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Baked Potato

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The best baked potato recipe — perfectly crispy and flavorful on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside, and so flavorful and delicious.

Baked Potato Recipe

Today, I thought we could go back to the basics and review a simple skill that every good cook should master…

…how to bake a potato. ♡

It wasn’t until a few years ago that I finally came to appreciate for myself the difference between a good baked potato and a great baked potato. You know what I’m talking about. Those baked potatoes whose skins are irresistibly golden and crispy, with a satisfying hint of crunchy salt in each bite. Those baked potatoes whose insides are perfectly light and fluffy and steamy, ready to enjoy with a dash of fresh chives or maybe loaded up with all of your favorite toppings. Those baked potatoes that taste like pure, nostalgic, comforting carbohydrate magic, and remind you how satisfying a simple potato can be.

That’s what we’re talking about today. And the good news for us all is that perfectly baked potatoes are actually incredibly easy to make. The secret lies 100% in this method below. All you need are 4 easy ingredients, a few minutes of active prep time and a piping hot oven. Then before you know it, the best baked potatoes of your life will be ready to serve and load up with your favorite toppings in no time.

Let’s bake some potatoes!

Perfect Baked Potato Recipe | 1-Minute Video

Baked Potato Recipe Ingredients

Oven Baked Potato Ingredients:

Alright first, let’s talk ingredients. To make this easy baked potato recipe, you will need:

  • Russet potatoes: Technically, you can make baked potatoes with any type of potatoes. But to make the best baked potatoes, I strongly believe that Russets are the way to go. The skins of Russet potatoes are nice and thick, which allow them to crisp up perfectly in the oven. And the insides are starchy, which make for an extra fluffy and sweet filling.
  • Butter or olive oil: I also strongly recommend using butter to crisp up your potato skins, which adds so much flavor and helps the skins get extra golden. But if you prefer not to cook with butter, you could sub in whatever type of high-heat cooking oil you prefer. (I would recommend avocado oil or regular olive oil, not extra-virgin.)
  • Kosher salt: I recommend using coarse Kosher salt, in order to add a bit of a crunch to the potato skins.
  • Freshly-ground black pepper: You can sprinkle black pepper on the potato skin before baking and/or add a few generous cracks of black pepper to the fluffy insides of the potatoes once they have fully baked.

Detailed ingredient amounts and instructions listed below.

How To Bake A Potato

How To Bake A Potato:

Here is my tried and true best method for how to make baked potatoes in the oven…

  1. Heat oven to 450°F. Yep, you read the temperature right. The oven needs to be extra hot, so that the potato skins will crisp up quickly.
  2. Prepare your baking sheet.  If you happen to own a wire cooling rack, I highly recommend placing one on top of a baking sheet, so that the potatoes can cook evenly on all sides. Or if you don’t own a wire rack, you can either place the potatoes directly on the oven racks (with a baking sheet below, to catch any drips) or you can just bake the potatoes on a foil-lined (or parchment-lined, at your own risk) baking sheet.
  3. Poke your potato all over with a fork.  Because no one wants to deal with exploding potatoes. ;)
  4. First bake. My best advice for how long to bake a potato — in two rounds! For the first round, bake for about 25 minutes, until the skin starts to feel dry and slightly wrinkly.
  5. Brush the potato with melted butter (or oil). Next, carefully remove the potato from the oven. Use a pastry brush to brush the potato with melted butter (or oil) evenly on all sides. Sprinkle the potato with a generous pinch of Kosher salt. (I like mine fairly coarse so that you get a bit of a crunch.)  Then place the potato back on the baking sheet, opposite side up, so that the potato can cook evenly on both sides.
  6. Second bake. Bake for an additional 20 minutes. Then very carefully, use an oven mitt to squeeze the potato (it will be hot) to check for doneness. 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 ready to go. Cooking time will vary depending on the size of the potatoes, but on average, they typically take 45-55 minutes to cook.
  7. Cut, squeeze, fluff, season and serve! Finally, slice the potato open lengthwise with a paring knife, give it a good squeeze to open it up, fluff the insides with a fork, add your favorite seasonings or toppings. Then a perfectly crispy-on-the-outside, soft-and-fluffy-on-the-inside, and oh-so-delicious baked potato will now be yours to enjoy!

Baked Potatoes

Baked Potato FAQ:

Here are some answers to a few of the most popular questions we have received over the years about how to make baked potatoes…

  • Can I make vegan baked potatoes? Definitely, just use vegan butter or a high-heat cooking oil (in place of butter).
  • Can I make microwave baked potatoes? You can use the same ingredients to make a microwave baked potato, but it will not have the same crispy skin and fluffy insides. I highly recommend the oven method instead.
  • Can I make Instant Pot baked potatoes? You can, but they also will not have the same crispy skin and fluffy insides that the oven method yields.
  • Can you make baked sweet potatoes with the same method? You can! Although baked sweet potatoes may have a slightly different cooking time, depending on the size/type of the potatoes.
  • Do I need to wrap the potatoes in foil? Nope, the potatoes need to stay uncovered with this method so that their skins can get extra-crispy.
  • What if I don’t have coarse Kosher salt?  No worries, just sprinkle on some fine sea salt instead. I also occasionally use old-school seasoned salt on my potato skins and it is delicious!

Loaded Baked Potatoes

Loaded Baked Potato Toppings:

Want to load your baked potatoes up with some fun toppings? Here are a few of my favorite ingredient combos for loaded baked potatoes…

  • Classic loaded baked potato: topped with cheddar cheese, bacon, sour cream, and/or green onions
  • Chili baked potato: topped with traditional chili or vegetarian chili, plus cheddar cheese, sour cream, green onions and/or avocado
  • Guacamole baked potato: topped with a generous scoop of guacamole, plus optional extra cheese and/or crumbled tortilla chips
  • Broccoli cheese baked potato: topped with broccoli and melted cheddar cheese

The Best Baked Potato Recipe

More Favorite Potato Recipes:

Looking for some more classic potato recipes? Here are a few of my faves…

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The Perfect Baked Potato

  • Prep Time: 2 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 52 minutes
  • Yield: 1 serving 1x

Description

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


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 medium-to-large Russet potato, scrubbed clean of any dirt
  • 12 teaspoons melted butter (or olive oil)
  • pinch of coarse Kosher salt
  • pinch of freshly-cracked black pepper

Instructions

  1. Heat the oven. Heat oven to 450°F.  Line a large baking sheet with foil (or parchment*), and if you happen to own a wire cooling rack, place it on top of the baking sheet.
  2. Prep the potato. Using a dinner fork or a small paring knife, poke the potato at least 10 times on all sides.  Place the potato on the prepared baking sheet.
  3. Bake (round one). Bake for 25 minutes.  Remove baking sheet from the oven.
  4. Brush with butter (or oil).  Using a pastry brush, brush the outside of the potato with melted butter or olive oil 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 reverse-side-up, so that it can cook evenly on both sides.
  5. Bake (round two). Bake for an additional 20 minutes.  Using an oven mitt, carefully squeeze the potato to check for doneness.  If the insides are soft and give under pressure, remove the potato from the oven.  Otherwise, continue cooking in 5-minute increments until the potato is soft.
  6. Cut the potato.  Using a small paring knife, slice halfway through the potato lengthwise.  Then give it a gentle squeeze to open.
  7. Serve.  Serve immediately, with your desired toppings.


Notes

*Baking sheet: You can either bake the potatoes (1) directly on the oven racks themselves, with an extra baking sheet on a rack below to catch any drippings (2) on a baking sheet, which I recommend covering with foil or parchment paper (at your own risk) for easy cleanup.

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Recipe rating

398 comments on “Baked Potato”

1 5 6 7
  1. This makes the best baked potato I’ve ever had! 😄 It tastes savory, crunchy, whipped on the inside & takes a lot less time than using a baking-pan. I’ve had a lot of superb baked potatoes but this recipe made my favorite!

  2. Did not work! My potatoes took like an hour an a half to get done!! An the outside was starting to crisp too much, so I had to take em out when they weren’t done! Did not like this recipe!

    • Mine took much longer as well. Times are definitely for small russets, not the baking kind. Mine were in the oven for an hour and twenty minutes and I still had to throw them into the microwave.

  3. Perfect potatoes! although not really what I was looking for.

  4. These are my go to! Obviously you can adjust seasonings and get really creative, but the method is what works so well. Baking before adding the oil makes the biggest difference. If you have huge potatoes, adjust time for size, bc obviously one time won’t fit all spuds.

  5. The cook time on this recipe is soooo far off the mark… unless your potatoes are the size of very small baseballs. Other than that pretty good.. I use this method for twice baked potato casserole.

  6. Excellent recipe with great results – another beasutiful addition to the library of “practical bachelor solutions.”

  7. Okay I must be brain dead today!! Do you brush with butter in the very beginning (when you bake for the 25 mins), bring them out and brush again with butter and season or do you put them in dry for the initial 35 minute baking round?

    • Better give yourself a lot more time than 40 total mins which means you may want to delay the oil brushing until 30-40 mins. Otherwise, legit recipe. Spuds rocked.

  8. Definitely my new baked potato recipe. These turned out just perfect as written!

  9. I tried this and I will never go back to nuking my potatoes. They come out with a crisp skin and perfect inside. You can squeeze them and the skin comes right away and leaves the tender inside ready to eat. Great for making mashed potatoes.

  10. This is a perfect Baked Potato recipe with several caveats: If you have an oven thermometer, measure your oven at 450 degrees and adjust your temperature accordingly. Also, unless you use a high smoke oil (I now use peanut oil) you may get some smoke. I have not tried this with clarified butter but regular butter will smoke as well.

  11. Would be helpful to let ppl know what kind of oil to use, or even specifically NOT use. Like EVOO as it’s smoke point is very low so at 450 smokes out a whole house with toxic fumes.

  12. These came out amazing, I see the negative comments, I used the smaller russets. They’re perfect size for my wife and daughter. I did them on a Saturday and my family enjoyed them so much I had to do them again Sunday. My wife said it was be best baked potato she ever had and my daughter devoured them. I’m not a huge backed potato eater but I am now thanks to this recipe

  13. Served with Heinz baked beans, sour cream, grated cheddar,and bacon, and my family here in Malaysia exclaimed what a great chef I was!

  14. I followed this recipe and the potatoes came out undercooked.

  15. Potatoes turned out great. Used Sour cream, shredded cheese, and green onions on top.

  16. Not sure what I did wrong but after one hour the potatoes are still raw. We ended up just eating our steak and throwing the potatoes out.

  17. Thank you so much for this baked potato recipe🙏

  18. Hello! Thanks for this simple and easy approach to making great potatoes! I plan to make them next week for some guests coming over – can you confirm what size potato you used and whether you know if the temp/time changes much if you do a bunch at the same time? (Like 12?) thanks!!

  19. OMG these àre amazing! This will be my go to recipe for baked potatoes.

  20. Best baked potatoes I ever had! Thank you very much!