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Perfect Baked Potato

Perfect Baked Potato


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Olive oil, salt, and pepper: This baked potato recipe is as blank-slate as it gets. Feel free to add other spices to the salt-and-pepper mix, such as cumin or smoked paprika, and finish with whatever cheese you like.

Ingredients

  • 4 russet potatoes (about 2½ pounds), scrubbed
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Unsalted butter, finely grated Parmesan (or your favorite cheese), and/or chopped fresh chives (for serving)

Recipe Preparation

  • Preheat oven to 350°. Prick potatoes all over with a fork and rub with oil; season generously with salt and pepper.

  • Place potatoes directly on an oven rack and roast until very soft when squeezed and skin is crisp, 60–75 minutes.

  • Cut open each potato; season with salt and pepper and top with butter, Parmesan, and/or chives.

Recipe by Andrew Knowlton,Photos by Christopher Baker

Nutritional Content

Calories (kcal) 230 Fat (g) 1.5 Saturated Fat (g) 0 Cholesterol (mg) 0 Carbohydrates (g) 51 Dietary Fiber (g) 4 Total Sugars (g) 2 Protein (g) 6 Sodium (mg) 135

Related Video

Every Way to Cook a Potato (63 Methods)

Reviews SectionBaked PotatoBaked Potatoes are a little difficult to get just right. I'm working on my third try recently based on this recipe. (Actually, Olive Oil & Kosher Salt is pretty much the standard.)The first, I cooked a pretty large potato @ 400° for at least an hour and a half, perhaps a little longer. Unfortunately, though the center was well cooked, the outside was to crisp to cut with a fork.The second, I tried a much smaller potato @ 350° for an hour. It was cooked but not to the point of being soft on the inside. The outside was softer.One of the comments spoke of cooking at low temperature for a long time, there is likely something to that.I'm now trying a medium to large potato @ 360° for an hour-and-a-half.Hopefully, it will be lightly crisp but still soft enough to cut with a fork on the outside and nicely cooked on the inside.Update:360° @ 90 minutes worked well. {100 minutes is likely just fine.}[That's 180° for those at the center of the Universe; AKA Denmark.]My presumption is that the larger the potato the longer it takes to heat through, then cook. Multiple potatoes might add to the oven time, but the size of the potatoes is most likely the key determining factor. It might be prudent to reduce heat for very large potatoes, say 340° [170° in Denmark]; however, you would then have to add time, likely around 2 hours.Olive Oil & Kosher Salt are all that is needed to season the skin, though a little Coarse Ground Pepper and/or Granulated Garlic would also add good flavor.[400° = 200° {or 205°}]Baked Potatoes are a little difficult to get just right. Unfortunately, though the center was well cooked, the outside was to crisps to cut with a fork.The second, I tried a much smaller potato @ 350° for an hour. The outside was softer.One of the comments spoke of cooking at low temperature for a long time, there is likely something to that.I'm now trying a medium to large potato @ 360° for an hour-and-a-half.Hopefully, it will be lightly crisp but still soft enough to cut with a fork on the outside and nicely cooked on the inside.350 degree? My eurpeean oven does not even reach this far. Oh, are just beenig world excetrict and think the center of the universe is the US?Followed this to a T but added some seasoning salt blend. Cooked for about an hour at 400. They were great!HalieransomLawton,Oklahoma 01/14/20I followed the recipe and cooked at 425. The skin was like a potato chip. Definitely the best baked potato I’ve ever had!It says 400 degrees on the original post and 375 here. which is better?AnonymousWest Hills, CA04/18/19To Anonymous from Pittsburgh: I like your method, but would add a step: use your oven mitts and brush the salt off immediately before serving. Otherwise that crispy skin is too salty to eat, even for a salt lover like me, and everything else on the plate will pick up too much salt, too.AnonymousSan Francisco04/17/19AnonymousRedington Beach, Fl04/16/19I had the perfect baked potato at a dive restaurant. It was so good that I asked them how they made it. They said they baked it. They looked at me like, duh!. Found out it had been in a low oven for hours. The skin was so tasty. Sometimes a bake potato done right is all you need in life.I didn't know there was any other way to bake potatoes! I'm 58 and this is the only way my mom made them growing up! Delish!! (If you are short on time, you can microwave them for a few minutes before hand, let them stand a bit before the olive oil and salt)AnonymousCalifornia04/15/19Nice recipe, love the spirited comments. Here's what I do, and it never fails. Pierce spuds all around with w fork. Then, start in the microwave -- it's okay! Trust me. Bring them out half-baked--just tender to the touch, but only half-cooked. While warm, coat in butter (duck fat, if you can get it)--but not olive oil, because you need animal fat here for the crisp jacket. Cake the buttery skins with coarse kosher salt. Finish in a preheated 425 F oven (or even the toaster oven) for prolly 30-45 minutes. These guys come out fluffy inside while crisp and salty outside. And I agree with all the condiments suggested in these comments (though I also recommend capers!).AnonymousPittsburgh PA04/15/19This is an excellent recipe as written! Thank you!AnonymousMinnesota 04/15/19To 94574: Wrapping spuds in foil gives you steamed spuds. Drives me nuts when I get one in a restaurant. I know it's so they can keep them warm longer for serving, but it's NOT a baked potato.My mother taught me to use potato spikes; thicker than a skewer, they transmit heat to the center of the potato to help reduce cooking time. They work great and they are cheap kitchen tools.AnonymousVail, Colorado11/05/18Only for prepping Potatoes for potato skins.Otherwise , 375 oven 1 to 2 hours (sometimes my potatoes come out of cold storage.) Scrub potatoes, dry with a paper towel and place them each on an individual sheet of tinfoil that will wrap around. Drizzle oil, season with salt, pepper, paprika. Rub it all over, wash your hands wrap them up and place them on oven rack with a tinfoiled sheet pan on the bottom rack to catch dripping oil. Voila! creamy, tender,tasty.Listen to me. Since I was a kid (I'm 60 now), I've known hot to cook a baked potato. One way. Cooked it for many at many times, zero complaints, 100% praise.Wash the potato. Preheat oven to 425. (You listen. This is correct.) Put a metal skewer through each potato lengthwise (cooks the center to nice and fluffy that way). Bake for 1 hr 10 mins to 1 hr 25 mins. (Pretty forgiving, actually, depending on size.) Take out, season as you wish, and eat the darn thing. That's it. The skin gets crunchy, the innards get fluffy.No oil, no nonsense, a 6-yr-old could do it. You may thank me later.JohnAnonymousDenver, CO09/13/18This makes a perfectly good baked potato, however, try this.Dissolve way too much salt in water. Dunk the pricked potatoes in the water and put them in the oven at 350 for 60-75 mins. The water evaporates but leaves the salt to stick to the skin.Pull them out, bump heat to 425, coat lightly with cooking spray, salt again and pop back in for 10 mins. Extremely crunchy potatoes will be yours.AnonymousMiddletown NJ01/10/18This recipe gives bad advice. Putting salty, oily potatoes directly on an oven rack is a perfect way to ruin an oven and one's furnishings. In my case, it resulted in hours of work to clean up the black, sticky, salty mess that formed on the bottom of the oven. Because I have a gas oven, the floor gets extremely hot from the flame beneath it, which resulted in the whole house getting filled with oily smoke, potentially damaging paint, wallpaper, drapes, etc. At elevated temperatures table salt becomes extremely aggressive on metals. Do yourself a favor: Bake the potatoes plain and add the oil and salt afterward.Elijah25Morgan Hill, California01/02/18

Perfect Baked Potatoes

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Rub russets with a little oil, season with salt, and toss directly in the oven—the perfect baked potato is a snap. For something fancier, top with Salsa Verde, Aioli, or Romesco.

We also recommend ou roast potato recipes for more.

Instructions

  1. 1 Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. 2 With a fork, prick the potatoes all over about 6 times. Rub the potatoes with the oil and toss with the salt.
  3. 3 Place the potatoes directly on the oven rack. Bake until tender, 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes.
  4. 4 Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes before serving with butter and sour cream.

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Easy Oven Baked Potatoes Recipe

Oven-Baked Potatoes have always been my weakness. When I was a child, my mom would always bake them to crispy perfection, and even until now, they are the best side dish in the world. For this recipe, I used skin-on potatoes, as the skin is essential to make them super crispy on the outside, and also it preserves the fluffiness on the inside.

This homemade dish is very easy to make, you basically coat the potatoes with olive oil and sea salt, and roast them in a hot oven. You can also serve them with your favorite dipping sauce, such as ranch or blue cheese.


Related Video

Terrific potatoes! They were just right on the inside. We put on an au jous-type sauce from a cube steak (quick cube steaks from food.com w/ 2 gravy pkgs and mushrooms added) recipe I made and some Blue Cheese Dressing that we put on too. It was so wonderful that we ate every bite, skin and all!

FANTASTIC!! I made these last night for the Fiance and I to go along with our NY Strip Steak and haricot verts. This was the first time he ate the entire potato (usually I "bake" them in the microwave)! Scrubbed the skins first then rubbed olive oil and kosher salt on them. 350 oven for about 1 hour results in a perfect baked potato crisp golden skin on the outside and nice and fluffy on the inside! I topped with butter, shredded cheese, crumbled bacon, sour cream, and fresh cracked pepper! YUM!

This recipe reminded me why it is so much better to bake potatoes in the oven than in the microwave! Also - I make these in batches when I get potatoes on sale from the store. I keep a couple in the fridge to heat up the next day or two, and I use the rest to make potato skins, twice-baked potatoes or hash browns. Potato skins can easily be frozen and cooked later if you have a small family like I do and you make too many!

I always make my potatoes like this except instead of olive oil, I rub my potatoes with a "little" bacon grease not a lot.[ and the audience gasps ] The skin crisps up and it tastes delicious. I also poke holes in my taters with one of my metal skewers. I also cook my sweet potatoes the same way.

This is how I make my baked potatos after asking a restaurant how they get their potatos so fluffy inside. They said the salt (I use a course salt) brings out the water in the potato - so it is fluffy. I do sometimes wrap in foil to bake.

I thought it was a joke that someone put a recipe on here as to how to make a baked potato. I decided to try this recipe. Am I ever glad I did! This was by far the best baked potato I have ever had in my life!

It's, you know, a baked potato. But a REALLY good one. I used Kosher salt on mine and was pretty generous with the olive oil. I love the crispy skin, and the inside was pretty fluffy but not dried out. I had some pretty big potatoes, so I upped the temp to 385 and just let them go until they were done (per the time-honored squish-test) for me it was just under 2 hours. My kids were all over it, too, so I guess this one's a winner! *UPDATE: my sister reminded me about the baked potatoes from a steak house she served at years ago: coated in freakin' BACON GREASE, fresh ground pepper and kosher salt. They were good. I mean GOOOD. Try it if you dare.

Perfect Potatoes! We like to use Sea Salt. Tip to figure out if a potato is fully cooked: drop it on the counter or stovetop. If it bounces it is not done baking. If it doesn't bounce it is ready to add your favorite toppings. We like sour cream, and bacon in addition to the cheese and butter listed here.

Great recipe for classic comfort food! I haven't done this in years, as I'm so used to doing them on the grill, or cheating and doing them in the microwave! But, my husband really wanted that "old school" way of a baked potato from the oven tonight so I thought Iɽ indulge him. It was soooo good - especially with all the fixen's: butter, salt, pepper, bacon bits, chives, and a little sour cream! Simply perfect!

Simply delicious!! Poking holes in the potatoes, adding the olive oil over the skin, and sprinkling some kosher salt on top is definitely the way I'm going to make all our baked potatoes from now on (with all our typical add-ins, not what the recipe calls for)! I always ate the skins before, but not because I thought they tasted good or anything. However, the skins are worth eating with this recipe!! I did change the temperature of the oven to anywhere between 350 to 400 degrees (depending if I'm making something else or what not) and they are always done in about 60 minutes. Definitely worth trying, as I doubt you will be disappointed!! :)


How to Bake a Potato in the Oven

Baked potatoes are one of the best&mdashand easiest&mdashcomfort foods to make. Plus, potatoes are inexpensive, last a long time in your pantry, and can take on just about any flavor you throw at them. They're delicious served alongside a juicy steak or with chicken, but are also a great base for a meal on their own when topped with bacon, cheese, and sour cream. The best part is that you only need a couple of ingredients to truly make the perfect simple baked potato: potatoes and oil. Oh and some butter&mdashalways finish them off with a hefty pat of butter! But if you're not sure how to make a baked potato in the oven, we've got all the information you need here.

Any potato can be baked whole, but we recommend russets for the best results. They're high in starch and low in moisture, which makes them perfect for baking. The skin gets nice and crisp and is sturdy enough to protect the fluffy potato flesh inside. Once you have the method down, try some of our favorite baked potato recipes, like BLT Baked Potatoes, Twice Baked Potatoes, or Slice-Baked Potatoes.

Should baked potatoes be wrapped in foil?

Nope! Wrapping potatoes in foil holds the moisture in&mdashwhich means the potatoes will start to steam. You&rsquoll be left with soggy potatoes instead of crispy ones.

How long should you bake a potato for?

Depending on the size, 50 minutes to 1 hour should do the trick.

Why bake potatoes in the oven instead of the microwave?

The microwave may be the faster method, but the oven will cook the potatoes more evenly and give the potatoes a crispy finish with a soft inside.


The method you should be using for baked potatoes

The Kitchn praised Goddard's method as resulting in super crisp skins and ultra fluffy interiors, claiming the British version of the baked potato is far superior to more common American methods.

If you want to try making your own jacket potatoes, there are a few simple tips to ensure you get it right every time. Joanna Goddard's method calls for you to slice a cross shape into your potato before you put it in the oven, instead of pricking it with a fork as most other recipes suggest. And there's no rubbing the 'taters with olive oil, either. Goddard recommends cooking at 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees Celsius) directly on the oven rack for quite a long time — 2 hours, in fact. After that, pull it out of the oven, slice even deeper into the cross and bake for another 10 minutes before serving them with tons of butter, salt, and black pepper for an authentic British experience. This method promises that your potato skin will be "cracker-like," and that's a good thing.


Perfect Baked Potatoes

Ingredients

For the baked potatoes

  • ▢ 5 large (2 1/2 to 3 lbs) russet potatoes*
  • ▢ 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • ▢ 2 to 4 tablespoons flaked sea salt such as Maldon

For serving (optional)

  • ▢ Butter
  • ▢ Sour cream
  • ▢ Shredded Cheddar cheese
  • ▢ Cooked and crumbled bacon

Directions

Make the baked potatoes

To serve

Notes

*What type of potatoes are best for baked potatoes?

Show Nutrition

Recipe Testers' Reviews

Craig Relyea

I normally make my baked potatoes in a similar manner as this recipe, with the exception of the zig zag pattern, which I'll add when I make them in the future. These perfect baked potatoes come out with a wonderfully crisp skin, and the salty crust comes through in every bite. I just dumped a bit of butter into the potato and it was perfection.

Terri L.

These perfect baked potatoes are definitely worth the wait. I say that because my usual method is to microwave them, wrap them in foil, and then throw them in the oven or on the grill while I finish up the other dishes. We haven’t eaten potato skin in years but that will change now.

I put a small piece of foil on the baking sheet under a roasting rack for a super-fast clean-up. Prepping the potatoes took mere minutes. I did bake the potatoes for the full 75 minutes.

The lower heat cooked the potatoes perfectly right to the center so they were nice and fluffy. But it’s all about the skin. I used Maldon flaky sea salt and the skin came out crispy, salty, and amazingly delicious. Small changes to a cooking method can have such a huge impact.

For dinner we had them with butter and sour cream. I fried the leftovers for breakfast the next day and had them with ketchup. They do taste like french fries!

Patty Fabian

The instructions “or secret” for making the perfect baked potato certainly did produce a wonderfully fluffy white interior with a crisp and salty exterior. No gummy or undercooked interiors with wrinkled skins with this technique.

These baked potatoes were so much better than what you get in most restaurants, but we couldn’t leave well enough alone, and took these baked beauties on to twice-baked cheesy gloriousness! Just the mention of serving these baked spuds with butter, sour cream, shredded cheese, and crumbled bacon is all it took to take them a step further. And since there are just the two of us, I now have a freezer full of stuffed potato shells just waiting for that extra sprinkling of cheddar before hitting the oven for future meals.

I purchased 4 very large russet potatoes, weighing about a pound each. After scrubbing them well, I oiled them and rolled them in Diamond Crystal sea salt coarse crystals since I didn’t have enough flake sea salt on hand. The salt adhered well to the potatoes and I cut the zig-zag pattern on top of each. I placed them on a rack on a rimmed cookie sheet and put them in the oven to bake. Since these potatoes were so large, it took a total of 1 hour, 55 minutes until my ThermaPen slipped through the potato with no resistance and registered an internal temperature of 210 degrees. Obviously, a smaller potato would have taken the recommended time as noted in the instructions. The zig-zag pattern was prominently displayed atop each potato creating a very pretty presentation which would make it very easy to squeeze the potato ends together to open up the potato to expose its fluffy white interior. But for my purposes, I sliced the potatoes in half lengthwise and scooped out the interiors to make my cheesy twice-baked filling. So good!

I will definitely use this “secret” technique when baking potatoes in the future. We also loved the salty-crisp exteriors, but in an effort to limit our sodium intake, will opt to use a little less salt the next time.

Irene Seales

Two standout details upgrade the baked potato everyone thinks they know how to do, making the most basic comfort food all that more lovely. By using a rack, the entire potato gets a nice crispy skin that begs you to enjoy it, and the salt is a finishing touch that you can take as far (or restrained) as you wish. I was already in the habit of oiling and piercing potatoes to bake, but had not considered using a rack, and had never explored the salting of the outside. The zigzag pattern—well that's really a fun touch I'll be playing with for a long time, but the use of the rack is a method changer I'll now be applying to even my baked sweet potatoes.

When you pick up the crispy potato with tongs and can hear the crunchy confirmation that it is perfectly cooked, you definitely can pat yourself on the back. My potatoes were over 9 ounces each, and checking them at 60, then 75 minutes, I let them go another 5 minutes -- if your potatoes are larger (is everyone else seeing huge Russets in the market?) you'll want to allow a little more time. While this took me all of 5 minutes prep while the oven was heating if you scale this recipe up for a larger batch give yourself more prep time. I considered the salt balance of the entire meal when deciding how ambitiously dense I wanted to coat the potato in pretty flakes of Maldon sea salt (my bacon and cheese would add more salt).

Super fun lesson on changing up my potato game, we're happily looking forward to repeating this recipe for perfect baked potatoes.

Amy Kaufman

Simple and versatile, these perfect baked potatoes stand alone as a meal or complement your main dish. I've never been a “wrap-in-foil” type because I love the flavor and texture of a crisp potato skin. Here they are first rubbed with olive oil and then rolled in flaked sea salt. Tops were scored with a zig-zag pattern, allowing sweet-smelling steam to waft through our house. After an hour, our patience was rewarded. We served these beauties with plenty of butter, sour cream, and crumbled bacon. The strip steaks were the after-thought!

Elsa M. Jacobson

I’m not a potato expert, despite coming from two potato eating cultures, and I’m certainly not a baked potato expert, so I love this assertive approach to the best way to bake a perfect baked potato. I'm definitively a fork piercer rather than a knife piercer.

The timing range was perfect, and my timing was on the longer side of the range. I probably could have taken them out a little bit sooner, but still within the 60-to-75-minute range. As we're not bacon eaters, we used all the toppings, minus the bacon. Butter + cheese + sour cream makes for a pretty rich experience, which could affect the portioning. One potato per person for portioning is fine, maybe plenty, maybe more than plenty especially with all three toppings. This also depends on the rest of the meal, how serious potato eaters the diners are, and that the potatoes are enormous! For some, a half potato could be plenty. If that were the case, this would serve up to 10, rather than the 5 as stated.

HUNGRY FOR MORE?

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  • 4 (12-ounce 340g) potatoes, preferably russets
  • Canola, vegetable, or olive oil, for rubbing
  • 1 stick unsalted butter (4 ounces 114g), diced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Toppings of your choice, such as grated cheddar cheese, crispy diced bacon bits, minced chives, sliced scallions, and/or sour cream

If Using Only the Oven (see note): Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Using a fork or paring knife, puncture potatoes in several spots. Rub each potato with a light coat of oil. Arrange on a rack set on a baking sheet, or directly on an oven rack, and bake until a fork can easily be inserted into the center of each potato, about 1 hour. If setting potatoes directly on oven rack, set a sheet of foil on the rack below to catch any oil drips.

If Using the Microwave and Oven (see note): Preheat oven to 450°F (230°C). Using a fork or paring knife, puncture potatoes in several spots. Microwave potatoes for 5 minutes. Rub each potato with a light coat of oil. Arrange on a rack set on a baking sheet, or directly on an oven rack, and bake until a fork can easily be inserted into the center of each potato, about 20 minutes. If setting potatoes directly on oven rack, set a sheet of foil on the rack below to catch any oil drips.

Let potatoes rest 5 minutes. Slice each open lengthwise and scoop flesh into a mixing bowl. Add butter, season with salt and pepper, and roughly mash, just until butter is incorporated but potatoes are still chunky.

Scoop mashed potatoes back into skins. (You can refill each skin, making 4 smaller potatoes, or use all the mashed potato to refill only half the skins, making 2 overstuffed potatoes.) Using your hands, reshape each stuffed potato back into a classic baked-potato shape.

Top with toppings of your choice. To melt cheese, add it first, then return potatoes to oven until cheese melts, about 1 minute alternatively, use a torch to melt cheese. Serve right away.


    1. Scrub your potatoes with a hard vegetable brush. These are one of those kitchen essentials that every home cook needs but doesn’t know it till they try it. It becomes a regular cooking tool real quick. A good kitchen brush is great for prepping carrots, potatoes and all other root vegetables. If you grow your own vegetables and want to get your potatoes looking all clean and new like the ones in the store (btw nobody likes a mouthful of dirt when biting into their meal), then you need one of these in your kitchen.
    2. Pat your potatoes dry with a paper towel or dish cloth.
    3. Line a oven tray with foil and place your potatoes on top. Sprinkle with olive oil and salt. Use your hands to rub the salt and oil all over your potatoes. Get them nicely covered. I use around 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon oil per potato.
    4. Prick each potato 6 – 8 times with a fork. This allows air to escape while cooking.
    5. Then … (and this is where the magic happens) … Place your potatoes directly on the middle rack of your oven. not wrapped in foil. Not even on a baking tray. This helps them crisp all round.
    6. Pop that foil lined tray under on the bottom rack to catch any liquid escape from the baking potatoes.
    7. Bake for around 1 hour.

    To test whether the potato is done press it it should feel soft under the skin and ‘give’ a little. You can put a fine skewer right through to the center if you want to be sure. But once you’ve made these a couple of times, you will be able to give the potato a little squeeze and you’ll know whether it’s done. It will feel a little like a crispy stress ball.

    To serve (like they do at restaurants) make a cross cut in the top with a sharp knife and firmly squeeze your potato so it opens at all four points. Season with salt and pepper and put a knob of cold butter or sour cream in the middle.