Crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, this is how to make the perfect baked potato. Just add your favorite toppings and dig in!
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So many of our favorite side dishes start with the humble potato: Scalloped Potatoes, Classic Mashed Potatoes, and Crockpot Cheesy Potatoes, for starters. But a baked potato is definitely the easiest of all of them.
Now, easy doesn’t necessarily mean simple. There are dozens of baked potato methods out there, from zapping them in the microwave to wrapping them in foil and throwing them in the oven. We all have our own personal preferences and this is my recipe for making the perfect baked potato.
Perfect Baked Potato Recipe
To make the best potatoes, you really only need 10 minutes of active time in the kitchen. The first step to making fluffy potatoes with crispy skin is to pierce the potatoes all over with a fork, which allows the steam to escape.
Then, I like to rub the potatoes with olive oil which helps crisp them beautifully. A little bit of salt makes them even more flavorful. Once they are oiled and salted, they’re ready to bake! Just sit back and relax while the oven does the rest of the work—or start on a main dish like Garlic Butter Steak Bites or Air Fryer Bone-In Pork Chops to pair with your potatoes.
Ingredients for Perfect Baked Potatoes
See recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.
- Russet potatoes – Russet potatoes are the best for baking because they are low in moisture and higher in starch. These qualities help the potato have a soft center and crispy skin. Plus, Russet potatoes are nice and big, making them perfect for stuffing.
- Olive oil
- Sea salt – Sea salt or kosher salt are the best choices. The larger grains of salt work best!
Here are a few ingredient substitutions and recipe variations you may want to try.
- Use Yukon gold potatoes in place of Russet potatoes. This is a waxier, yellow potato that will give you a buttery center. The texture of Yukon golds won’t be quite as fluffy, but it will still taste delicious!
- Sprinkle the potato with a little Italian seasoning before baking for some extra flavor.
How to Make Perfect Baked Potatoes
- Prepare: Preheat your oven to 425ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Wash: Scrub the potatoes to remove any dirt from the skin.
- Pierce: Prick the potatoes all over with a fork or knife.
- Season: Rub the potatoes with olive oil and sprinkle them with salt. The best way to season the potatoes is to use your hands. This ensures the potato is completely coated in the oil and salt and will give you the best results.
- Bake: Place the seasoned potatoes on the prepared pan and bake for about 50 minutes. The baking time will vary slightly based on the size of the potatoes. When the potato is fully baked, the skin will be crisp to the touch and a fork or butter knife will slide right into the potato easily.
- Serve: Let the potatoes cool for a few minutes, then carefully cut them open. Use a fork to fluff the potatoes and serve warm with some melted butter drizzled over the fluffy insides.
Don’t cut the potato completely in half; slice it three-quarters of the way down so it remains attached at the very bottom.
How to Store Baked Potatoes
Once your potatoes have cooled, store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. To reheat the potatoes, place them back in the oven or air fryer for about 10 minutes at 400ºF. This will help the skin get crispy again.
You can also reheat baked potatoes in the microwave in 30-second increments. This may be the easiest way to reheat a baked potato, however, this will make the skin soft.
I love to top baked potatoes with sour cream, chopped chives, cheddar cheese, and bacon crumbles. Any of your favorite toppings will go perfectly with these fluffy baked potatoes.
You can also serve oven-baked potatoes with anything from simple grilled chicken to a roasted Thanksgiving turkey. Baked potatoes are a perfect side dish for any kind of steak as well. My air fryer chicken-fried steak, roasted broccoli, and a perfect baked potato is one of my all-time favorite meals.
I like to bake my potatoes at a higher heat. This helps get the skin crispy.
Wrapping the potato in aluminum foil will make the skin of the baked potato soft. Since the foil creates steam, the skin will not get crispy. Wrapping potatoes in foil is a good baking method if you want to make mashed potatoes or peel the skin off of the potato before serving.
Yes! This helps steam escape from the potato and makes the inside nice and fluffy.
Perfect Baked Potato
- 4 medium Russet potatoes, scrubbed
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- Preheat your oven to 425ºF and line a rimmed baking tray with parchment paper.
- Wash the potatoes well, scrubbing the skins so there is no dirt on the outside of the potatoes.4 medium Russet potatoes, scrubbed
- Use a fork or a pairing knife to carefully stab holes all over the potatoes. This will allow the steam to escape the potatoes as they bake which helps cook the potatoes evenly all the way through.
- Rub each potato with the olive oil then place the oiled potatoes on the baking tray.1 tablespoon olive oil
- Sprinkle the potatoes with the sea salt.1 teaspoon sea salt
- Bake the potatoes for 50 minutes. The skin will be nice and crisp but a fork will slide right into the soft potato easily.
- Slice open each potato and use a fork to fluff the center of the potatoes. Stuff the potatoes with your favorite toppings then enjoy!
- After slicing the potatoes open, add 1 tablespoon of butter to the center of each potato. The butter will melt quickly and you can incorporate it into the potato while you fluff the center.
- If you want a baked potato with a soft skin, wrap each oiled, salted potato in foil before baking.