Short Answer: A single potato takes about an hour at 350 degrees Fahrenheit to bake.
The first step in preparing to bake a potato is to wash and clean the spud. Once all the dirt has been removed, use a fork or knife to poke a few holes into the potato. This will allow moisture and steam to freely breath and will prevent the potato from exploding in the oven.
By now the oven should be preheated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. There are two schools of thought for how the potato should be baked; with or without aluminum foil. Wrapping the potato in aluminum foil will allow the trapped heat to cook the spud slightly quicker while simply baking a potato without any cover will result in a crunchier skin. When baking without wrapping the potato in aluminum foil it is recommended to place a light coat of oil on the raw potato to protect the skin from cracking during the cooking process. The decision is entirely your choice based upon preference.
Place the potatoes in the oven and allow one hour of cooking time. Exactly how long potatoes take to cook vary upon the size and number of potatoes baking, but the average russet potato will bake in 45-60 minutes. To check if the potato is finished and thoroughly baked, slide a knife or toothpick directly into the center of the spud and there should not be any potato residue on the poking instrument. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper and your baked potatoes are ready to eat!
FAST TIP – If one hour is too long and you wish to decrease the cooking time, microwave the potato for 5 minutes before placing it in the oven. This will cut the overall cooking time in half and reduce the oven baking period to a mere 20-30 minutes.