Please, try an experiment with me. Set your oven to 500 degrees. Wait ten or twenty minutes. Scrub a brown baking potato. Put the potato in the oven, directly on the rack. Wait thirty-five minutes. Open the oven. Flip the potato. Close the oven. Wait thirty-five minutes. Open the oven. Take the potato out. Cut a line down the middle, lengthwise, and pop the potato open. Pour a little olive oil in (or anything else you might want). Eat.
Enjoy how the skin forms a crisp outside, one that is tasty and not burnt in any way. Enjoy how the inside becomes melt-in-your-mouth delicate, a texture greatly enhanced with the equally delicate taste of the olive oil. And of course, it is hot. By-god, is it hot. You may want to wait a minute or two for it to cool down a little, if you are that kind of person. But don’t wait too long.
I am not the sort of person who eats baked potatoes. If someone offers me a baked potato, and it is not topped with copious amounts of either shredded or sour cheese, I most likely might say “yuck”. I’ll eat it, sure, but the enterprise doesn’t appeal to me. This is something completely different. You are going to enjoy this potato. It doesn’t matter who you are, or what you like. You are going to like this potato. The only downside is the time required to make it, but this is balanced out by its almost nonexistent preparation time. As long as you have a general idea of when you want to eat, this is not an issue.
One final thing: for every 1/4 pound above the base 1/2 pound potato, add another twenty minutes to the cooking time. So you would cook a 3/4 pound potato for ninety minutes, and a pound potato for a hundred and ten. But because you are cooking in a conventional oven, you can put as many 1/2 pound potatoes in as you’d like and they will all cook for seventy minutes.
(Believe it or not, this recipe is taken from the Achewood Cookbook.)