The Perfect Baked Potato

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  • 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. Add your favorite toppings to make an amazingly delicious loaded baked potato!

    You can’t beat a classic baked potato. It’s one of those simple, staple side dishes that is just so delicious. I’m a fan of anything with potatoes, so I also love twice baked potatoes, mashed potatoes, potato skins and potato soup.

    loaded baked potato on a white plate

    Baked potato

    So I have a confession. I LOVE potatoes! I love all types of potato recipes, like mashed potatoes, twice baked potatoes, scalloped potatoes, cheesy potatoespotato wedges…you name it! Anything involving the word potato I like. :)

    But there’s nothing I love more than a classic baked potato! And 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

    Are russets the same as baking potatoes?

    Yes, the standard baking potato is typically a russet potato. Russets 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. If you ever order a classic or loaded baked potato at a restaurant, they will most likely always use russets.

    Should baked potatoes be wrapped in foil?

    This is a personal preference. When making my baked potato recipe, I typically don’t wrap them in foil. I do, however, lay them on a pan covered in foil to make the clean up a lot easier. I’ve found that the skin doesn’t get as crisp and seasoned when wrapping in foil, however they do cook a little faster and will keep warm longer. So this part is up to you!

    baked potatoes on a baking sheet lined with foil

    How to bake a potato in the oven

    Making baked potatoes in the oven is so simple! Just follow these easy steps below to get started. And don’t skimp on the brushed olive oil and course kosher salt…it really does help to make the perfect baked potato. YUM!

    1. Preheat oven to 400° and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spray foil with nonstick spray.
    2. Give your potatoes a good scrub and then dry them off completely.
    3. Once dry, lay potatoes on baking sheet and brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
    4. Then peirce potatoes a few times with a fork or knife.
    5. Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour, or until potatoes are tender. Slice in half, then add your favorite toppings. Enjoy!

    Although my favorite way to bake potatoes 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 your potatoes will still turn out soft and yummy.

    Microwave baked potato

    To microwave baked potatoes, simply scrub and dry your potatoes, then pierce a few times with a fork. Place potatoes 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 baked potatoes

    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, potatoes are hot!), then slice and add favorite toppings.

    Instant pot baked potato

    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 potatoes 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.

    Baked potato on the grill

    Preheat grill to medium-low heat. Scrub and dry potatoes, then drizzle with oil and add a sprinkle of salt. Wrap potatoes tightly in foil, then pierce foil/potato with a fork a few times. Grill potatoes for about 1 hour, until tender (make sure to flip potatoes several times while grilling). Carefully remove foil, then slice and add toppings of choice.

    baked potato with butter on top

    Loaded baked potato

    I’m all about the loaded baked potato! The flavors are unreal together and are so comforting! Traditionally, a loaded baked potato is a potato topped with butter, shredded cheese, sour cream, bacon and chives. I absolutely love this classic combo, however you really can’t go wrong with any toppings you add.

    Sometimes we make Mexican loaded baked potatoes topped with taco meat, cheese, black beans, salsa and guacamole. You can even make sloppy joe loaded baked potatoes. So many yummy options!

    Classic loaded baked potato toppings:

    • Butter
    • Cheese
    • Sour cream
    • Bacon
    • Chives

    Other baked potato toppings:

    loaded baked potato with cheese, sour cream, bacon and chives

    What do you eat baked potatoes with?

    There are so many dishes that you can serve a baked potato with. Below are a few of our favorites. You can even create your own baked potato bar and serve as a main dish. Yum!

    baked potato recipe

    Baked Potato Recipe

    Course: Side Dish
    Cuisine: American
    Keyword: baked potato
    Prep Time: 5 minutes
    Cook Time: 1 hour
    Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
    Servings: 6
    Calories: 209
    Author: Jamielyn
    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. Add your favorite toppings to make an amazingly delicious loaded baked potato! 

    Ingredients

    • 6 russet potatoes
    • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 Tablespoon coarse kosher salt

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

      Instructions

      • Preheat oven to 400° 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 potatoes on foil-lined baking sheet, then brush all over with olive oil. Sprinkle with coarse salt. 
      • Pierce potatoes a few times with a fork or knife. 
      • Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour, or until potatoes are soft and tender. Slice in half, then add your favorite toppings. Enjoy! 

      Nutrition

      Calories: 209kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 4g | Sodium: 1173mg | Potassium: 888mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin C: 14.7% | Calcium: 2.8% | Iron: 10.2%
      PIN THIS RECIPE

      I could eat potatoes ALL day long. Oh but I really shouldn’t… :) What are your favorite baked potato toppings?!

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