to six minutes for two potatoes, or 10 to 12 minutes for up to four potatoes. Once the potatoes are nuked, smeared with some fat such as olive oil, and salted, they're ready for the middle rack of a 400 F oven, where it will only take about 30 minutes for the spuds' skin to go crispy and their insides to go hot and steamy. Time to get those pats of butter ready!