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The Perfect Baked Potato

Learn how to make the perfect baked potato with these simple tips and tricks! Your potato will be perfectly soft and tender on the inside, with a crisp and well-seasoned skin. 

There’s nothing I love more than a classic baked potato! Especially if it’s served alongside a juicy steak or hamburger. You just can’t beat the crispy skin and fluffy inside. It’s so delicious!

baked potatoes on pan

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

Then add your favorite toppings like butter, sour cream, salt/pepper, cheese, bacon, chives…whatever you feel like. Some nights we even do a baked potato bar and add veggies and meat too. YUM!

brushing olive oil on a baked potato

How to bake a potato in the oven

  1. SCRUB. 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.
  2. SEASON. Once dry, lay on a lined baking sheet and brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. This gives them the best flavor!
  3. PIERCE. Then pierce a few times with a fork or knife so they don’t burst in the oven.
  4. BAKE. Bake at 400°F for about 1 hour, or until the insides are tender. Slice in half, then add your favorite toppings.

baked potatoes on a baking sheet lined with foil

Other cooking 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.

  • 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 delicious recipes to try:

how to make baked potatoes

Baked Potato

5 from 9 votes
Learn how to make the perfect baked potato with these simple tips and tricks! Your potato will be perfectly soft and tender on the inside, with a crisp and well-seasoned skin. 
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr
Total Time: 1 hr 5 mins
Servings: 6

Ingredients 

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

    Instructions

    • 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
    Course: Side Dish
    Cuisine: American
    Author: Jamielyn Nye

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