The best baked potato recipe — perfectly crispy and flavorful on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside, and so flavorful and delicious.
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 greatbaked 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
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:
Here is my tried and true best method for how to make baked potatoes in the oven…
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.
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.
Poke your potato all over with a fork. Because no one wants to deal with exploding potatoes. ;)
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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
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.
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.
Bake (round one). Bake for 25 minutes. Remove baking sheet from the oven.
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.
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.
Cut the potato. Using a small paring knife, slice halfway through the potato lengthwise. Then give it a gentle squeeze to open.
Serve. Serve immediately, with your desired toppings.
*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.
Best baked potato ever! Thanks so much for the recipe. I cooked bacon in the oven (to use for topping) beforehand and rolled the potatoes in a mix of the bacon grease and butter ?. Perfection!
This sounds amazing! At what point did you roll the potatoes in the grease? At the beginning or for the second bake?
They really are the best!!
Thank you for sharing your recipe. My whole family enjoyed the baked potato and I am so happy it turned perfect! The taste! YUMMMMMM!
These were delicious!
It’s alright the times vary so start with 2hrs or more prep time
Thanks for the recipe! My family loved it!!! You’re awesome, Ali!
Outstanding method for the Perfect Baked Potato! I used Ghee instead of butter and either ghee or butter makes a crispier skin then the oil. This is now my, ( Go To ) method for a baked potato!
completely under-baked at 45 minutes for small russets. Took an additional 30 minutes to get them to the correct doneness.
Flavor was good but cooking time is way off in directions. I made no deviations from recipe.
This was restaurant quality next level delicious . They were so good I I serenaded my plate . Literally the best ever!
OHH MY GOD, Ma family loved this recipe.
I was missing the olive oil and the salt and pepper and I cut the potato wrong and I added some leaves so that I made it my own special recipe.
But I will try again def for ALLLL my holidays. 5 STAR RECIPE
Always soak potatoes in cold water for at least a half hour before proceeding with the recipe. This assures that the potatoes are moist inside and not dried out!
I did this the first time -about a month ago and my whole family fell in love with it.
Skin wasn’t crispy, but the potatoes are good.
I used the cooling rack on baking sheet method. My advice, if you do use larger potatoes, as I did – definitely plan on needing that extra time. After 50 minutes my potatoes were still pretty hard inside. Unfortunately everything else was ready. I didn’t want to, but I ended up putting them in the microwave so they would finish cooking. Even after that my husband described his potato as “al dente”. Definitely not the fluffy amazing potatoes I was hoping to serve. I guess I will try smaller potatoes next time.
Works like a charm! I had 8 pretty large potatoes on one baking sheet so I had to add more time but not too much. After the first 25 minutes, they still felt rock hard so I brushed the butter and added salt on the the side facing up and put them back in for 10 more minutes. I then turned them over for the 2nd round, adding the melted butter and salt and baked for 36/37 minutes. Turned out soft and fluffy!
Done just right! Love the crispy skin.
What if you need to back about 20-25 potatoes? Does time change? Thanks
Hi Ali, this is the second great recipe of yours I have used. You’re right, have to get those spuds out of the microwave … the novelty of how quick and easy the microwave is has worn off … and get them back in the oven! Thank you for sharing!
WOW!!! Best yet!!! Glad I chose your post!
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!
I learned not to wrap the potatoes in the oven.
Best bake potato I ever eat. Thank you so much
there are PERFECT!
Super simple, but the results were great! Wonderfully crisp and salty skins with a soft inside. I’ve had a lot of wonderful baked potatoes in my life, but these easily take the cake for the best base to load up with chili, sour cream, cheese, and whatever else I might want to top them with.
The best baked potato we’ve made so far – wished we made more! Thanks for the recipe!
Just break the big red potato with this recipe. Splendid!
If the russet is any better, which seems unlikely (mmmm), I’ll let you know.
Best baked potato ever! How you do recommend reheating if they are not all eaten.
Amazing, I prefer getting new inspiration looking at your website
Worked great! My potatoes went in for 25 minutes without the oil, then for 50 minutes after brushing on the oil and making it rain with the salt. The potatoes were super creamy and my partner was very impressed. I served them piled high with onion sour cream (one of those ranch packets mixed with sour cream) and pumpkin chili. So good! Thanks for this recipe!!
Delish!!! You can cut the time if you need to by nuking for 3-4 minutes, then baking according to directions only 15 mins baked, butter and 15 more. Perfectly crisy and fluffy inside. And only 35 minutes instead of the full time.
I have always foiled my baked potatoes but tried this recipe tonight and they turned out soooooo good! My whole family enjoyed them. I will be baking them this way from now on!
This might work for tiny little russet potatoes but not any potato the size of what you would think of as typical “baked potato” size. After an hour the skin was crispy and they were nowhere near done and this was with two
potatoes <1lb each. Ended up having to microwave them if we had any hopes of eating when all else was done. Would not recommend this at all aside from the idea of brushing in butter and salt for crispyness halfway through but do 350 for an hour/hour and half and not this if you want a normal baked potato.
I love your recipe even the links to the accessories to make it which I already had but it is a great guide for those newer to the kitchen. It is easy to get lazy and microwave them but baking is my hands down favorite. The juice is definitely worth the squeeze here. A little extra effort and starting the potatoes ahead of a nice filet makes a perfect combo.
Never doing the microwave oven combo ever again.
I’m baking this gorgeous potato for breakfast and will add a fried egg on top.
For some reason, eating potatoes this way is the most filling way to eat potatoes! Especially if you eat the potato skin :) good recipe and I love how low calorie a baked potato is, even with all the toppings.
Very nice recipe! I never thought about doing the cooling rack to allow for more even cooking. It worked well.
Thanks for the easy recipe. I add fresh garlic to the melted butter & brushed it on…YUMMY ?
I loved the recipe. After the 1st bake I used melted butter to cover the potato and then added salt. After the 2nd bake the potato was really good. The outside had a tasty crunch and the inside was fluffy. I used basting brush to add butter inside with a little salt. Absolutely delicious!! I will continue to use this recipe from now on.
50 minutes on wire rack, turning in the middle, the potatoes were still very crisp. Another 10 minutes, still crisp. At 450 degrees and this length of time, I might as well have gone with the super basic Allrecipes recipe at 350 degrees for 90 minutes. It’d be the same length of time and I’d save so much electricity and not make my home an oven.
GIRL. These were AMAZING. Made them last night, and they are going to be a regular in our dinner rotation.
You weren’t kidding. I just made this and it was the best tasting baked potato I’ve ever made. It was so good that I even ate the skin. Usually, I make baked potatoes in the microwave and the skin gets rubbery, but not this potato. Great recipe!! I loved it.
Oh my these came our perfect!!! My parents loved it!! The skin was perfectly crispy! I used some maldon sea salt, chives, freshly grated parmesan, and mayo (didn’t have any sour cream). Such a conformt and warm meal for the cold autumn night.
Hands down best baked potato I’ve made to date! So deliciously crispy on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside. I used butter on the outside and i will agree this is a must!! Love your recipes.. never disappoints!
This recipe seriously works!! 10 stars!
I never leave reviews but this this the best baked potato I’ve had in my 40 years. Thank you for sharing!
Pretty good, pretty easy. Might need to try a few different types of potatoes to see which work best
Question about skin being green on my baked potatoes, I know the green skin is from light exposure or temps, but want to know if once baked per above directions is it okay to eat as long as no skin is eaten?
Same problem with Idaho’s. Recipe just needs potato size specified.
Seriously. The. Best. Baked. Potatoe. Recipe. You cannot go wrong. Crispy skin & the FLUFFIEST inside. 15/10
How do you keep the butter from smoking? 😞 I had hoped to do this without covering it but the butter kept setting off the alarm.
I told my wife that you’re never serving microwaved baked potatoes again. I used your recipe and Yesssss!! Finally the perfect baked potato. I even used the basic white potatoes and they came out delicious. Bring on the Russet potatoes. Thanks for the recipe.
These times are way off…