With crispy, seasoned skin, a tender inside, and all the best toppings this perfect baked potato is a favorite classic!
Potatoes are a family favorite, and when we are looking for an easy side or dinner idea, this perfect baked potato is a go-to. This recipe is baked in the oven, but we also have a Slow Cooker Baked Potato recipe that is simple too!
best baked potato recipe
Who doesn’t LOVE a baked potato? It’s one of our favorite side dishes and a recipe we often make for our main meal too!
When it’s cooked to perfection, and loaded up with all kinds of yummy toppings, there’s nothing better. I’m pretty sure Bacon Bits and sour cream were made just for the sake of loaded baked potatoes (a match made in heaven, am I right?).
It’s one of my go-to meals to feed my family or a crowd, because it’s so easy to cook, and it has a taste you can rely on.
This recipe is NO-FAIL! Give it a try and you won’t be disappointed.
How to Make Baked Potatoes
PREP. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Wash potatoes with a stiff brush and cold water, then pat dry. Use a fork to poke 8–12 deep holes all over the surface of each potato to let the moisture escape during cooking.
SEASON. In a large bowl, coat potatoes lightly coat with oil and sprinkle with salt. Then place potatoes in the oven directly on the middle rack (or on a foil-lined baking sheet).
BAKE. Bake for 1 hour, until the skin is crisp and the flesh feels soft.
ENJOY! Let potatoes cool a bit until you can handle them. Create a dotted line from end to end of each potato with your fork, then crack the potatoes open by squeezing the ends toward each other.
Serve with any desired toppings (see Recipe Tip).
Best Potatoes to Use
You should definitely know your potato before cooking baked potatoes.
The best potatoes are ones that are all-purpose – good for mashing, baking, and roasting. For baked potatoes, use Russet, Yukon Gold, blue, or purple potatoes.
Make sure to season the outside of your potatoes before baking them! I always use olive oil, pepper, and kosher salt.
Foil. Wrapping potatoes in foil will produce soft skins, but we prefer covering them in oil and salt to make nice and crispy skin. Putting a potato straight in the oven without anything covering the skin will make it dry and papery.
Potato bar. Potato “bars” are one of the best ways to feed baked potatoes to a crowd. Bake a bunch of steamy potatoes, season them, and lay them out with everyone’s favorite toppings! Each person takes a turn going down the line and topping their potato with all their favorite fix-ins.
Favorite toppings. The possibilities are almost endless when it comes to the perfect baked potato! I have too many favorite toppings to count.
Here are some of the best toppings to try:
- salted butter
- Bacon Bits, Pulled Pork, or black beans
- caramelized onions, chives or green onions, chopped broccoli, or scallions
- Salsa or Guacamole
- leftover Chili
- cheddar cheese, Gorgonzola cheese, bleu cheese
All the different toppings and variations are why a baked potato is so popular. They are easy to customize and change up, making this baked potato recipe a great go-to dinner.
STORE. Place leftover baked potatoes in an air-tight container or re-wrap them in foil and store them in the fridge for 3-5 days.
Reheat them in the microwave or by throwing them back in the oven until heated through.
Bake the potatoes at 350°F for 60-75 minutes or 400°F for 50-60 minutes. Larger potatoes will take longer than smaller ones. A russet Idaho potato is finished when the internal temperature reaches about 210°F.
No need to wrap potatoes in foil when baking, it’s just a matter of preference. Baking without the foil will create crispy skin whereas baking in foil will produce softer skin. The foil also acts as an insulator when they’re out of the oven and keeps them hot longer.
For more potato recipes, check out:
- Loaded Mashed Potatoes
- Cheesy Breakfast Potato Casserole
- Parmesan Crusted Potato Skins
- Bacon Wrapped Potatoes
- Sausage And Potatoes
- Twice Baked Potatoes
Perfect Baked Potato Recipe
- 4 russet potatoes
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
- kosher salt to taste
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Wash potatoes with a stiff brush and cold water, then pat dry. Use a fork to poke 8–12 deep holes all over the surface of each potato to let the moisture escape during cooking.
- In a large bowl, coat potatoes lightly coat with oil and salt. Then place potatoes in the oven directly on the middle rack (or on a foil-lined baking sheet).
- Bake for 1 hour, until the skin is crisp and the flesh feels soft.
- Let potatoes cool a bit until you can handle them. Create a dotted line from end to end of each potato with your fork, then crack the potatoes open by squeezing the ends toward each other. Serve with any desired toppings (see Recipe Tip).
DANG!! So easy and insanely yummy!
We have to have some kind of potato with a lot of our meals & these are great, because my kids can add what they want. They are perfectly tender!
Baked potatoes are perfect for large or small families. We make them quite often and everyone loves them.
These are the perfect potatoes!! The potatoes are tender & great as a side or a meal!
I usually just use the potato button on my Microwave, but this recipe was perfect to follow to get a more flavorful skin and a better bake. Thanks!
MY husband loves baked potatoes! I like making them simple or hearty. Plus, they can be made so fast. What a great meal.
Only way I make baked potatoes! They come out perfect every single time!
these truly are the best baked potatoes recipe and I cannot thank you enough for sharing this recipe
This baked potato is my new go-to recipe! It’s easy to make, and the instructions are easy to follow. Thank you for sharing another great recipe!