Extra virgin olive oil
Gather the ingredients. Preheat the oven to 400 F.
Scrub the potatoes with a brush under running water, then dry them off.
With a fork, stab each potato in the center once, then flip it over and stab it on the other side. This allows steam to vent as the potato cooks.
Microwave the potatoes on high for 5 to 6 minutes for up to two potatoes, 10 to 12 minutes for four potatoes. For more than four potatoes, it is best to microwave them two at a time.
Carefully transfer the microwaved potatoes to a sheet pan. Drizzle over some extra virgin olive oil, smearing it around so that the potatoes are evenly coated. (Be careful since the potatoes are hot.)
Sprinkle the salt generously over the potatoes and smear that around so that each potato is evenly coated.
Place the potatoes directly on the middle oven rack. You can put the baking sheet on the rack below to catch any drippings. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the skins are crispy and a skewer slides easily into the potato.
Remove the baked potatoes from the oven. Split them open and serve with your favorite toppings.
Russet potatoes, also sometimes called Idaho potatoes, make the best baked potatoes. They're big and starchy, with thick dark skin that gets beautifully crispy in the oven.
Cooking the potatoes directly on the oven rack assures that you will get an evenly cooked potato with a crispy skin. Do not be tempted to wrap each potato in aluminum foil as that will steam the potatoes instead of roasting them