How to Make Baked Potatoes

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Baked Potatoes are easy to make and they’re perfect served as a side dish or main dish.

The tips below will make baked potatoes with crisp skin and a fluffy interior.

Top them with lots of butter, sour cream, bacon, and chives!

Close up of baked potatoes with butter

What are the best potatoes for baking?

Russet potatoes or Idaho potatoes are the best potatoes for baking because they’re starchy and have a fluffy texture with a thick skin that crisps beautifully when lightly oiled and salted.

That being said, you can bake any type of potatoes. The texture of potato flesh in thin-skinned potatoes (like red-skinned potatoes or Yukon gold) is more buttery and less starchy/fluffy than Russets.

potatoes on a counter

How To Bake a Potato

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

  1. Scrub potatoes under running water to remove any dirt. Poke holes all over the potato using a fork.
  2. For crisp skin, lightly rub the potato with olive oil (or melted butter) and add a sprinkle of kosher salt for flavor.
  3. Place the potatoes directly on the oven rack and bake for 40-50 minutes (more on cooking times below).

Slice the potato open with a paring knife, top with butter, salt, and sour cream or scallions if you’d like.

piercing a potato with a fork for baking

Baked Potato Tips

  • Poke with a fork to prevent the potato from bursting as steam can build up inside the skins or the potato. Pierce the skin on each potato about 5-6 times.
  • For a crisp skin,  do not wrap the potatoes in foil and place them directly on the rack!
  • For a softer skin, wrap the potatoes in aluminum foil before baking. The steam from cooking will keep the skin from crisping up.
  • To check if a potato is done cooking, poke a fork into the center and ensure it is tender throughout.
seasoned potatoes on a baking tray to show How to Make Baked Potatoes

How Long to Cook Baked Potatoes

The best-baked potato recipe is one that is kept simple. A high oven temperature is ideal; I bake potatoes at 400°F in the oven for 45-55 minutes.

If you have other dishes cooking in the oven at the same time, you can add the potatoes to the oven. Cooking times can vary slightly based on the size of the potatoes and oven temperature.

  • 350°F 60 to 75 minutes
  • 375°F 50 to 60 minutes
  • 400°F 45 to 55 minutes
cooked potatoes with butter to show How to Make Baked Potatoes

Toppings for Baked Potatoes

Top baked potatoes with your favorite toppings like bacon, sour cream, or chives or green onions 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 Leftover Baked Potatoes?

I often cook extra to use in these recipes! Save the skins for potato skins too.

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

Close up of baked potatoes with butter

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How to Make Baked Potatoes

Potatoes are oven-baked until the skin is crisp, and the insides are soft, white, and fluffy. Top with bacon, sour cream, cheese, or chives for the perfect side dish.

Prep Time 5 minutes

Cook Time 50 minutes

Total Time 55 minutes

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F.

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

  • Poke each potato with a fork to pierce the skin about 5-6 times per potato.

  • Rub the outside of each potato with olive oil and season with Kosher 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.

Poke each potato with a fork 5-6 times to prevent them exploding from steam buildup.
For a 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. I prefer crispy skin so I do not wrap them in foil!
If you are cooking potatoes with something else that requires a different temperature, alter the baking times for potatoes accordingly:

  • 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, so poke with a fork to test that they are soft at the center.

Calories: 230 | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Sodium: 301mg | Potassium: 888mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 2IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 28mg | Iron: 2mg

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

Course Side Dish
Cuisine American

More Potato Favorites

Baked potatoes with butter, salt, and chives, with writing.
Baked potatoes split open on top with a pat of butter and a title.
Baked potatoes with butter and a title
close up of baked potatoes with butter over a photo of uncut potatoes with a title

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