The Perfect Recipe for Baking Potatoes

Baking Flawless Potatoes presents Recipe

Posted September 11, 2023 by: Admin #Kitchen

One of the best things in the world is a perfect Baked Potato. This is our favorite method for baking potatoes, which results in a crispy, salty skin and a tender, creamy center.


We love making baked potatoes in different ways, such as using the Instant Pot or Air Fryer. Follow these easy step-by-step instructions for the best oven-baked potatoes!

Close up view of a perfect baked potato topped with sour cream, bacon, and chives.

We consume a large amount of potatoes in our family. From Potato Pancakes to Au Gratin Potatoes and Creamy Mashed Potatoes, we always make the humble potato the star of our meals.

The Best Baked Potato Recipe

Our simple oven-baked potato method never disappoints. These baked potatoes with a salt crust have a crispy and flavorful skin on the outside and a hot and fluffy center on the inside. Enjoy them as a side dish with butter and sour cream or load them up with toppings to make a meal. Here’s why you’ll love this method:

  • Simple – This method is not fancy, but the potatoes always turn out delicious. You’ll never want to bake a potato in any other way.
  • Flavorful – Coating the potatoes with a crust of oil and salt adds a wonderful flavor.
  • Perfect Every Time – This oven-baked method consistently produces tender and creamy potatoes with flavorful crispy skins.
  • Make-ahead Friendly – Baked potatoes are great for making a large batch and feeding a crowd, or for preparing in advance.

Baked potatoes on a blue plate, topped with sour cream, bacon, and chives.


Below are the ingredients you’ll need to make the perfect baked potatoes. You can find the full recipe details in the recipe card.

  • Potatoes – We prefer baking Russet potatoes, also known as Idaho potatoes, as they have the creamiest texture. Make sure the potatoes are roughly the same size for even baking.
  • Olive Oil – Extra virgin olive oil helps make the potato skins extra crispy in high heat.
  • Salt and Pepper – Sprinkle the outsides of the potatoes with kosher salt before baking. You’ll also need additional salt and pepper for seasoning to taste.
  • Butter – Butter adds extra richness to the potatoes. You can use salted or unsalted butter.

The ingredients for perfect baked potatoes.

Pro Tip: To avoid potatoes exploding, remember to poke holes all over the potatoes with a fork to allow steam to escape during baking.

How to Bake a Potato in the Oven

Here’s how to easily make a hot, crispy, and fluffy oven-baked potato:

  • Prep – Rinse and scrub the potatoes well, then dry them thoroughly. Use a fork to poke holes all over the potatoes.
  • Rub the outside of the potatoes with a little olive oil and generously coat them with kosher salt.
  • Bake on a rack or baking sheet at 450ºF for 45-60 minutes, depending on the size of the potatoes.
  • Serve – Cut the potatoes, add a pat of butter, and your desired toppings (see the section below for easy topping ideas).

Photo collage showing how to bake a potato in the oven.

Pro Tip: Be sure to thoroughly dry the potatoes after rinsing to ensure crisp skins in the oven.

How to Cut a Baked Potato

Cutting a baked potato is simple and leaves plenty of room for your favorite toppings:

  • Use a sharp knife to make a slit down the middle of the potato, without cutting all the way through.
  • Gently press the ends of the potato to open it up. Use a fork to fluff the center.

Side-by-side photos showing how to cut open a baked potato.


Common Questions

Can I substitute different potatoes?

Russet potatoes are the best choice for baking due to their thick skins and high starch content. However, if you’re looking for an alternative, you can try using Baked Sweet Potatoes.

Should I poke holes in potatoes before baking?

Yes, it’s necessary to poke holes in the potatoes to allow steam to escape while baking, preventing them from bursting in the oven.

Should baked potatoes be wrapped in foil?

No, wrapping potatoes in foil will make the skins soft instead of crispy. For the crispiest skins, bake the potatoes evenly spaced on a baking sheet or rack to allow for proper airflow.


How do I know when a baked potato is done?

Baked potatoes are done when they can be easily pierced with a fork and the internal temperature reaches 210ºF on an instant-read thermometer.

Checking baked potato with thermometer

Classic Baked Potato Toppings

These potatoes are delicious on their own, but you can always enhance them with your favorite toppings:

  • Sour Cream – Along with butter, sour cream is a classic potato topping.
  • Cheese – Shredded Mexican cheese or grated cheddar are great choices.
  • Bacon – Crumbled Air Fryer Bacon or Baked Bacon adds a delicious smoky flavor.
  • Chives – Fresh chives or green onions make great garnishes.

How to Serve

We enjoy serving a perfect baked potato as a side dish or as a light meal topped with various toppings (as mentioned above). Here are a few more serving ideas:


A perfect baked potato on a plate topped with sour cream, bacon, and chives.

Can I Make Baked Potatoes Ahead of Time?

Baked potatoes are best enjoyed right away, but you can store and reheat them if needed. You can even freeze baked potatoes for future meals:

  • To keep potatoes hot: Wrap each potato in foil to keep them warm in the oven with the residual heat. Alternatively, you can place the wrapped potatoes in an Instant Pot or slow cooker on the lowest heat or “keep warm” setting. The skins may wrinkle and slightly brown after about an hour.
  • To store: Allow the baked potatoes to cool completely, then cover and refrigerate them for up to 4 days.
  • To reheat: Uncover the baked potatoes and reheat in the oven at 350ºF for 15-20 minutes to crisp up the skins again. You can also reheat the potatoes in an air fryer until warmed through, similar to our Air Fryer Baked Potatoes recipe.
  • To freeze: Once the baked potatoes have cooled, pre-freeze them on a baking sheet, then transfer them to a freezer bag and freeze for 3-4 months. Thaw them in the refrigerator before reheating.

Potatoes wrapped in foil keeping warm inside the oven.

Ways to Use Leftover Baked Potatoes

Another great thing about potatoes is that they’re perfect for using up leftovers. Here are some ideas for using leftover baked potatoes:

  • Twice Baked Potatoes – Mash the baked potatoes and bake them again with cheese and bacon on top.
  • Potato Wedges – Cut the baked potatoes into wedges, brush them with oil or melted butter, season with salt and pepper, and air fry them for a quick and delicious snack.
  • Potato Salad – Dice the baked potatoes and use them to make a potato salad.
  • Baked Potato Skins – Scoop out the flesh of the baked potatoes and brush the skins with butter or olive oil. Bake them until crispy, then top with sour cream and bacon for a tasty appetizer.

A baked potato sliced open to reveal the fluffy insides.

Once you try this method for baking potatoes in the oven, you’ll taste the difference between a good baked potato and a great one. You’ll love the salty, crispy skins and the creamy centers that melt in your mouth. We can’t wait to hear your feedback!

Make the perfect baked potato with a crispy, salty skin and a tender, creamy center. This is our go-to method for baking potatoes in the oven, and it never fails.

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Preheat the oven to 450ºF. If you have a wire rack, place it over a baking sheet for even cooking.
  • Scrub the potatoes under running water, then dry them thoroughly. Use a fork to poke holes all over the potatoes, about 5-6 times.
  • Rub the potato skins with olive oil and sprinkle generously with kosher salt.
  • Place the potatoes on a rack or baking sheet, making sure there’s at least an inch of space between them. Bake for 45-60 minutes, depending on the size of the potatoes, or until they can be easily pierced with a fork (reaching 210ºF in the center on an instant-read thermometer).
  • To serve, use a knife to make a slit down the center of each potato (not all the way through) and gently push the sides to open it up. Fluff the center with a fork and add a tablespoon of butter to melt. Season with salt and pepper or add desired toppings.

Thanks for your SHARES!


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