How to Make Baked Potatoes

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by Sil Pancho

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11.20.2021


Baked Potatoes are easy to make and these spuds are perfectly baked until the skin is crisp, and the insides are soft and fluffy.

Below are our best tips to make perfect baked potatoes every time! Top them with whatever you like from sour cream and bacon to butter or cheese!

a baked potato with butter and chives

The Best Potatoes for Baking

Russet potatoes or Idaho potatoes are the best kind of potatoes for baking. They have a fluffy starchy texture with skin that crisps nicely when lightly oiled.

Really, any kind of potato can be baked (red-skinned potatoes, Yukon gold etc,) although the texture of thin-skinned potatoes is more buttery and less starchy/fluffy.

potatoes on a counter

How To Make A Baked Potato in the Oven

A baked potato is very simple to make with just 3 ingredients. The method below ensures crisp skin and a fluffy interior perfect for topping!

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Scrub potatoes under running water to remove any dirt. Poke holes all over the potato using a fork.
  3. Brush the potatoes with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt (and a little pepper if you like). The oil helps to make crispy skin and salt adds flavor.
  4. Place the potatoes directly on the oven rack (no baking sheet needed). Bake for about 40-50 minutes (more on cooking times below).

TATER TIPS

Potatoes are poked with a fork to prevent steam from building up inside of the skins. A potato can explode (and make a big mess of your oven) if steam builds up! Poke each potato about 5-6 times making sure you pierce the skin.

If you want softer skin, wrap the potatoes in aluminum foil before they go in the oven. This helps to steam the skin keeping it from crisping up as much. I prefer crispy skin so I do not wrap them in foil!

piercing a potato with a fork for baking

How Long to Cook Baked Potatoes

The best baked potato recipe is one that makes baked potato with crisp skin and buttery fluffy flesh. A higher oven temperature is a great way to achieve this.  Bake potatoes at 400°F for 45-55 minutes in the oven.

Cooking times can vary depending on the size of the potatoes and the temperature of the oven, so the easiest way to test them is with a fork to make sure they’re soft throughout.

If you have other things cooking in the oven, baked potatoes can just be thrown in quickly without too much fuss.

  • 350°F 60 to 75 minutes
  • 375°F 50 to 60 minutes
  • 400°F 40 to 50 minutes

If the temperature is adjusted to match whatever else is cooking, just adjust the cooking time accordingly!

seasoned potatoes on a baking tray to show How to Make Baked Potatoes

No Oven? No Problem!

If you are pressed for time or oven space, potatoes can be baked in the microwave, Instant Pot, or slow cooker! Keep in mind none of these methods will produce a nice crisp skin as the oven method will.

  • Microwave: Cook on high for 5 minutes. Flip potato and cook 5 minutes more. If cooking more than one potato time will need to be increased.
  • Instant Pot: Place 1 cup of water in the bottom of the IP and add a trivet/rack. Add potatoes and cook on high pressure for 13-14 minutes for medium-sized potatoes. Increase time by 2 minutes for large potatoes. Quick-release, rest a couple of minutes, and enjoy.
  • Slow Cooker: Here is how I cook slow cooker potatoes.
  • Air Fryer: Try this air fryer recipe for crispy baked potatoes!

REMINDER: Do not use foil if you are making baked potatoes in the microwave.

cooked potatoes with butter to show How to Make Baked Potatoes

How to Serve Baked Potatoes

Top baked potatoes with your favorite toppings like bacon, sour cream, or chives to create a perfect bite! More great ideas:

Fun Serving Idea If you’re serving a crowd, create a baked potato bar at home and let everyone top their own!

Got Leftovers?

Use the leftovers for:

Did you enjoy this Baked Potato Recipe? Be sure to leave a comment and a rating below!

How to Make Baked Potatoes

Potatoes are baked until the skin is crisp, and the insides are soft, white, and fluffy. Top the baked potato with your favorite toppings like bacon, sour cream, cheese, or green onions for a side dish like no other!


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  • Preheat oven to 400°F.

  • Scrub potatoes to remove any dirt or debris. Dab dry.

  • Poke holes over potatoes with a fork in about 5-6 places per potato.

  • Coat the outside of each potato with olive oil and salt.

  • Place potatoes directly on the middle rack of your oven and bake 45-55 minutes. (I place a small piece of foil on the rack below to catch any drippings).

  • Serve hot with your favorite toppings.

Potatoes are poked with a fork to prevent steam from building up inside of the skins. A potato can explode if steam builds up so poke each potato about 5-6 times making sure you pierce the skin.
If you want softer skin, wrap the potatoes in aluminum foil before they go in the oven. This helps to steam the skin keeping it from crisping up as much. I prefer crispy skin so I do not wrap them in foil!
You can change the cooking temperature and time based on what else you are cooking.

  • 350°F 60 to 75 minutes
  • 375°F 50 to 60 minutes
  • 400°F 40 to 50 minutes

Cooking times can vary based on the size of the potatoes. They are done cooking when they are soft if poked with a fork.

Calories: 230, Carbohydrates: 38g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 10mg, Potassium: 888mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin C: 12.1mg, Calcium: 28mg, Iron: 1.8mg

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

Course Side Dish

Cuisine American

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cooked potatoes to show How to Make Baked Potatoes
potatoes on a baking sheet to show How to Make Baked Potatoes with a title

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