To start, preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Note: For even crispier skin, the potatoes can be cooked in a 450°F oven. Just keep an eye on them, as the cooking time may be a bit less.
Next, poke the potatoes all over with a fork and rub with oil; season generously with salt and pepper. Note: Feel free to experiment with other spices, if desired.
To bake the potatoes, place them directly on the oven rack and bake for 60 to 75 minutes, or until a knife goes in very easily. When ready, the inside should be soft, yet the skin should nice and crisp.
- 4 russet potatoes (approx 2½ lb), scrubbed clean
- olive oil, for rubbing
- coarse sea salt (such as Fleur de sel or Maldon)
- freshly ground black pepper