The Best Baked Potato Recipe

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
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If you like your Baked Potato to be crispy and salty on the outside, with a perfectly fluffy inside, read on to learn how to bake the best baked potato!

Perfect, Fluffy Baked Potatoes, Every Time!

Baked potatoes are a majorly overlooked side dish, don’t you think? There’s almost no other dish that you can make with such minimal prep, with such great results. A good baked potato is filling, fluffy, and flavorful. You can serve baked potatoes as a side dish, or even make them your main dish, with the right toppings.

I love this basic method for baking up the perfect fluffy potato with a crispy and salty skin. If you’ve ever wondered about using foil, adding seasonings, poking with a fork or not poking with a fork, or any other baked potato strategy, this recipe will clear all of that up. The good news is, there’s no need for bells and whistles! My perfect baked potato recipe is so simple, you’ll want to make them every week!

(You don’t have to stick to oven baking if you want the perfect potato – you can also make Air Fryer Baked Potatoes or Microwave Baked Potatoes!)

From top: Salt and pepper, olive oil, and a russet potato.

Ingredients

To make the best baked potatoes, you only need four ingredients – that’s right, four! Told you this recipe was easy! Here’s what I use to bake my spuds:

  • Russet Potatoes: Use large russet potatoes, scrubbed clean.
  • Olive Oil: Coating the potatoes in olive oil helps crisp up the skin, and adds a subtle boost of flavor.
  • Salt: I like kosher salt, but you can use any salt, to taste.
  • Pepper: Freshly ground or cracked black pepper.
A potato on a small plate with butter and sour cream.

What Kind of Potatoes Should I Use?

For baking, you want a “floury” potato rather than a “waxy” potato. Waxy potatoes are the kind that stay firm and hold up well even when cooked, like potatoes in potato salad. Red potatoes and fingerling potatoes are both waxy varieties. 

However, with baked potatoes, you want to be able to fluff and mash the potatoes a bit. That means using a floury potato, the kind that gets soft and falls apart after cooking. Russet potatoes (or Idaho potatoes) are the classic floury potato available in the US. You can also use Yukon Gold potatoes, which are kind of an in-between variety that works for salads and baking.

A baked potato on a small plate, topped with sour cream and cheese.

How to Make Baked Potatoes in the Oven

It doesn’t get easier than this wholesome, old-fashioned recipe for baking potatoes in the oven. This is a great recipe to show your older kids as you’re teaching them to cook (but be sure to help supervise anything dealing with ovens and hot food, of course!).

  • Get Ready to Bake. The first thing to do is get the oven preheating and get your pan ready. Preheat the oven to 400°F, and line a medium-sized baking pan with aluminum foil for easy cleanup.
  • Prepare the Potatoes. Using a fork, poke holes into the potatoes several times with a fork, and then place them on the baking pan. Drizzle the potatoes with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and rub the seasonings into the potatoes.
  • Bake! Slide the pan into the oven and bake the potatoes for 45-50 minutes, or until a knife slides out easily when inserted into the center of the potatoes.
  • Serve. Slice the potatoes open, and fill them with all your favorite toppings. Or slice your baked potato and fluff the insides almost like a mashed potato, and then add the toppings. Yum!

Should Potatoes Be Wrapped in Foil to Bake?

It’s often recommended to wrap potatoes in foil before baking, and you can definitely do that if you prefer. I like to bake the without foil, though. The steam escapes from the potato more easily that way, which gives the inside of the potato a fluffier texture rather than a moist texture.

How Much Time Does It Take to Bake a Potato?

It really depends on the size of your potato and the temperature of your oven, but most potatoes are fully done in about one hour. I like to budget 15 – 20 minutes of extra time just in case. That way, if the potatoes are done early, that’s no problem. If not, you have some wiggle room!

A roasted potato with melted cheese, sour cream, and chives.

Handy Tips and Tricks

It’s hard to ruin baked potatoes if you stick to this easy method, but there are a few ways to make sure that your potatoes turn out perfectly. I’m happy to share my favorite tips! Here’s the scoop:

  • Convection Oven: If you have a convection setting on your oven, turn it on for extra crispy potato skins!
  • Cooking More Than One Potato: If you want to make more than one baked potato at a time, go for it – and be sure to choose potatoes that are all about the same size for even cooking.
  • Oil Options: I love using olive oil on my baked potatoes, but you could substitute another kind of oil if you like. Avocado oil is a great choice! Just avoid oils that don’t perform well in high heat – you don’t want the oil smoking and turning bitter in the oven.
  • No Baking Pan: Another option for baking the potatoes includes just placing the prepared spuds right onto your oven rack, no pan needed. This is a great way to get them crispy all over, but it may dirty the oven a bit.
A baked potato cut down the center and topped with butter, sour cream, and herbs.

Serving Suggestions

Baked potatoes make a great addition to a lot of different meals and recipes, from gorgeous and elegant to plain and simple. Check out these flavorful options:

  • Chili Colorado: Baked potatoes with chili are a big-time favorite around here, but instead of making regular chili, try making this amazing Chili Colorado! It’s a dark, flavorful stew made with tender chunks of slow-cooked beef and dried chilis.
  • Steak and Mushrooms: Cook up your favorite steak (like my favorite Carne Asada or Juicy Flank Steak) and smother it in this Mushroom Sauce for Steak, and you’ve got a meal that will make your mouth happy! A baked potato on the side is the perfect finishing touch.
  • Honey Mustard Chicken: My favorite recipe for Grilled Rosemary Honey Mustard Chicken is the sweet-and-tangy dinner of your dreams! This super-easy chicken is even better with a buttery baked potato. 
A small plate with a potato that has been split, fluffed with a fork, and sprinkled with salt and pepper.

How to Store and Reheat Leftovers

Leftover baked potatoes store well in the fridge for about five days. Keep them in an airtight storage container or zip-top bag for maximum freshness. Reheat in the microwave, or in the oven at 350F.

Can I Freeze This?

I don’t actually recommend freezing baked potatoes, because the freezing and thawing process tends to make them watery. For the fluffiest baked potatoes, make them the day of.

A baked potato on a small plate, topped with sour cream and cheese.
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Recipe
Yield: 4 Servings

The Best Baked Potato Recipe

If you like your Baked Potato to be crispy on the outside and perfectly fluffy on the inside, read on to learn how to bake the best baked potato!
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time50 minutes
Total Time1 hour

Ingredients

  • 4 large russet potatoes, scrubbed clean
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a medium size baking pan with aluminum foil.
  • Poke the potatoes multiple times with a fork and then place them on the baking pan. Drizzle potatoes with the olive oil, salt, and pepper and rub it into the potatoes.
  • Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a knife slides out easily when inserted into the center of the potatoes.
  • Slice and fill with all your favorite toppings. Or slice your baked potato and fluff the insides and then add all your favorite toppings!

Notes

  • Storage: Baked potatoes can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
  • Convection Oven: If you have a convection setting on your oven, turn it on for extra crispy potato skins!
  • Cooking More Than One Potato: If you want to make more than one baked potato at a time, go for it – and be sure to choose potatoes that are all about the same size for even cooking.
  • Oil Options: I love using olive oil on my baked potatoes, but you could substitute another kind of oil if you like. Avocado oil is a great choice! Just avoid oils that don’t perform well in high heat – you don’t want the oil smoking and turning bitter in the oven.
  • No Baking Pan: Another option for baking the potatoes includes just placing the prepared spuds right onto your oven rack, no pan needed. This is a great way to get them crispy all over, but it may dirty the oven a bit.

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  1. Nancy Belew

    The only thing I can add is to soak the whole potatoes in a bowl of water for about an hour before baking. Once baked the potato will pull away from the skin easily and you will have more potato.

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Jessica
I'm a trial & error, self taught, sugar addict who thankfully learned how to survive in the kitchen! I am also a wife, mama of 3.