Wash, scrub, dry potatoes and pierce potatoes with a fork. Rub with oil, and season with salt and pepper.
Place on a rack over a sheet pan, and bake for 40-50 minutes. The internal temp should be 210°F/100°C (they will be tender when pierced with a fork/knife but not overly tender). Remove from the oven, and let them cool until they’re cool enough to safely handle.
Cut the potatoes lengthwise, and carefully scoop out the flesh leaving about ¼ “ stuck to the skin of the potatoes (be careful to leave the skin intact).
Return the potatoes to the sheet pan, then brush with olive oil from the inside and outside. Season with salt and pepper, place them cut side down and bake for 15 minutes, flip and bake for 5 more minutes.
Remove from the oven, and sprinkle with cheese. Return to the oven for 5 more minutes or until the cheese is melted and potato skins are looking crisp.
Sprinkle with bacon, top with a dollop of sour cream per each potato skin and garnish with sliced green onions.
Small Potatoes. Choose the smallest russet potatoes you can find when making homemade potato skins. They will cook quicker, and be the perfect size for handheld eating.
You want to use potatoes with a higher starch content so they bake up nice and fluffy. Russet potatoes or Yukon Golds are great and readily available in most American and Canadian grocery stores. Sebago potatoes in Australia or Maris Piper or King Edwards potatoes in the UK are perfect choices.
Scrub the potatoes. Don’t skip this step here, because the potato skin is the main event. Use a rough cloth or a brush to get the skins as clean as possible.
Make sure to pat the potatoes dry so that the skin crisps up nicely and the water on the outside of the potato doesn’t create any extra steam.
Pierce potatoes with a fork before baking to avoid exploding potatoes!
Be Careful. When scooping out the potato flesh, make sure to leave enough so that the potato skin isn’t too fragile. You don’t want to tear it, or it will be difficult to fill. Also, be careful when handling hot potatoes. Let the baked potatoes cool until they are cool enough to handle before cutting them.
For perfectly crispy potato skins, make sure that you are generous with the oil, and use a brush to get oil on every surface of the potato skin. You can add a couple extra minutes to the bake time if they don’t look crispy enough, but remember that we’ll be baking them for 5 more minutes after adding the cheese.
Cheese. Sharp or medium cheddar cheese works best here, it melts beautifully and has lots of savory, salty flavor. Bagged shredded cheese will work, but if you can grate your own from a block you’ll get a much better melt and flavor.