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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

414 comments on “Baked Potato”

  1. Absolutely the best potatoes I have ever baked. I’ve made this a few times and adjust the baking time according to the size of the potato. Always crispy outside, fluffy and tender inside.

  2. Just wanted to leave a comment to say how good these turned out! Thank you for the detailed recipe.

    • Mmmmm I’m about to bake mine right now go with mistakes and salad I’m going to be having this evening can’t wait to sample these potatoes they sound absolutely delicious thank you for the wonderful tips!

  3. The potatoes turned out great.I have always baked with foil.The flavor is so much better

  4. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

  5. Ali, we’ve made this recipe at least a dozen times and wanted to let you know that they always turn out great! Keep the good recipes coming!

  6. We always sprinkle the outsides of our potatoes with Lawrey’s seasoned salt. This recipe makes them turn out perfectly!

  7. I just made these on a damp Michigan day for lunch. Crispy skins, fluffy potato. Delicious

  8. Easy and the potatoes turned out great!

  9. Excellent

  10. Thanks for the recipe, works great, delicious result…. Now I’m the designated baker of Potatoes…

  11. Just an fyi: I have not poked a potato (gold or russet) in over 10 years and have never, ever experienced anything remotely close to an “exploding” potato lol
    I use this recipe (except for poking) religiously and it is fantastic. I feel not poking helps with the interior texture and does not produce any bubbling or dripping….
    I also coat liberally (after oiling) with kosher salt, but wipe it off for my wife who cannot have the salt.
    Perfection!

    • I have never poked holes in my potatoes either (for over30 years) and never had a problem…even in the microwave. I wipe off the salt also…for me, though.

  12. This s**t is fire

  13. Really good. Definitely my go-to for baked taters.

  14. These were perfect, nice and crispy on the outside.

  15. This is the way. I did nothing extra. Perfect potatoes.

  16. This really does make the PERFECT baked potato!! I’ve done with butter and with oil. Much better with butter!

  17. I am having a party tomorrow and am baking 16 large russet potatoes. Does anyone know how to scale for that many? Do I cook them longer?

    Thank you for any tips you might have!

    • Don’t crowd in the oven bake in batches or up temp to 500° to compensate. Good luck!

  18. I have made this recipe multiple times, the potatoes come out delicious, fluffy and steamy to add any topping I only add butter or sour cream. Great to serve with a good steak and salad.

  19. The best baked potato I’ve ever cooked and its not even close. Great recipe!

  20. Absolutely beyond fantastic. My husband set aside the rest of his filet to finish his potato.
    Thanks!!!

  21. I have not had a baked potato in over 10 years. This potato was perfect.

  22. thanks for the recipe…the best ever great taste and texture

  23. Mine took an extra 5 minutes in the oven, but the end result was worth it. Delicious and perfectly crispy on the outside!

    • This is the best recipe I have come across. We usually get the extra large Texas baking potatoes, so I usually do half an hour on both the first and second bake since they tend to take longer. I have to say that it comes out way better this way and the skins aren’t overdone like they would be if the oil was on for the whole cook time. I keep coming back to use this recipe.

  24. The only thing I did differently was scoop the meat out and add (out of butter and sour cream) cream cheese, gouda cheese, seasoning, and bacon with a paprika and cheese topping for basically thrice baked potatoes. They were so amazing and crispy I ate a whole potato out of the oven.

  25. I so was excited to make this recipe using Russet potatoes! I had always used and wrapped them in foil in the past and it took so long in the oven until they were soft! But quite honestly, I truly followed the directions, not “once “in making them but “twice,” and they were fluffy, yes, but “so very dry “each time!! Not even a good amount of butter helped to make them moist or flavorful. Disappointing.

    • That means you overcooked them. Check size of potatoes, they might be on the smaller side or your oven might run hot.

  26. The best baked potato I have ever head! Thank you for such an amazing recipe.

  27. Thank you this is BEST way to Bake a potato! Very GOOD

  28. I grew up on baked potatoes in the oven. But this process… baking first at high temperature and then adding the oil and salt, and finalizing the baking does produce the best baked potato ever! I’m now convinced it’s the process that counts! Thank you!

  29. These were excellent. Highly recommend using smoked salt on them too!

  30. Question: can you bake these ahead of time and re-heat before serving? Keep them hot on Low in a crock pot?? Help! I would love to bake these prior to folks arriving, but keep them hot and ready to eat later.

  31. Once you make this baked potato you’ll never change! Best ever! So fluffy! We’ve made this recipe as it says over 10 times and it comes out perfect every time!

  32. I just made these. They are delicious! I put chili, cheese and sour cream on top. The only thing that went wrong was I didn’t have the oven rack low enough for them to crisp up. I will make these again.

  33. TRY THIS RECIPE! I’ve made baked potatoes a dozen different ways before and this is the method that genuinely works. 👍

  34. Ok, I was doubtful, but these turned out to be amazing. Perfect texture.

  35. Delicious!!!

  36. If I were to use the same method but in an air fryer, would anything need to be adjusted!

  37. I used your baked potato recipe tonight and it was delicious!! Thank you for sharing : )

  38. Too much work for a baked potato.
    No need for multiple steps or trying to butter/season a 450* potato
    Fork (maybe?), oil, salt, cook @ 375-400. That will do. Not rocket surgery.

  39. Thanks for this post!

    Can the potatoes be cooled between the two separate baking times?

    I’m wondering if I can save time by baking during the day and then leave the potatoes on the counter until I’m ready for dinner.

  40. Tried it; loved it! This is the only way we’ll bake potatoes now. Even tried it with sweet potatoes and was just as fabulous!

  41. The only thing I did differently was bake them at 400F and baked longer until done. My potatoes were big so I had to cook for 90 minutes. They were perfect!!

  42. I use sweet potatoes each time. Simple recipe with extraordinary results. Thank you!

  43. These were the fluffiest, most delicious potatoes I’ve ever had. I’m only giving 4 stars because they took considerably longer to bake.

  44. Oh recipe, where have you been all my life?!! I cannot believe I made it to my 50s and never really figured out how to bake a great potato. I’m a decent cook but I just never really took the time to learn and it just didn’t seem to matter, I mean it’s just a baked potato. Bake + potato. But no, that’s where I was wrong. This is THE way to bake a potato. Used to bake potatoes once every year or so and now I make them once a week!
    Thank you so much!

  45. This really is the “Perfect Baked Potato”! I’ve always loved baked potatoes, but never figured out how to make them at home. This is so good, that even my roomate who has always “hated” baked potatoes likes it. I will note that if cooking a large potato, cook it for 50 min, in the 2nd round of baking, to make sure it’s cooked all the way through. Also, I find using a small paring knife to poke holes, makes deeper (better?) holes than a fork which I think helps cook the inside of the potato better, so you get the right fluffy texture when done. I loaded mine up with butter, sour cream, green onions and bacon …. delish, One of the Best Baked Potatoes Ever in My Life!!!

  46. We’re completely sold on this technique. Best baked potatoes I’ve tried!

  47. Absolutely the best potato I’ve ever had! Love the crispy skin!

  48. I love this recipe! It’s my go-to for baked potatos. The only thing I do differently is leave the potato in for 35 minutes, then turn it over and bake for another 35. (But maybe the potatoes I’m using are larger.) Thank you!

  49. Best potato ever! But I didn’t even melt the butter. The potato was hot enough that my room temp butter just melted all over it as I spread it on.

  50. Even if you’re an experienced home cook, it pays to review the basics like this AMAZING baked potato recipe! I don’t prefer Russett (too dry & starchy) so I used Idaho potatoes.

    The 2-step method is perfect, used avocado oil & wire rack over a foil-lined cookie sheet.

    Fluffy, crispy, perfectly roasted and topped with butter, sour cream & a generous scissoring of scallions, yum!

    Tip: Scrub the potatoes well because you’re gonna wanna eat the crispy, salty, savory potato skin.