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…

Print

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!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 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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137 comments on “Baked Potato”

  1. Made these exactly the way you did. Awesome, the best baked potatoes ever. Thanks for sharing!

  2. 5 stars
    OMG! My potatoes turned out perfect! My go to recipe for baked potatoes.

  3. 5 stars
    Perfect potatoes, this is my new go to recipe for the perfect baked potatoe!

  4. 5 stars
    I’ve used this recipe several times – comes out perfectly!

  5. 5 stars
    Total success!!! Can’t wait to try this one again soon.

  6. Awesome, make them for my family and found something the four year old will actually eat!

  7. I’m gonna try this method tonight. Question – I see that you tested several techniques and landed on not oiling & seasoning until halfway through. What was the difference when you oiled & seasoned from the start. not doubting, just curious :)

  8. 5 stars
    Made these potatoes tonight…So easy and delicious…

  9. 5 stars
    Deeeelish!!! Always perfect baked potato!

  10. 5 stars
    My first time baking potatoes. I followed your instructions. Results were ‘Perfect Baked Potato ‘! Thank you!!!

  11. 5 stars
    These turned out great! The skins were the best 😁 Thanks for sharing!!

  12. 5 stars
    Perfection. My kid kept asking me to make it again after the first time eating it so it is now my go-to recipe :)
    Love that the outsides are crispy and tasty enough to eat!
    Thanks for sharing!

  13. can I make it to round 1 and then let it rest for 20 min or so? or do they need to go back into oven right way?

  14. 5 stars
    Made these potatoes tonight to go with some grilled Boneless Pork Chops…. They were fantastic!!

    I too had been looking for a great baked potato recipe for use at home – thank you for sharing this!

  15. 5 stars
    I made these for a dinner birthday party and they were a huge hit… and how simple to make!! Will def be making again for the holidays.. thanks for this easy yummy recipe!!!

  16. 5 stars
    Just made these for lunch and they turned out PERFECT ! Crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside. Topped with chili, cheese & sour cream- DELISH ! This recipe’s definitely a keeper.

  17. 5 stars
    Best potato my wife and I have ever had!!!!

  18. 5 stars
    Fail proof, delicious recipe! A household favourite on rotation. Thanks for sharing!!

  19. 5 stars
    PERFECT EVERY TIME!! My go to recipe for myself and when I’m serving friends! Thank you so much :)

  20. 5 stars
    This was REALLY a good baked potato!

  21. 5 stars
    Delicious!

  22. Perfect just like you said it would be! Fed a house full of 5 teenage boys after an afternoon of backyard baseball. Topped with shredded barbecue pork roast. This is by far the best baked potato I’ve had! Crispy on the outside and fluffy in the middle! I’m a happy Mama!! Thank you.

  23. 5 stars
    Love your recipe, I’ve always tried to get potatoes to taste like Red Lobster or Texas Roadhouse! I also add Parmesan cheese and garlic salt to my potatoes… Makes the house smell yummy while they’re baking and very tasty, trust me😌

  24. Best baked potato recipe EVER!!!!. I only use this recipe and have been for over 2 years now. Always comes out perfect and my boyfriend requests that they are on the dinner menu once every week! Soooooo good. Dont use any other recipe. I swear u wont be disappointed.

  25. I used your baked potato method on a couple of medium-sized russets tonight, they came out so crispy and buttery. Thanks much 🥔

  26. Such a classic and easy recipe!

    Paige

  27. I totally agree about the wire rack. This allows air to circulate around the potatoes. I have never tried the two bake method, though. I’ll have to try it out!

  28. Excellent !!!

  29. Great post. I used to be checking constantly this blog and I am impressed!

    Extremely helpful information specially the last phase :
    ) I deal with such information much. I used to be seeking this particular info for a
    very long time. Thank you and good luck.

  30. The skin was great, but center still hard – had to add another 15-20 min to cooking time.

  31. This is the best way to cook baked potatoes. I have been searching for a way to have salt and pepper on the outside and still have a crisp skin. My potatoes come out perfect every time I bake them. I use the melted butter, it makes the best skins.

  32. How long to bake it with convection oven

  33. The skin was delicious! However, the timing was short for me. I had to add about 30 minutes longer to fully cook my medium-large potatoes. A bit disappointed my toppings were prepared before my potatoes were done but I will for sure use this method again for the skin now that I’ve got the timing down.

  34. We haven’t had a baked potato in over a year and we made two tonight. What a treat. I use to just rub them with olive oil and salt and put them in the oven. This method is far superior and we ignored the steak and salad. I also had sour cream, green onion, and bacon bits. We were in heaven. Can’t wait till next year. 😋

  35. Absolutely perfect!! This is the recipe I’ve wanted all my life for baked potatoes. Baking them again tonight by request.

  36. I love to cook and only bake potatoes once in awhile but this is the perfect baked potato! My husband & I loved it. I never thought about baking a potato at 450 and using the butter on the outside just added to the flavor. This is the recipe I will use from now on. Thank you!

  37. These are indeed the perfect baked potatoes!!! Made them a few weeks back and the four of us were ecstatic!! Truly perfect in every way. Thank you soooo much for sharing this recipe!! Note: I’m reminded to write this review as I return to make these again for dinner tonight! :) Xo

  38. this is now my go-to for baking potatoes which is my favorite way to do potatoes. Now I can have baked potatoes at home. Happy girl I am, don’t know if the old man is happy but I am lol

  39. Hands-down. This is the best way to make a baked potato!!! So delicious…. Thank You!

  40. I will never do baked potatoes any other way!! These were fabulous! I did them on the wire rack, with tinfoil under it on a cookie sheet. Basted with butter after 20 minutes, sprinkled with coarse salt. Back in the over for 30 minutes or so, until they were crisp on the outside but soft inside. Literally the best baked potatoes ever!

  41. My potatoes skin was not crisp and I followed the recipe to a t :(

  42. Best and easiest baked potato recipe I’ve ever used. They come out perfect each time. The skin is crisp and yummy. Can’t beat the bake time! Usually I either over cook them or under cook them. Saved to memory for life.

  43. Thank you Ali!
    Your recipe was perfect, I don’t think I’ve ever made Baked Potatoes that tasted this good.

  44. My son made these and I’ve never enjoyed a baked potato so much!! The skin of the potato tasted just like a French fry and the inside would fluffy and delicious. This will be my new recipe for baked potatoes!

  45. there are PERFECT!