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The Perfect Baked Potato

The perfect baked potato has the best crispy skin seasoned with salt and a soft and fluffy center. It’s a simple method for baking them in the oven, then just load with your favorite toppings!

We love potato side dishes! Some nights we even make a baked potato bar, turn them into a hasselback potato or make them into this potato skins recipe. YUM!

Baked potatoes on pan.
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Best Baked Potato

There’s nothing I love more than a classic baked potato! Especially if it’s served alongside a juicy steak in the oven or my favorite hamburger recipe. You just can’t beat the crispy skin and fluffy inside topped with your favorites like butter, sour cream, cheese, bacon or chives!

It may sound simple, but following my quick tips to make the perfect baked potato in the oven will leave you with perfectly seasoned baked potatoes that are crisp on the outside and soft and tender on the inside.

How to Bake a Potato in the Oven

Brushing olive oil on a baked potato.

Give your potatoes a good scrub and then dry them off completely. If they are still wet when placing in oven, they won’t get as crispy. Once dry, lay on a lined baking sheet and brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. This gives them the best flavor!

Baked potatoes on a baking sheet lined with foil.

Pierce a few times with a fork or knife so they don’t burst in the oven then Bake at 400°F for about 1 hour, or until the insides are tender. Slice in half, then add your favorite toppings.

Other Baking Methods

Although my favorite way to make them is in the oven, you can also use these other methods below. The skin most likely won’t get as crispy as it does in the oven, but they will still turn out soft and yummy.

  • Air fryer: If you have an air fryer, you definitely need to try making these air fryer baked potatoes. Scrub, wash and poke holes in your potato, then brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Cook in air fryer for 30 minutes, then flip and cook an additional 8-10 minutes.
  • Microwave: Scrub and dry your potatoes, then pierce a few times with a fork. Place on a microwave-safe plate, then cook in microwave for about 5 minutes on full power. Remove from microwave, flip, then cook for an additional 5 minutes. Slice, then add toppings of choice.
  • Crockpot: Scrub and dry potatoes, then pierce with a fork a few times. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle on some salt, then wrap tightly in foil. Place in the bottom of crockpot and cook for about 4-5 hours on high or 8-10 hours on low. Remove foil (be careful, they are hot!), then slice and add favorite toppings.
  • Instant Pot: Add 1 cup water to bottom of Instant Pot, then add trivet to pot. Scrub and dry potatoes, then pierce a few times with a fork. Place on top of trivet (you can stack if they all don’t fit) and cover with lid. Seal the valve, then set on high pressure for 12 minutes. Once time is up, let naturally release for about 10 minutes. Then quick release and remove potatoes from instant pot. Slice and add toppings of choice.
  • Grill: Preheat grill to medium-low heat. Scrub and dry potatoes, then drizzle with oil and add a sprinkle of salt. Wrap tightly in foil, then pierce foil/potato with a fork a few times. Grill for about 1 hour, until tender (make sure to flip several times while grilling). Carefully remove foil, then slice and add toppings of choice.
Baked potato with butter on top.

Tips for the Perfect Baked Potato

  • Type of potato: Russet potatoes are the best to use. They are super starchy, making them perfect for baking. The interior remains light and fluffy once fully baked, while the skin gets a really nice crisp.
  • Foil: I’ve found that the skin doesn’t get as crisp and seasoned when wrapped in foil, so I don’t typically wrap mine. I do, however, lay them on a pan covered in foil to make the clean up a lot easier.
  • Seasoning: This is key for perfect baked potatoes! Don’t skimp on the brushed olive oil and course kosher salt…it gives them the absolute BEST flavor.
  • Fork tender: Every oven is different, so be sure to keep an eye on your potatoes. It usually takes about an hour for mine to bake. To test if they’re done, simply poke with a fork to see if they’re nice and tender on the inside.

Favorite Baked Potato Toppings

Loaded baked potato with cheese, sour cream, bacon and chives.

More Easy Potato Recipes

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how to make baked potatoes

Baked Potato

5 from 10 votes
↑ Click stars to rate now!
Author: Jamielyn Nye
The perfect baked potato has the best crispy skin seasoned with salt and a soft and fluffy center. Follow this simple method then just load them up with your favorite toppings!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 6


  • 6 russet potatoes
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Kosher salt

Optional Toppings: Butter, cheese, sour cream, bacon, chives, chili (or anything else you want!)


    • Preheat oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spray foil with nonstick spray.
    • Give potatoes a good scrub and then dry them completely with a paper towel. 
    • Lay on a foil-lined baking sheet, then brush them all over with olive oil. Sprinkle with coarse salt. 
    • Pierce a few times with a fork or knife. 
    • Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour, or until soft and tender. Slice in half, then add your favorite toppings. Enjoy! 


    Calories: 209kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 4g | Sodium: 1173mg | Potassium: 888mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin C: 12.1mg | Calcium: 28mg | Iron: 1.8mg

    Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.

    Course: Side Dish
    Cuisine: American

    Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!

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