Learn how to bake a potato in the oven in a few simple quick steps. This classic baked potato recipe is an easy, staple side dish that’s budget-friendly but packed full of flavor – and totally customizable.
When the weather draws in and the nights get longer, there’s nothing more comforting for me than an easy baked potato (or as it’s known in the UK – jacket potato). Making baked potatoes in the oven is quick and makes a great compliment to any meal – with the exception, perhaps, of breakfast! My easy recipe shows you how to cook baked potatoes in the oven in just a matter of minutes – and how to pick the best potato for the job.
If you bake potatoes, you’ll still be retaining lots of the benefits of the veggie, including high levels of fiber and potassium (even more than a banana!). Here’s my easy method for how to make baked potatoes better than you’ve ever had them.
What Potatoes Are Best for Baking
For the perfect baked potatoes, not all baking potatoes are created equal. You want a potato that’s low in moisture and high in starch, so your oven-baked potatoes stay crispy and don’t go soggy while they’re cooking. For me, russet potatoes or Idaho potatoes are the best kinds for making baked potatoes in the oven. However, any potatoes would work in a pinch.
You’ll also need sea salt (or kosher salt) and oil. I prefer using olive oil – it’s a great flavor complement to crispy baked potatoes – but you can use any neutral vegetable oil you prefer.
How to Make the Perfect Baked Potatoes
Baking potatoes in oven starts with the oven itself. Place an oven rack in the center and preheat the oven to 425ºF/220ºC (or to 400ºF/200ºC fan-assisted).
How to Prepare Potatoes for Baking
For the best baked potato oven-style, start by washing your potatoes. Brush them well with a vegetable brush to remove any dirt, then dry them with a kitchen towel. This will keep your oven-baked potatoes nice and crisp – and free from any nasty stuff.
Poke each of your potatoes with a fork a few times to pierce the skin – this will stop your baked potatoes from exploding in the oven. Place on a baking sheet lined tray.
To keep this baked potato recipe crispy (I love crispy skin on the outside), brush oil over each potato. You can use your fingers or use a silicon brush to make sure it’s completely covered. Then, rub sea salt all over each potato.
Ideal Temperature for Baked Potatoes
To achieve crispy skin and fluffy inside for a baked potato in the oven, a higher temperature is needed. I bake them at 425ºF/220ºC (or to 400ºF/200ºC fan-assisted), but if your oven runs hot, you might need to adjust the temperature to determine how long to bake your potatoes.
How Long to Bake Potatoes
The best way to bake potatoes is for around 45 minutes to 60 minutes until they’re soft and easily cut open. How long to bake a potato is depending on the size as well, so keep checking it after the 45-minute mark.
Once ready, remove the potatoes from the oven using oven mitts or tongs.
Oven Baked Potato Serving Suggestions
Now that you know how to cook a baked potato, it’s time to give it some toppings.
Cut a cross on the top of each potato using a paring knife. Squeeze the sides to fluff them up, then add plenty of butter or sour cream and your favorite toppings. I love using a sprinkle of chives (or green onions), salt, and pepper as classic potato toppings.
If you’re wondering how to make a baked potato more filling – or exciting – you can swap out butter or sour cream for yogurt or cheddar cheese.
You can serve these baked potatoes in the oven with your favorite protein – like my oven-baked chicken breast, crispy tofu, or steak. You can also serve them even alongside a salad and other roasted veggies. I love pairing it with this easy Greek salad or Mediterranean Roasted Vegetables.
Wrap the potatoes in foil only if you want softer skin. When the potatoes bake wrapped in aluminum foil, this will steam the skin and keep it from crisping up too much.
Baked potatoes in the oven should be soft to the touch when ready. Pierce with a fork or knife and if it slides in easily, it’s ready.
Or give it a squeeze – it should be soft. If you prefer to check with a thermometer, the internal temp should 205°F/96ºC.
Salt absorbs and draws out any extra moisture from the potato. It will also help the baked potato cook more evenly.
This allows steam to escape and prevents your oven-baked potatoes from exploding.
Yes, but the spuds won’t have a crusty exterior. How to make baked potatoes in the microwave: cook on high for five minutes. Flip the potato, then cook for a further five minutes.
If you’re cooking more than one potato, the time will need to be increased. And again, the potato skins will be tender.
More Delicious Potato Recipes
- Oven-Roasted New Red Potatoes
- Creamy Mashed Potatoes
- How to Boil Potatoes
- Breakfast Potatoes
- Crispy Salt-Baked Potatoes
If you try this best baked potato recipe, I’d love to hear your thoughts and/or questions below. Also, I’d appreciate a recipe card rating below, and feel free to tag me in your recipe recreations on Instagram @Alphafoodie!
The Perfect Baked Potato Recipe
- 3.1 lb potatoes 4 large, best are potatoes for baking like Russet or Idaho
- 1 teaspoon olive oil or other vegetable oil (canola oil)
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 425ºF/220ºC (or to 400ºF/200ºC fan-assisted).
- Wash the potatoes. Brush them well with a vegetable brush to remove any dirt, then dry them with a kitchen towel. Then poke each of the potatoes with a fork a few times to pierce the skin – this will stop your baked potatoes from exploding in the oven.
- Brush oil over each potato. You can use your fingers or use a silicon brush to make sure it's completely covered. Then, rub sea salt all over each potato and place them on a baking sheet lined tray.
- Bake the potatoes in the oven at 425ºF/220ºC (or to 400ºF/200ºC fan-assisted) for 45-60 minutes (depending on size). The potatoes are ready when they are soft and easy to cut open. Take them out of the oven and let them cool for a few minutes.
- To serve: cut a cross on the top of each potato using a paring knife. Squeeze the sides to fluff them up, then add plenty of butter or sour cream and your favorite toppings.
- Store: If you've got leftover oven-baked potatoes, you can store them for up to three days in an airtight container in the refrigerator.Freeze: You can also freeze them for up to 8 months. Make sure to wrap them well individually, without any of the fillings/toppings. To reheat, wrap with foil and bake from frozen at 425ºF/220ºC for 30-40 minutes (until warm).
Or give it a squeeze – it should be soft. If you prefer to check with a thermometer, the internal temp should 205°F/96ºC. Check the blog post for more tips, serving recommendations, and answers to top FAQs!
I took off one-star because you said to use sea salt. I guess you do not know that ALL salt is sea salt. Check out this article. https://www.thekitchn.com/sea-salt-vs-table-salt-is-there-actually-a-difference-221471
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Thanks for your comment, Don.
Although all salt is sea salt, it comes packaged in different forms – crystals large or small, or even fine like dust. Table salt also has caking agents in it.
That’s why I specifically mention sea salt (the one labeled as such) and so one wouldn’t use table salt for this recipe.