Alton Brown speaking onstage
Alton Brown's Infallible Technique For Crunchy Potato Skin
The perfect baked potato has crunchy skin and a soft, fluffy interior, which are easy to achieve with Alton Brown’s three-ingredient method that requires about an hour and no foil.
He considers Russets the right kind of potato for this trick and prefers Washington State, but the Idaho variety works. He starts by preheating the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Brown pricks holes all over the potato with a fork to allow steam to escape when the potato cooks, resulting in a fluffy interior. He then rubs a little oil into the potato’s skin.
The oil helps the skin crisp up and regulates the moisture inside the potato. Brown sprinkles the potato with kosher salt and pops it in the preheated oven with no baking sheet.
An average russet potato will take about an hour in the oven. Brown says the potato is ready when the skin feels crunchy, and the flesh inside feels soft when you squeeze it.

Brown says starting the potato off in a microwave for two minutes may take less time, but it’s best to finish it off in the oven. He suggests eschewing foil to avoid a limp potato.