The Perfect Baked Potato

Learn how to make the perfect baked potato with this step-by-step tutorial and recipe, and scroll down for the video too!Learn how to bake the perfect baked potato with this simple step-by-step tutorial and recipe. It's always a winner! | gimmesomeoven.com

Ever since we arrived home from New Zealand, I have been making up for lost time with friends and family by scheduling about 1.2 million happy hours, coffee dates, brunches, lunches and dinners galore to catch up with everyone.  Which has been awesome, and much-needed, because I miss my people so much when I’m away.  But after being uber-social since arriving, after what was also an uber-social vacation, I realized it was also high time to recharge my introverted batteries.

So this weekend, I did just that.

I cleared pretty much all of my social schedule.  I stocked my fridge with all of my favorite ingredients.  I settled in with my comfiest yoga clothes and new favorite candle.  And I did blissfully nothing all weekend except three things:

  1. Snuggle and go for long walks with my pup.
  2. Binge-watch the entire new season of House Of Cards.
  3. Conquer the art of making the perfect baked potato.

So since I can’t share Henry or the HoC spoilers with you, I thought I should probably tell you about this potato today.  ;)

Learn how to bake the perfect baked potato with this simple step-by-step tutorial and recipe | gimmesomeoven.com

I’ll admit — baked potatoes aren’t something I usually crave.  But after being a couch potato for two straight days, maybe they actually made some sense.  And after all of those dark and crazy plot twists with the Underwoods, I think that some comfort food (i.e. bacon) was definitely in order.  ;)

The only thing is that I’ve never been really satisfied with my homemade baked potatoes in the past.  The skins have never been crispy enough.  The insides aren’t always evenly cooked.  And, I don’t know, I’ve always felt like they could be better.

So I did what I do to solve every major problem in life: I googled it.

And after some Very Serious Research, I did actually learn a few handy tips and methods that seemed intriguing.  So between episodes, I decided to play Ali’s American Test Kitchen and put a few of them to the test.  And about 8 baked potatoes later, I’m happy to report that I have settled upon my favorite.

Here it is!
Learn how to bake the perfect baked potato with this simple step-by-step tutorial and recipe | gimmesomeoven.com

The first tip is probably the most obvious one — you’ve gotta go with Russets.

Sweet potatoes, Yukon golds, red potatoes — I still love you all.  But when you’re in the mood for a good, classic baked potato, it’s Russets all the way.  The skins are nice and thick, which are great for crisping up in the oven.  The insides are super starchy, which make for an extra fluffy and sweet filling.  And they’re also the cheapest spuds at the grocery store, which is extra-great for entertaining or a cheap dinner!

To begin, preheat your oven to a toasty 450°F.  Then take a fork and give each spud a round of good pokes all over, so that you don’t have a potato bomb explode in the oven.  Place the potatoes on a parchment- or foil-covered baking sheet (see notes below, at the bottom of the recipe).  (Or alternately, you can also just place the potatoes directly on the baking rack for extra-even cooking.  But your oven will get covered with a sprinkle of salt and oil if you do this, which is why I prefer the cleanup-free baking sheet.)

Bake the potatoes for about 30 minutes.  Then comes the important part…

Learn how to bake the perfect baked potato with this simple step-by-step tutorial and recipe | gimmesomeoven.com

At this point — about halfway through baking — the potato skins will be slightly dry and wrinkly.  This is good!!!  It will help them be even crispier in the end.  But we’ve gotta give them some oil to help finish the process.  So grab a pastry brush and quickly brush some oil or melted butter all over the outside of each potato (top and bottom) until they are completely covered.  Then sprinkle some Kosher salt (and black pepper, if you’d like) on each potato to season the skin, and pop ’em back in the oven.

Continue baking for 20 more minutes, turning the potatoes over once more (so you’ll bake them for about 10 minutes per side) until the potatoes are totally soft if you squeeze them with a pot holder and the skins are nice and crispy.  Cooking time will vary depending on the size of the potatoes.  But I’d say on average they will take 45-55 minutes total to cook.

Learn how to bake the perfect baked potato with this simple step-by-step tutorial and recipe | gimmesomeoven.com

Once they’re ready, remove those puppies from the oven…
Learn how to bake the perfect baked potato with this simple step-by-step tutorial and recipe | gimmesomeoven.com

…then just make a nice cut down the middle of each potato and give the ends a little squeeze to open them.  And behold, a perfectly crispy-on-the-outside, soft-and-fluffy-on-the-inside, and oh-so-delicious baked potato is now yours to enjoy.

You can either go the simple route and just serve it with a pat of butter and some salt and pepper…

Learn how to bake the perfect baked potato with this simple step-by-step tutorial and recipe | gimmesomeoven.com

…or you can gussy it up with all of your favorite toppings.  These are what I had on hand this weekend, but the sky’s the limit with what sounds good to you.  Broccoli cheese?  Chili?  Guacamole?  Just plain???  You decide.

All I’m saying is that you’ll be off to a very tasty start with this method.

Enjoy!!

The Perfect Baked Potato

Learn how to make the perfect baked potato with this step-by-step tutorial and recipe. So easy and delicious!

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium-to-large Russet potato, scrubbed clean of any dirt
  • olive oil or melted butter
  • Kosher salt
  • freshly-cracked black pepper

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 450°F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil.**
  2. Using a dinner fork or a small paring knife, poke the potato multiple times on all sides.
  3. Place the potato on the baking sheet.  Bake for 25 minutes, then remove from oven.
  4. Using a pastry brush, brush the outside of the potato with olive oil or melted butter until it is completely coated on all sides.  Sprinkle the potato with a generous pinch of Kosher salt, and place the potato back on the baking sheet upside down so that it can cook evenly on both sides.
  5. Return to oven and cook for an additional 20 minutes.  Check for doneness by squeezing the potato (using an oven mitt since it's a hot potato!).  If the insides are nice and soft and give under pressure, remove the potato from the oven.  Otherwise, continue cooking in 5-minute increments until the potato is done.
  6. Use a small paring knife to cut down the middle of the potato, and then give it a squeeze to open.  Serve immediately, with your desired toppings.

*For super-even cooking, you can alternately cook the potato either directly on the oven racks.  Or you can also place a small cooling rack directly on top of your baking sheet, and place the potato on that.  For either of those methods, you can (obviously) skip the parchment paper or aluminum foil.

**If using parchment paper, make sure your paper can tolerate 450 degree heat (Reynolds brand only tolerates up to 425 degrees), as you want to make sure the paper doesn't burn! You can also use aluminum foil.

If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a photo and hashtag it #gimmesomeoven. I'd love to see what you cook!

Learn how to bake the perfect baked potato with this simple step-by-step tutorial and recipe | gimmesomeoven.com

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Comments

  1. Taylor @ Food Faith Fitness — March 7, 2016 @ 5:32 am (#)

    Now that is one PERFECTION of a baked potato! I could so go for this on the dinner menu tonight! Thanks girl!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — March 7th, 2016 @ 6:00 pm

      Thank you so much Taylor! :)

  2. Tori — March 7, 2016 @ 5:54 am (#)

    This is such a thoughtful post for you to share Ali! Baked potatoes are always a winner so it’s really important to get them down. Thanks for the awesome tips that are totally going to save me in all my future bake-potatoing!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — March 7th, 2016 @ 6:02 pm

      Thanks Tori! We hope you love these! :)

  3. Bryn — March 7, 2016 @ 8:13 am (#)

    Hi Ali, can you tell me what the best way to keep these warm would be.  Low oven, crock pot?  I’m doing a chili cook off at my house this weekend with a bunch of families and thought having baked potatoes on hand would be a great serving options in addition to corn bread, etc.  I would love to have the perfectly cooked potato, but don’t want them to get over cooked or cold while waiting for people to eat. Thanks!

  4. Vivian | stayaliveandcooking — March 7, 2016 @ 9:11 am (#)

    Wheww, that looks amazing. Love the fact that you just took the weekend for yourself – so many people are too scared of offending someone they never say they need some time for themselves! Love this recipe, too. Great share.

  5. Josh | The Kentucky Gent — March 7, 2016 @ 9:28 am (#)

    Yum. Broccoli Cheese Potatoes are some of my favorites! Including salt when cooking potatoes always, always makes them taste 100x better, but I’ve never tried them in the oven before – next time around for sure. 

  6. The Foggy Foodie — March 7, 2016 @ 11:52 am (#)

    Hi Ali,
    Love your site. Spent much of the weekend reading up on your photography practices– thanks for all the advice. I can’t have potatoes at the moment, so enjoyed living vicariously through this post! They look DELICIOUS! 
    All the best!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — March 7th, 2016 @ 5:57 pm

      Thanks, we’re glad you’re here! :)

  7. Kari — March 7, 2016 @ 2:45 pm (#)

    I don’t make baked potatoes often but when I do, I love them loaded with butter and served beside some bbq!
    Kari

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — March 7th, 2016 @ 5:56 pm

      That sounds like heaven to us! :)

  8. Erin — March 7, 2016 @ 3:05 pm (#)

    This may sound very strange but I’ve been trying to prefect basic meals, only recently have found the PERFECT way to make french toast.  Seriously, I’ve never been told I’m a master at something but I sure am at french toast now!  I’m testing this out soon because I need to continue to master the basics! Haha, love this!!
    Erin

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — March 7th, 2016 @ 5:53 pm

      That’s awesome Erin (we LOOOOOVE French toast)! :)

  9. Abbie E. — March 7, 2016 @ 7:26 pm (#)

    Yummy! Looks delish!
    Abbie E.

  10. Tom ~ Raise Your Garden — March 8, 2016 @ 6:13 am (#)

    It never ceases to amaze me that the baked potato can steal the show and just become dinner in itself. Followed by a hot fudge sundae of course. 

  11. Marina @ A Dancer's Live-It — March 8, 2016 @ 6:50 am (#)

    This is so helpful!! My baked potatoes always end up just short of “perfect”, but now they will be! Thanks for sharing <3

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — March 8th, 2016 @ 8:49 am

      We’re glad to hear that Marina! :)

  12. Trish Farano — March 8, 2016 @ 2:23 pm (#)

    Ali – You may want to nix parchment at 475 F. Most parchment that folks can buy in the grocery store is only safe to about 425 F. (Reynolds). I’d rather have a potato bomb than a fire in my oven. The foil of course, is fine.

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — March 9th, 2016 @ 10:30 am

      Hi Trish! Thanks for bringing this to our attention! We will include a note in the recipe.

  13. Robert — March 9, 2016 @ 7:45 am (#)

    Great post! And, so much better than microwaving. Just a note, forget the oven mitts, use an instant read thermometer and remove the potatoes at 210F. I do them in a convection oven, directly on the rack, no need to turn them due to the air circulation.
    Thanks and keep up the great posts!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — March 9th, 2016 @ 9:04 am

      Thanks Robert, and we appreciate your tips! :)

  14. Wendy — March 9, 2016 @ 4:31 pm (#)

    These look mouth watering and are ironically on the menu for dinner tonight. Bacon, cheese and brocolli! 
    I usually oil, salt and pepper potatoes before baking. Does doing this midway through make them crispier?
    Thanks!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — March 10th, 2016 @ 7:29 pm

      Awesome! And yes, we think it does! :) We hope you enjoy.

  15. Jack — March 10, 2016 @ 9:36 am (#)

    I remember my mom used to use aluminum baking nails when baking potatoes (at least I think she did; I was just a kid). Have you ever seen/used them? I’m curious if they would have an effect on the even-ness of the inside of the potato.

    But the more I think about it, aluminum is a terrible conductor of heat. Why weren’t there cast iron baking nails?

    Sorry to assign you more homework but your followers will need to know more about this.

    Keep up the good work!

    jw

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — March 10th, 2016 @ 7:21 pm

      Thanks for sharing this with us Jack — we hadn’t heard of aluminum baking nails — very intriguing though!

  16. Laura M — March 10, 2016 @ 3:54 pm (#)

    I’ve always oiled and salted my baked potatoes but I do it right at the beginning. Is there a reason you did it halfway? BTW your potatoes look better than mine so I might have answered my question.

  17. Johny Baker — March 11, 2016 @ 9:13 am (#)

    These potatoes look great. I’m definitely adding some cheese and of course with the butter in combination with the potatoes. It’s a dream. I have only one question – do you turn the fan of the oven on? I think my oven bakes more evenly with it, but i’m not really sure how this will effect that particular recipe.

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — March 11th, 2016 @ 8:18 pm

      Thanks Johnny! We didn’t use a fan in the oven, but if you’ve had good luck before with it helping bake things evenly, then you might want to give it a shot! :)

  18. Shanese — March 16, 2016 @ 3:41 pm (#)

    awesome but could the potatoes be boil then baked?

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — March 16th, 2016 @ 5:42 pm

      We haven’t tried that Shanese, but we don’t think it’s necessary. We hope you enjoy! :)

  19. Sherly — March 25, 2016 @ 6:11 am (#)

    This is really awesome 😜😊😊nice one .Thanks for sharing

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — March 25th, 2016 @ 10:13 am

      Thanks Sherly, we hope you enjoy! :)

  20. jennai — March 26, 2016 @ 2:08 am (#)

    Woow! This looks so good, Definitely going on my list of things to make!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — March 28th, 2016 @ 1:39 pm

      Thanks Jennai — we hope you enjoy! :)

  21. Xena — May 17, 2016 @ 9:46 pm (#)

    I used this recipe when I had to make 10 lb of baked potatoes. They were perfect and delicious. Then I used the leftovers to make potato salad. In the future, I will always bake potatoes instead of boil them for potato salad – perfect texture, not waterlogged, and no burned fingers.

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — May 18th, 2016 @ 10:01 am

      Thanks for sharing Xena — we’re so happy you enjoyed the recipe! And wow, 10 lbs is a lot of potatoes!

  22. Heather — June 18, 2016 @ 4:31 pm (#)

    Is there any way you cook these ahead of time & keep them warm, without losing the integrity of the recipe?  To keep warm in foil would probably make the skin soggy, right?

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — June 19th, 2016 @ 9:57 pm

      Hi Heather! Hmmm, we haven’t tried cooking them ahead of time and keeping them warm without reheating, so we can’t say for sure. However, we feel like the skin would likely get soggy.

  23. Irina Victorovna Maltseva — June 30, 2016 @ 7:31 pm (#)

    I always though that there is the self-made man mechanics in popping these potatoes. I always looked at these photos and was stunned. I tried the baking at the microoven but unfortunately my potatoes were just boring. They were regular boring coach potatoes. I was sitting on the sofa and think about the preparation process. I guessed that possibly there is a trick of perfect recipe. I thought that it is particular kind of potatoes. I was thinking where I can find this type of potatoes and can pop up by themselves in the oven. But in Your Precious article I find the very very simply solution. You are suggesting to make the cut in the middle of the potatoes and smash from the both side of it. It is so funny solution. I did it early but I was eager trying to find the right kind or type of potatoes that can simply pop up like a special kind of popcorn that can only pop up if you add butter. Thank You All very very much!!!! It was fun to know something about this particular story of pretty hot looking potato in this special situation in this special occasion. I wish You All prosperity and Great Happiness!!! Good Luck and Stay Healthy and in the Great Shape!!!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — July 2nd, 2016 @ 7:17 am

      Thank you Irina — we’re happy you found this method helpful!

  24. Emily — July 12, 2016 @ 1:16 pm (#)

    This is the first time I’ve ever wrote a recipe review.. these were that good! Simple tips but they took the average baked potato to a whole other level. I added a little butter, s&p & parsley.. perfect indeed. Thanks y’all!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — July 13th, 2016 @ 2:55 pm

      Thank you for your comment Emily — we’re so glad you loved this! :)

  25. Lorrie — July 27, 2016 @ 4:13 am (#)

    I was interested in your best baked potatoe post.. so I read on.
    I do a couple other things and thought I’d pass those on to you or anyone else.
    1) Wash the outside skins and don’t dry them or very little
    2) Then poke with a fork or knife. I often use a knife because its sharper and takes less force.
    3) I spray real good with olive oil or cooking spray and then wrap in foil or microwavable wrap if your in a hurry and would prefer to do the quick method. My family always comments on how good they turn out. I think washing them and not drying adds some moisture to the pototoe while they bake which could help the fluffiness of the inside. I really don’t know that forsure but I wrap mine wet. Also I spray the foil or microwavable wrap so the oil doesn’t just roll off. So there is moisture from washing and from the oil. You can poke after or before. Hope that makes sense.
    I actually prefer the old style way my mother did hers…red potatoes, oven baked covered with crisco. Makes a delicious outer skin…if you like potatoe skins…and of course lots of butter! Yum!! Just caught a childhood memory with that last sentence:-)

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — July 27th, 2016 @ 9:52 am

      Hi Lorrie! Thanks for sharing your tips with us, we appreciate it — that’s an interesting theory about washing them and not drying them. We might need to give that a try next time!

  26. Shicka — September 1, 2016 @ 9:33 am (#)

    This baked potato was so delicious! I have only made” baked” potatoes that I can put in the microwave using a bag but I wanted to actually try baking the potato and after reading all of the reviews, I decided I wanted to try it out. I typically force myself to eat the skin of a potato because I know it’s good for you but with this recipe I did not have to force myself, it was one of my favorite parts. I topped it with shredded BBQ chicken and it made for a easy, simple delicious dinner!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — September 1st, 2016 @ 1:12 pm

      We’re so glad you enjoyed it, Shicka — thanks for giving the recipe a try! Also, we think that BBQ chicken sounds like a fantastic thing to have with it! :)

  27. Sakkara — September 29, 2016 @ 6:22 pm (#)

    I never finished an entire huge russet baked potato until I made it your way. I’m doing them a second time tonight. CAN’T WAIT!
    Thank you!! <3

    • Ali — October 12th, 2016 @ 5:14 pm

      AWESOME, so glad to hear it! :)

  28. Robert Gendron — October 16, 2016 @ 6:21 pm (#)

    All claims made by the author are verified by my own experience. I have now tried this basic recipe 4 times in a row, and every time this has resulted in the perfect fluffy baked potato. The olive oil step @ 25 minutes or so might be as claimed as the essential step. I ran this as a foiled Idaho baked potato for 25 minutes, then applied the olive oil and pepper as specified followed by 30 minutes. After the 25 minutes of foil, the foil is removed for the rest of the baking cycle. When the potato can be pierced by a fork to the center with minimal pressure, it’s done, and done perfectly. The skin is a delectable crusty result, the identifying mark of any great baked potato. Thanks for this very repeatable great result that works, every time.

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — October 16th, 2016 @ 10:30 pm

      We’re glad you enjoy this method, Robert! :)

  29. Patty — October 21, 2016 @ 12:55 pm (#)

    I was looking for a good baked spud to go with Carne Asada tonight. Found IT! I LOVE eating the skin and the inside is just a bonus. Thank you 🤓🤓Have a lovely weekend!

  30. Sam — November 4, 2016 @ 1:18 pm (#)

    I’m making these for the third time tonight. They come out perfectly every time! I didn’t even like baked potatoes before having these crunchy skinned ones!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — November 14th, 2016 @ 11:18 am

      We’re so happy you enjoy this method, Sam! :)

  31. Gregg — November 16, 2016 @ 9:46 am (#)

    I’m trying to use potato skins instead of taco shells to make chicken taco’s since I went (no grain) I haven’t seen any online. I’m probably going to be the first. Most are using romaine lettuce as a shell but I’m not a big fan of lettuce. I’m hoping to just put the oil on at the beginning to make crispy shells, did you know potatoes are number one cause for diabetes however there are several ways to lower the potato’s glycemic levels. This first one is to cool your potatoes, somehow they found it lowers the glycemic level even if you reheat them. Eat them with plenty of good fat like olive oil is another, also vinegar lowers glycemic levels. Guess what ketchup has in it ? I like to nuke a potato, then slice it into 1/4 inch coin shaped portions. I drip olive oil on them (it’s easiest to just poke a hole in your olive oil pull handle after you take the cap off) If you don’t pull that stopper out and just poke a hole in it you can just drip out what you want. Then I salt them and take the backside of a spoon and spread it around so the oil and salt soaks into the flesh. Refrigerate until they are cool, reheat and drop a load of ketchup on them for some quick healthy fries.

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — November 21st, 2016 @ 8:11 pm

      Thanks for sharing this with us, Gregg!

  32. Nancy Todd — November 22, 2016 @ 9:27 am (#)

    I found that using a corn cob holder a much easier way to poke the holes in the potatoes than a fork!

  33. Brittney — December 2, 2016 @ 10:46 pm (#)

    Best baked potato ever! I always messed them up until now!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — December 9th, 2016 @ 4:15 pm

      We’re so glad you found this helpful, Brittney!

  34. irene — December 21, 2016 @ 1:02 pm (#)

    How will the timing change if you are baking multiple (say 4-5) potatoes at once?

    Thanks!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — December 28th, 2016 @ 6:10 pm

      Hi Irene! If the potatoes are all pretty much the same size, the timing should be the same (but test them for doneness to be sure, as they could take a little longer). We hope you enjoy!

  35. Hayley — January 7, 2017 @ 7:46 pm (#)

    I’ve always struggled with making the perfect baked potato.  This worked absolutely perfectly for me.  Yummy crispy skin and super creamy and fluffy inside.  Yum yum yum!  THANK YOU! 

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — January 11th, 2017 @ 1:25 pm

      Thanks, Hayley — we’re so glad you enjoyed it!