Perfect Baked Potato

A perfect baked potato has crispy skin and fluffy insides. My method for how to bake a potato works every time, so load up your spuds, and dig in!

Baked Potato

A perfect baked potato is hard to beat. The outside is brown and crisp, coated in a crust of sea salt. Pierce the skin, and your fork gives way to a soft, fluffy interior. It might be hard to resist eating the whole thing straight out of the oven, but if you take the time to top it with a pat of butter or a dollop of (cashew) sour cream, you won’t be able to deny that it was worth the wait.

Reading this, you might be surprised to learn that until recently, I wasn’t a baked potato fan. I thought they were bland on their own. Whenever I had them at restaurants or at home as a kid, the toppings were always the main attraction. The potatoes themselves would be shriveled and soft, meager vessels for sour cream, cheddar cheese, and bacon.

But this salt-crusted baked potato recipe changed everything for me. In it, the potato becomes the main event. Don’t get me wrong, a little butter or sour cream goes a long way here, but the potatoes come out of the oven with perfectly crispy, flavorful skins and creamy, piping hot interiors that taste delicious as they are. Serve them as a hearty side dish, or load them up and call them dinner. You’ll love them either way!

Baked potato recipe

How to Bake a Potato

I like to use russet potatoes here, as their skin really puffs up and becomes crisp in the oven. Along with the potatoes, you’ll just need olive oil and salt to make this baked potato recipe. Once you’ve assembled your ingredients, follow these easy steps:

First, preheat the oven to 425, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

How to bake a potato

While the oven preheats, prep the potatoes. Scrub the potatoes well and pat them dry with a kitchen towel. Then, poke the potatoes with a fork a few times to create small holes across their surfaces.

Next, season the potatoes. Place them on the baking sheet and rub them all over with olive oil. Sprinkle them liberally with sea or kosher salt, and transfer them to the hot oven to bake.

How to bake a potato

Bake for 45 to 60 minutes, until the skins are crisp and puffy and you can easily pierce the potatoes with a fork. Use oven mitts to remove the hot baking sheet from the oven.

Finally, dig in! Allow the potatoes cool for a few minutes before slicing them open, fluffing up their insides, and topping them with your favorite fixings. I like cashew sour cream, tempeh bacon, chives, and salt and pepper!

Oven baked potato recipe

Baked Potato Recipe Tips

  • Skip the foil! The key to making a good baked potato is getting really crispy skin. If you wrap the potatoes in foil, the potato skins will shrivel and soften in the oven. For the best results, leave the potatoes unwrapped.
  • Don’t skimp on the salt. Are you someone who likes to eat potato skins? If you make this baked potato recipe, you will be! Coating the spuds in salt makes the skins extra-crispy and flavorful. Plus, with a bit of the salty skin in each bite, you won’t need to worry about seasoning the potato flesh as you eat.
  • Know that the cooking time will vary. In the recipe below, I say to bake your potatoes for 45 to 60 minutes. This is a wide range, but I list it for a reason. The cooking time will vary depending on the size of the potatoes. Be ready to take them out of the oven when they’re fork-tender and their skin is crisp. The baking time will be longer for larger potatoes and shorter for small ones.

Bacon bits on a baking sheet

Oven Baked Potato Serving Suggestions

You can’t go wrong by serving this oven baked potato recipe with a pat of butter, salt, and pepper, but a few well-chosen toppings can really take it to the next level. I love mine with cashew sour cream, tempeh bacon, and chives, but regular sour cream, “cheese sauce,” Greek yogurt, or cheddar cheese would also be delicious.

Enjoy this baked potato recipe as a meal on its own, or pair it with your favorite protein. It would also be yummy with a hearty salad like my Caesar salad, broccoli salad, or kale salad, or with roasted broccoli, cauliflower, or Brussels sprouts.

Loaded baked potato

More Favorite Potato Recipes

If you loved learning how to bake a potato, try one of these favorite potato recipes next!

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Perfect Baked Potato

rate this recipe:
4.95 from 349 votes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Serves 4
Bake a potato perfectly every time! With the olive oil & sea salt coating, it'll come out of the oven with crispy skin and fluffy insides that are delicious with your favorite toppings.

Equipment

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Use a fork to poke a few holes into the potatoes. Place on the baking sheet, rub with olive oil, and sprinkle liberally with sea salt all over. Bake 45 to 60 minutes, or until the potato is fork-tender and the skin is crisp.
  • Slice open each potato, fluff the insides, and serve with desired toppings.

 

223 comments

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Rate this recipe (after making it)




  1. Chris
    02.19.2024

    It takes WAY LONGER than this recipe sates to cook regular (2024) sized russets from a store

  2. Lee
    01.29.2024

    How would you make a cheese sauce please. I have some cheese sauce recipes, but would like to know how you make.

  3. Shelby
    01.27.2024

    5 stars
    I just recreated this jem. I wanted to make a double batch without buying 2 packs of Impossible meat. I used I pack of extra firm tofu ground up by hand. It came out great probably a little more delicate and less rich but still very tasty. My husband gave it a 10!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      01.30.2024

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

  4. Andy
    01.22.2024

    2 stars
    I cooked my potatoes for an hour and they were still hard as a rock. I don’t know if it’s just me but every time I try to cook russet potatoes they never cook. I feel like maybe you should put foil and then take it off at the end to crisp them up.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      01.23.2024

      Hi Andy, I might check that your oven is heating to the proper temp – they shouldn’t be rock hard after an hour.

  5. 5 stars
    The salted skin was a HIT with my kids. They said it tasted like a crispy French fry.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      01.17.2024

      Ha ha, I love that!

  6. Donnie
    01.07.2024

    5 stars
    Absolutely Perfect! I tried this recipe with a seven inch long potato and it turned out super delicious as I like to eat the skin. I did hollow out the potato a bit for hormel bacon bits, cheddar cheese and sour cream. It was Awesome! Would post pics if I could.
    Thank you so much!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      01.09.2024

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

  7. Dante delapena
    01.01.2024

    I’m getting ready to make this potato recipe. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

  8. Lloyd Stolworthy
    12.31.2023

    5 stars
    I spent the first 20 years of my life growing up on a Russet potato farm. Even my high school mascot was a Russet potato. I’ve used this recipe on my family potatoes at least a dozen times now and it’s my favorite. The only thing I’ve changed over time is that I bake the potatoes on a nonstick cooling rack. About 30 minutes before baking I pour a line of olive oil on the top of each potato and let the oil spread itself uniformly around the potato. Then I do that one more time just before I cover every inch of the potato with as much Maldon sea salt flakes as I can get to stick to it. Beautiful presentation and perfect amount of salt.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      01.01.2024

      I’m so glad you’ve loved the recipe! Love the cooling rack idea.

  9. Bruce
    11.29.2023

    5 stars
    Really great baked potato recipe. I always wrapped my in foil, but going to try without it. For holiday dinner this year my family are really going to enjoy these when I make them.

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
      12.01.2023

      Hi Bruce, so glad you enjoyed the baked potatoes!

  10. Howard
    11.17.2023

    I didn’t have parchment paper so I used foil and I also didn’t have olive oil so I just used vegetable oil and they still turned out great!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      11.19.2023

      I’m so glad you loved it!

  11. R
    11.02.2023

    I don’t know what special parchment paper you have, but mine pretty much immediately caught on fire with that temperature and oil combo. I should’ve realized but most parchment can’t go above 420. So just a word of warning for future recipie users…. I’d line with tin foil or something instead.

    • Cj
      11.11.2023

      5 stars
      I bake sourdough which requires high heat… think 500°. I use parchment paper in my bakes without any issues. The brands I use are King Arthur and Reynolds. I also line my sheets for baking potatoes as per this recipe and have never had an issue with evoo and/or parchment. Maybe the brand matters? Not sure but hope this helps!

      To the recipe creator – this is the best way to make baked potatoes, so simple and turn out restaurant quality every time. I do place a baking rack on my sheet pan to allow for even crisping or I turn the potato 1/2 way. So good!

      • Jeanine Donofrio
        11.16.2023

        I’m so glad you’ve loved this baked potato method!

  12. Michael Kleinman
    10.30.2023

    4 stars
    For me the key to getting a super crispy skin is baking for a long time at least an hour but often longer at as high a heat as your oven will go ,500º or 550º. I do not think 425º will get the results that I am looking for. The skin will be hard, crunchy and crisp with a deep potato flavor.

  13. Shelly
    10.26.2023

    5 stars
    I loved this recipe, the potatoes were excellent! Better than what I had in a fine restaurant.
    Thank you

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      10.27.2023

      I’m glad you loved them!

  14. Lisa
    10.16.2023

    Hi. I have been doing this for decades and you are correct, yummy crispy outside, mashed potato creamy inside. I have found it works better when using the oven, if one just puts the potato directly on the rack instead of in a sheet pan. Also, if not Vegan, unsalted butter is better than oil. Also is awesome on a Big Green Egg on a potato rack. Just yummy!

    • Lynn
      10.17.2023

      Agreed – I’ve never used foil and also put the potatoes straight on the rack. I didn’t know doing them in foil was a thing…

  15. David Murphy
    10.16.2023

    Yes, sounds good

    I have never used foil. I usually rub the skin with softened or melted butter before baking, I don’t cake in salt – it’s not needed, I don’t like excessive salt anyway. As to fillings – numerous. One of my favourites is Tuna mixed with home made coleslaw (the coleslaw dressing is usually thick mayo based, plenty of fresh black pepper)

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Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.