Gimme Some Oven

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

315 comments on “Baked Potato”

  1. Seriously. The. Best. Baked. Potatoe. Recipe. You cannot go wrong. Crispy skin & the FLUFFIEST inside. 15/10

  2. 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.

  3. I baked them for 25 minutes for the first round, and they were not done. I did an additional 20 minutes baking, and we were in business!!! This was my second time using your recipe, and my family has loved them both times!

    • HOMANCULE – I am afraid that your oven is not working properly. I had this problem with recipes, and finally realized it was the oven, not the recipes, that were at fault. I suggest you buy an oven thermometer – less than $10 on Amazon, and see if the oven is really at 450 degrees. I did this and found my oven was off by over 100 degrees. Obviously this made a huge difference and explained a lot. Good luck!

    • Dear God the smoke.
      Luckily I have a good quality fan but if you brush your spuds with butter and stick them into a 450 degree oven expect smoke.
      Way too hot, way too little time.

  4. After more than an hour in the oven, my potatoes were still almost raw. In the centre, but the skin was like buttered concrete. Either you can’t use an oven or your ridiculous temperature scales are wrong.

    • I use this recipe all the time and if you had the oven at 450 and left for an hour they should have been cooked! Either you had the wrong temp or your oven is not working properly

    • same thing happened to me

    • I had same issue – 450 for 55 minutes and still weren’t soft. That is odd bc normally I would do 400 for 1 hour. Not sure why 450 didn’t net good results. Everything else was done, so we ate the potatoes, just used a LOT of butter.

  5. Nutritional information please?

  6. I used russet potatoes and butter when I tested this recipe. Crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside. Perfection! Would like to try this with a sweet potato.

    • First time I have ever baked a potato in the oven without being wrapped in foil. I followed the directions precisely (with the cooling rack) and was very pleased at the results. Fluffy, hot, melt in your mouth potato!! In the future, I will only use the microwave for baking potatoes if I’m pressed for time or if it’s 100 degrees outside and I don’t want to heat up the kitchen.

    • It worked well for me

  7. Wow amazing! Best baked potato recipe! I didn’t have a wire cooling rack and used the oven rack and it worked out perfectly!! Thank you!

  8. I have to join the chorus.

    Best baked potato I have ever made.

    Thank you for the recipe.

    (I am 57 and this is my first ever recipe review)

  9. Loved the baked potato! Easy recipe! Crispy skin and fluffy inside!

  10. Truly the best baked potato we’ve ever had!

  11. I scoffed at myself for looking up ‘how to bake a potato’. I have baked them my whole life, but with very little thought or intent. On a whim, I thought, there has to be a better way. I can say, these were the BEST baked potatoes I have ever made. They were perfect. No one had a leftover, empty potato skin. A lot of unfinished steak got wrapped up for left overs, but not a single person had any leftover baked potato! Served with butter, sour cream, sharp cheddar cheese, snipped some chives from the garden along with a pan of freshly fried, chunky bacon bits. Perfection!

  12. This is probably a really silly question, but do you wash the potatoes first? Or will getting them wet before baking affect the cooking process?

    • You’ll wash and scrub the outside and then dry them with a paper towel! That way there’s no dirt or grime mixed in!

  13. I tried this method for baked potatoes for my wife and I. They turn out just as described! The skin is crispy crunchy and the inside had a great texture. This will be my new way of cooking baked potatoes!

  14. I just bumped into this recipe but dang it, they really were the best baked potatoes! Taters were bogo at the grocery so we will be experimenting. Now I think I will make the potato skins!

  15. Guests commented on my PERFECT potatoes! A first! Thanks!

  16. Truly the best baked potato I have ever baked! Thank you!

  17. Kosher salt …are you kidding me…!!

  18. Loved this recipe! I melted the butter in a small pot with some fresh garlic before putting it on the potatoes and it was delicious!

  19. Fantastic! I followed your directions and they came out perfectly! My husband was impressed : )

  20. We don’t eat bakers often and I was tired of less than stellar results. Followed this method and had a beautiful, crispy yet fluffy potato!

  21. Baked this recipe for New Years day and my company LOVED it. Really tasty. Great detailed directions.

  22. Exploding baked potato??????? Hillarious

    • Tried this at 8000ft and they are very dried out by the time they are cooked at 450F. Had to use a lower temperature at longer time to get good results.

  23. Thank you for this!! The first time I tried this recipe, they came out ok. The 2nd time I cooked these (the very next day) I extended the time for both sessions by about 10 minutes and hit perfection! Delicious!

  24. Great recipe, thank you! Baking them at the high temp and coating with oil and salt are great tips!

  25. I have been coming back to this recipe for several months. It is the best and potatoes are always perfect. I take into consideration the size and how many potatoes I’m baking when I set the timer. If I’m baking more than 2 potatoes I know I need to add additional time.

  26. Hey thank you for this recipe! I’m not great in the kitchen, and this was such a great, simple reference that was super helpful and delicious :)

  27. Hi… Is this a USA only site? I ask because you are the only ones on the planet using °F for temperature … :) Mark

  28. Recipe was simple to follow.
    Potato skin was not as crunchy as I would have liked, but the potato was perfectly cooked inside.
    450F, parchment paper (rated to 450F), wire rack on full size (residential) baking sheet.

  29. I have tried lots of baked potato recipes, and this was the best! I did exactly what the instructions said, and the potatoes turned out great! Thank you!

  30. This is my go to for baked potatoes! They’ always come out perfect with a nice crispy skin and fluffy inside. The timing works for a medium size potato but I have to bake a little longer for bigger ones by 15 + minutes

  31. I don’t normally post comments but after trying this recipe I have too!! I haven’t made a baked potato in a long time but this recipe is 10 stars!! Thank you for sharing! I will be passing this recipe along and sharing with others. I will also continue using this recipe… it was just delicious!

  32. I was given 20 lbs. of russet potatoes at a local food bank. I read your method of Baked Potatoes which are in the oven as I write. I cannot wait til I can bite into one. I only have butter to put on the insides however I probably won’t miss anything else…..its food on the table. God Bless.

    • I’m sorry you’re having a hard time and having to use a food bank. I’m on food stamps and had looked into them near me but they’re only available for people who can drive up and have things put in their trunk. I brought a stroller and tried one close to my house (maybe a mile away) and they turned me away! I’m not sure how they expect everyone that needs help will also have a car! I can’t exactly use an Uber for that

  33. Followed the recipe as is…you’re so right, the BEST baked potatoes! ??…even my husband ate the skin and he never does!

  34. This is the BEST recipe I have come across for baked potatoes. So fluffy on the inside, crispy on the outside. Thank you so much for sharing. I love your recipes and this one was just further proof as to why I do! ❤️

  35. As much as I love baked potatoes, I’ve never made them myself. I was always too worried I would mess up. I made the baked potatoes for the first time from these instructions. The potatoes turned out absolutely perfect!! Thank you

  36. Excellent and simple! For years I have struggled to make baked potatoes taste as good as my Irish mother’s but no luck until this recipe. In fact, I am making another set tonight

  37. Perfect on the first attempt ☺️ Best baked potato I’ve ever had.

  38. I don’t usually leave reviews or comments on things but I just had to… I tried this recipe today and my potatoes were perfect. These were absolutely the best baked potatoes I’ve made. Thank you

  39. This is hands down, the best baked potato I have ever had! I ate every bite. I’ve tried loads of recipes and the inside of this potato was so light and fluffy, the outside perfectly crisp. THANK YOU!

  40. An alternative for baking directly on the oven rack: instead of a baking sheet below, use foil turned up at the edges.

    (Yes, I’m lazy and prefer to cut down on the number of pans I have to wash – especially big ones like baking sheets that cause me to get water everywhere when I rinse them.)

  41. Made today came out perfect!

  42. I normally wrap my potatoes in foil thinking it doesn’t make it difference. Boy was I wrong! I wanted dinner to be special since it was our first Valentines together and found this recipe. I baked 4 potatoes adding an extra 30 minutes. The skin was so tasty and crisp! And wow! The texture of my potatoes…so smooth and creamy! Never again will I use foil! Thank you so much for sharing!

  43. I have never commented on anything online in my life. But I had to comment on this because that is how GOOD my baked potato turned out. Every baked potato I’ve ever tried to make either wasn’t done enough or not crispy. This seriously tasted like a restaurant baked potato (or at least my memory of them since I haven’t been in one in a year – sigh). I will never make a baked potato any other way again! Thank you!!

  44. This recipe is perfection…works every time!

  45. This is amazing. My oven is a little wonky so I used the Convection setting. Best potato skin ever!

  46. I am really impressed with the results from the recipe!!! I can make my favorite steakhouse baked potato at a fraction of the cost! Thanks so much for the cooking lesson. I enjoyed the baked potato with a bowl of homemade veggie soup, perfect for a cold winter day.

  47. Wonderful. Just as described. Thank you.

  48. This recipe came out with chewy skins, not crispy. I loved the flavor, but the skins were not as I was hoping. What are common causes for this?

  49. Great. But in all US, “russet” for all potatoes in 2005 that genre including FDA!!!! Allowed etc. have allowed non- GMO,but profound genetic engineering by ONE company to introduce new potatoes, called russets,which are less liable to bruising, but have thin slims. Yiu will never have the potatoes of yiur childhood for boy/girl scouts campfires or from you mom!!!!!!!

    I am an MIT see test and NEVER launch o for social media.we have all been bamboozled. These recipes are all now obsolete! Thanx.

  50. Now in 2020 new SIMPLOTotqfoes, since they are not literally GMO, it genetically modified, yiu will never have a baked potato memory ever again!!! And Idaho lied to us with extensive, aw shucks, ads!!
    May they reap,what they sow. Including this clueless recipe contributor.