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
5 from 45 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
Or to leave a comment, click here!

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
Servings 4 servings

Equipment

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Ingredients  

  • 4 russet potatoes or Idaho potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or canola oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt or to taste

Instructions 

  • 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.

Notes

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.
5 from 45 votes

Nutrition Information

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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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!
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Comments

  1. I’m going to bake two med.-lg. white Potatoes for dinner tonight.
    I use so many recipes from Spend With Pennies, so I’m excited to try this one.
    Thanks for helping me to make another fine meal for my sister and I.

  2. I haven’t cooked stuffed potatoes for years I love your recipe it turned out beautifully but would prefer to have airfry temps and times if possible.5 stars

  3. Simple but excellent recipe–adding salt and pepper to the oil before coating the raw potato does make a difference in flavor. And, it’s good to have the timing variations for baking at different oven temperatures if other foods are in the oven alongside the potatoes.5 stars

    1. Hi Susan, we usually just test them is with a fork to make sure they’re soft throughout. But the internal temperature is just a bit higher around 210°F to be considered fully cooked.

  4. 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!!!

  5. Holly, I just love your recipes…..no, 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

  6. 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

  7. 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!

  8. 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

  9. 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