Baked Potatoes are easy to make and great served alongside a steak dinner or even as an easy lunch! These spuds are baked until the skin is crisp, and the insides are soft and fluffy.
Top them with your favorites from sour cream or butter to cheese and bacon!
Potatoes for Baking
The best potatoes for baking are russet potatoes. They have a fluffy starchy texture with skin that crisps nicely when lightly oiled.
That being said, 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.
How To Make A Baked Potato in the Oven
A baked potato is very simple to make, just 3 ingredients needed to get a deliciously crisp skin and a fluffy interior perfect for topping!
- PREP – Scrub potatoes to remove any dirt or debris. Poke holes all over the potato using a fork.
- SEASON – Brush the potatoes with olive oil and salt. The oil helps the skin crisp and salt adds flavor.
- BAKE – Place the potatoes directly on the oven rack and bake (per cooking times below).
Poking the potatoes prevents steam from building up inside of the potatoes while they bake. A potato can explode (and make a big mess of your oven) if steam builds up!
To Foil or Not to Foil?
If you want a softer skin on your baked potatoes, wrap them in foil before they go in the oven. This helps to steam the skin keeping it from crisping up as much (although I prefer the skin to be crispy and skip the foil)!
Prefer a crisper skin on your baked potato? Cook it directly on the rack with no foil.
How Long to Cook Baked Potatoes
The best baked potato recipe is one that makes for a crisp skin and fluffy interior; a high temp 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!
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 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 13-14 minutes for medium sized potatoes. Increase time by 2 mintues for large potatoes. Quick release, rest a couple of minutes and enjoy.
- Slow Cooker: Here is how I cook slow cooker potatoes.
REMINDER: Do not to use foil if you are making baked potatoes in the microwave.
Top baked potatoes with your favorite toppings like bacon, sour cream, or cheese 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!
Use the leftovers for
- Twice Baked Potatoes
- Baked Potato Soup (and save the skins for Crispy Oven Baked Potato Skins!
- Loaded Baked Potatoes
- Baked Potato Soup
- 4 russet potatoes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 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.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)
More Potato Favorites
- Potatoes Au Gratin
- The BEST Mashed Potatoes
- Potato Pancakes
- Grilled Potatoes in Foil (potato packets)
- Baked Sweet Potato
- Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes