The BEST Baked Potato Recipe

The best baked potato recipe!  Learn how to bake a potato that is perfectly crispy and flavorful on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside, and perfectly delicious.  It’s so easy!

Ever since we arrived home from our trip to New Zealand a few weeks, I’ve been making up for lost time with friends in Kansas City 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 an uber-social few weeks, 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 my calendar.  I stocked my fridge with all of my favorite ingredients.  I settled in with my comfiest yoga clothes and new favorite candle (affiliate link, love this one).  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 absolute perfect baked potato.

Since I can’t share Henry or the HoC spoilers with you, I figured we should at least discuss this perfect potato today. :)

Perfect Baked Potato Recipe | 1-Minute Video

Because here’s the thing: 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.   The flavor can sometimes be a little bland.  And — I don’t know — I’ve just always thought they could be better.

So I took to my stash of cookbooks and the internet to do some spud-sy research.  And after a few hours, I had collected a handful of new tips and methods that seemed promising.  So between episodes, I decided to put them to the test and literally filled my little house with hot potatoes.  From the microwave baked potato of my childhood to oven baked potatoes, from quick roasted to slow, from butter on the skin to oil, and a dozen other little tweaks and methods to try in between…good grief, there really are so many methods for how to bake potatoes!

But more than a dozen attempts later, I’m happy to report that I have settled upon my favorite method and recipe.  And good news — it’s so easy!

Oven Baked Potato Ingredients:

First off, let’s talk ingredients.  To make the perfect baked potato, you’ll need:

  1. Russet potatoes: I love all kinds of different potatoes for all different kinds of recipes.  But when it comes to a classic baked potato, I’m Team Russets all the way.  The skins are nice and thick, which are perfect 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.  ;)
  2. Butter or olive oil: I prefer the flavor of butter here, but olive oil will also work.
  3. Kosher salt: I like mine fairly coarse, which will add a bit of a crunch to the crispy skins.
  4. Freshly-ground black pepper: You can either sprinkle this on the potato skin before baking, or do what I do, and add a few generous cracks of black pepper to the fluffy inside of the potato once it is fully baked.

How To Bake A Potato:

Next, let’s talk about how to make baked potatoes in the oven.  Here are the steps:

  1. Heat oven to 450°F. Yep, we want your oven super-toasty to begin so that it can get those skins nice and crispy.
  2. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.  This will make for much easier cleanup.  Note though: most brands of parchment paper do not withstand heat quite that hot, so if in doubt, go with foil.
  3. Poke your potato all over with a fork.  Because no one wants to deal with exploding potatoes. ;)
  4. Bake!  (Round 1)  So this is the big question — how long to bake a potato.  Answer — in two rounds!  For the first round, just pop your potato straight in the oven at this point and bake for about 25 minutes, until the skin starts to feel dry and slightly wrinkly.  This is good!!!  It will help your baked potato be even crispier in the end.  But we’ve gotta give it some oil to help finish the process.  So…
  5. Brush the outside of the potato with olive oil or melted butter. I recommend doing this with a pastry brush, and be sure to brush it evenly on all sides.  Then sprinkle the potato with a generous pinch of Kosher salt (I like mine fairly coarse so that you get a bit of a crunch), and place the potato back on the baking sheet upside down so that it can cook evenly on both sides.
  6. Bake!  (Round 2)  Return your baked potato to the 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.  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.
  7. Cut, squeeze, fluff, season and serve!  Then slice the potato open lengthwise with a paring knife, give it a good squeeze to open it up, fluff it up with a fork, add your favorite seasonings or toppings and…


This 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, or get fancy and load it up with the works.  Up to you!

Loaded Baked Potato Toppings:

Speaking of toppings, here are a few ideas for how to load up those freshly baked potatoes:

  • Classic: cheddar cheese, bacon, sour cream, green onions
  • Chili: love this 5-ingredient chili (or the vegetarian version), plus classic toppings
  • Guacamole: mega fan of this perfect guacamole, maybe with some extra jalapeños, cheese and crumbled tortilla chips
  • Broccoli cheese: I often use this slightly-healthier broccoli cheese recipe (minus the rice) for baked potato toppings

The sky is the (topping) limit here, so have fun and go with whatever sounds good to you!

Hope you enjoy, friends!  Happy potato baking. :)

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The Perfect Baked Potato

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


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


  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.

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

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114 comments on “The BEST Baked Potato Recipe”

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

  2. 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!

  3. 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. 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. 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. 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!

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

  8. 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!!

  9. Yummy! Looks delish!
    Abbie E.

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

  12. 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.

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

  13. 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!

  14. 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?

  15. 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!


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

  16. 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. 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.

    • 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. awesome but could the potatoes be boil then baked?

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

  19. This is really awesome ???nice one .Thanks for sharing

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

  21. 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.

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

  22. 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?

    • 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. 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!!!

  24. 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!

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

  25. 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:-)

    • 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. 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!

    • 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. 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

  28. 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.

  29. 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. 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!

  31. 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.

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

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

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


    • 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. 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! 

  36. Thanks so much for this recipe. these sound just delicious. Simon

  37. Thank you for the great recipe.  

    FYI,  Parchment paper is only made to withstand temperatures up to 420, otherwise it burns.  I did not know this until I used it and I could smell it burning and then checked the parchment paper labeling.  I’m glad I was in the kitchen or else I could’ve had a fire.  

    • We’re glad you enjoyed it! And oh no, that’s good to know, thanks for the heads up!

  38. Does this work for Sweet Potatoes too???

    • Hi Laura! For sweet potatoes, we’ve found they’re a bit easier. You can just put them directly on your oven rack (no need to wrap in foil or prick with a fork), and just place a baking sheet or sheet of foil on the rack below, to catch any juices that drip. Usually 400 degrees for 45 minutes or so does the trick.

  39. I love this recipe! I have made the potatoes several times, and it has become my go to baked potato recipe.

  40. I’m trying these tonight with a slowcooker buffalo chicken! We tried it with the sweet potatoes recommended and the flavor was off, but russets I think will be better. I think together they will be great

  41. Had a genius idea to make homemade sloppy joes and Smoked Gouda filled baked potatoes, but the way I make baked potatoes would just not work for that situation… these came out exactly how I needed them to and everything was AMAZING! I am not usually a big baked potato fan, but this may have opened my eyes a bit to the idea of bringing them into my monthly arsenal of deliciousness. Skin was crispy but not dry, and the insides held together with a creamy consistency. Ten stars on a scale one 5 when it comes to an oven baked potato. Thank you! P.s. People, use some melted butter with the salt mixed in… less cleanup and better flavor than just oil!(even though it is bad for you. Haha)

    • Ooooh, we think that sounds fantastic! We’re so glad the potatoes came out so well for you, thanks for sharing!

  42. Just a side note . . . Wilton’s parchment paper is good up to 450 degrees. ?

  43. Just a side note . . . Wilton’s parchment paper is good up to 450 degrees. :)

  44. An awesome way to have potatoes with skin. My family loves a little bit more flavour. After the basic baking as given in the recipe and slitting in the middle with a paring knife I stuffed the potatoes with some caramelized onions. Made a topping with sour cream, pepper powder, nutmeg powder and salt. After stuffing the caramelized onions, I topped with the sour cream mixture and spread some spring onions on top. Baked it again but at 400 degrees for 15-18 minutes. Voila!! Tasty baked potatoes with yummy stuffing vanished in a snap.

    Rating: 4
    • Thanks for sharing with us, Arthi — we’re so happy you enjoyed them, and the way you prepared them sounds incredible! :)

  45. Perfect baked potatoes every time. And no 90 minute baking because who can wait that long to eat when you’re hungry?

    Rating: 5
  46. Best baked potato I have ever eaten.

    Rating: 5
  47. I love jacket potatoes, as we call them in New Zealand. I smoosh some cottage cheese with chopped chives into the fluffy cooked middle and have it for lunch on a wintery day when I want something hot and filling. It’s good plain hearty food :-)

    • Oooh, we think that sounds so yummy, Lynne — we’ll have to give that a try! :)

  48. Good.

    Rating: 4
  49. This is the only baked potato recipe I follow, the potatoes come out absolutely PERFECT every time! Thank you SO much for breaking down such a simple (yet delicious) recipe!

  50. This looks delish! My husband and i were experimenting grill potatoes on the outside grill and discovered an amazing theory. We peeled the potatoes, covered in oil salt pepper and Mrs. Dash, then wrapped in foil and grilled them for 20 minutes. Talk about AMAZING!