Baking a potato should be as easy as boiling water. But it’s not. And if you’re in search for perfection, here is the one, sure-fire way, to get a gloriously fluffy, creamy baked spud every time. For traditional baked potatoes that are going to be loaded with toppings, you must buy Russet potatoes. Russets have a thicker skin and a beautiful starchy, snowy – almost meaty – interior that soaks up every drop of butter, cheese and or sour cream. You can make smashed potatoes with red new potatoes or baby Yukon golds, but only a Russet will do for a “baked” – or “jacket ” – potato. Once you are sure you have the right potato, the next dilemma is whether or not to wrap it in foil before baking. Don’t. Tests have shown that potatoes covered in foil can end up being waxy with a hard texture, even when fully cooked. Covering the potato also foils (badoom!) the chances of getting crusty skin, too, which is the best part of a baked potato and crucial for structural integrity if you’re wanting to load it. A beginner’s guide to meal prep Some folks like to cook their spuds at 200 degrees Celsius. But, honestly, perfection just cannot be rushed and 180C is the way to go. While this can take a bit longer, the results are definitely creamier. Cooking at a higher temperature risks having an overdone outside and an underdone inside. Avert the tragedy! Oh, and yes, preheat the oven to ensure even cooking. Before you switch on, though, put some foil over the drip pan in the bottom of the oven for easy cleaning later. Once the potatoes are scrubbed, they must be dried and coated with a little regular shortening or olive oil. Then, prick them four or five times with a fork to let the steam escape while they are baking. Sprinkle a little kosher salt over them for extra flavour. (Kosher salt has bigger flakes than regular table salt, but if you don’t have it, regular table salt will do). Place the prepared potatoes directly on the oven rack in the centre of the oven. Things probably won’t get messy with Russet potatoes, but you can do sweet potatoes the same way and they might drip on to the foil you placed earlier. Give them an hour before you stick a paring knife into one to decide whether or not they’re done. They will usually need a further 20 minutes to be perfect, but keep an eye on them just in case. The ultimate feel-good food:tumeric ginger chickpea bowl If you are going to load the spuds, always cook three potatoes for every two of the finished potatoes. This will let you make a mound of the filling for Instagram excellence. EDITOR’S NOTE: This advice is based on an article by Elizabeth Karmel, a grilling, barbecue and Southern foods expert, and the author of four cookbooks, including the newly released Steak and Cake . Her website is here . This article was curated by Young Post . Better Life is the ultimate resource for enhancing your personal and professional life.