Baked potatoes are a common side dish at the dinner table because they are easy to prepare and have a delicious flavor. Traditional recipes for baked potatoes require an hour or more in a conventional oven, but you don’t always have an hour to prepare a complete meal for your family. However, you can follow a few basic steps for baking potatoes in the oven in less than an hour. Taking a systematic approach to preheating the oven and prepping the potatoes allows you to quickly and efficiently make baked potatoes in a limited time frame.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. A hot oven is essential for baking a potato in less than an hour.
Wash and scrub the potatoes to remove any dirt, pesticides or bacteria. Rinse thoroughly.
Pierce the potatoes about five to seven times with a fork. This prevents the potato from blowing up during the baking process.
Microwave the potatoes for four to five minutes. The microwave jump-starts the baking process, and the potatoes should begin to feel soft but still have a firm center.
Rub each potato with butter and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Wrap each potato in aluminum foil. Make sure the foil is wrapped tight so the potatoes heat faster in the oven while preventing them from drying out or burning.
Insert a metal skewer through each potato. The skewer helps to conduct heat to the center of the potato to decrease the time required for baking.
Place the potatoes in a baking dish and insert it into the oven.
Bake the potatoes for 30 to 45 minutes. The potatoes will feel soft throughout when they are completely cooked. You can check the potatoes by sliding a fork into the middle of the potato.