How to Make Baked Potatoes

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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!

Baked Potato with butter

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!

  1. PREP – Scrub potatoes to remove any dirt or debris. Poke holes all over the potato using a fork.
  2. SEASON – Brush the potatoes with olive oil and salt. The oil helps the skin crisp and salt adds flavor.
  3. 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.

Uncut Baked Potato

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.

Baked Potatoes in a dish with sour cream, chives, cheese, and bacon

Topping Ideas

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!

Got Leftovers?

Use the leftovers for

Baked Potato with butter
5 from 11 votes
Review Recipe

Baked Potatoes

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Holly Nilsson
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!


  • 4 russet potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt

Follow Spend with Pennies on Pinterest


  • 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

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.)

Keyword baked potatoes, best baked potato recipe, how to make baked potatoes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American

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A Baked Potato with butter, chives and pepper, and an uncut baked potato underneath the title.
About the author


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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

More Posts by Holly

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Recipe Rating


  1. When making something that needs baked potatoes, I always do a half microwave/half oven method to speed things up a tad! Just poke a few fork holes them, then microwave the potatoes for half the time it would take to completely finish in microwave. Then, I take out the microwave, pour/rub some olive oil and sea salt on them.. and stick in the oven! Slightly quicker way to have done and still get that yummier oven baked taste!!!! FYI- the potato that I scoop out.. I just stick in a ziplock bag and press all the air out of it.. date it, and stick in the fridge or freezer. Anyone can use it for quick and delish mashed potatoes, potato pancakes/fritters, or for a potato soup as mentioned above! Delish recipe!

    1. Ugh!!! Don’t know what I did.. but comment I just posted was missing some. So- Thanks Holly for the recipe and we loved it!!! The above is just a tip for any busy bees out there! Thanks again!!!

  2. Holly, I just love your recipes…, let me correct that, my entire family loves your recipes! My parents owned 2 restaurants while I was growing up and whatever baked potatoes were leftover at the end of the night was made into potato salad for the next day. When I make your baked potatoes I usually make extra just for my potato salad the next day. Give it a try, I bet you’ll love it and wanna do that too!5 stars

  3. Hi Holly
    I’m looking forward to trying all your recipes specially your Baked potato one when I was in the hospital last year my tastebuds was not very good and one Sunday for lunch they served Baked potato soup omg it was so good so the only 2 meals I could taste was pancakes for breakfast and lunch and supper was Baked potato soup and I love it.
    Bette Bessette

  4. Hi holly! I have often wanted baked potatoes in a hurry. (If dinner takes more than 20 minutes to make – well forget it). Microwave fits the bill but wait! I love my skins crispy! 4 pierced potatoes in the microwave on a plate placed like spokes of a wheel for ten minutes. I might turn the potatoes end to end after five minutes to help insure even cooking. Finish off in a 350 – 400 degree oven for about 10 minutes or until potato is soft and skin is crispy. Magic in 20 minutes!

  5. Everything on your website is delicious and these potatoes are no different. This is my go-to site for finding recipes.

    I love baked potatoes and this was easy to follow and just like you said.

    Thank you!5 stars

  6. I’ve found when microwaving potatoes if you want a soft outside use a ziplock bag poke holes in the potatoes after washing put a little water in the baggie and leave a small hole to allow steam to escape so it doesnt sound like a big boom I’m the microwave. Cook 15-20 minutes depending on size and amount you are cooking on the high setting.5 stars