To bake a potato in the oven, pierce a potato with a fork, coat in oil, and season with salt. Bake the potato directly on the oven rack for one hour at 350 F.
Scrub the potato thoroughly with a vegetable brush to remove any dirt or debris so that the skin is edible. Pierce the potato on all sides to release moisture as the potato bakes. When brushing on the oil, add just enough to coat the skin of the potato lightly. It shouldn't drip off the potato. Add pepper or other seasonings in addition to salt if desired.
Place a baking sheet on the rack under the potato to catch any oil drips. Preheat the oven to 350 F before you place the potato on the upper rack. Check the potato after one hour to determine if the skin is crispy with soft flesh underneath the skin. Poke a knife or fork into the potato if you can't tell. Bake for longer if the potato isn't done. It may take up to 75 minutes to bake the potato thoroughly, especially if it is large.
Use tongs to remove the potato from the oven. Cut open the freshly baked potato, being careful to avoid steam that may escape. Finish the potato with your favorite toppings.