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:
4.97 from 408 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.




  • 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.



4.97 from 408 votes (313 ratings without comment)

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Rate this recipe (after making it)

  1. AH

    1 star
    Putting olive oil on the potatoes literally just caught my oven on fire. 5 min into baking. Would not recommend.

    • ES

      5 stars
      I’ve used olive oil multiple times with no problems.

    • Amy

      5 stars
      It was probably the parchment paper. If you have too much it will catch fire. Use only as much as necessary to sit the potatoes on and don’t let any hang over the edge of the pan.

    • Vicki O

      5 stars
      AH – You may want to use the microwave then lol Not sure how one catches the oven on fire baking a potato with olive oil and salt! This method works perfectly and I will admit I was one who always used aluminum foil because well…. thats what my momma taught me 😉

    • Heather

      You probably put it directly on the rack instead of on a cookie sheet with parchment paper. I could see myself accidentally doing that.

  2. Monica

    5 stars
    Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful recipe. I’m trying to get better at cooking because of the food costs going up and this turned out to be an amazing inexpensive dinner! I put a Mexican twist on it by using Oaxaca cheese and the Mexican shredded cheese blend from the store and popped it back inside the oven for 5min for the cheeses to melt. For toppings I went with onion, tomato, cilantro and a squeeze of fresh lime. Will definitely put this on the dinner menu from now on.

  3. Madison

    Can you prep these for a large group the day before? Any tips? Thank you!

    • Kendall

      You can bake them all ahead of time and refrigerate them until the next day. Then you can reheat them 15 minutes before serving. Do not cut them open until after reheating. The crispy skin will be ok but not as amazing as same-day cooking. I’ve made this before.

  4. Brijesh Thakor

    5 stars
    thank you for share this amazing recipe with us. it’s look like delicious. keep it.

  5. Cliff

    Chili and sour cream make a great topping. Salsa also.

  6. Justin

    Saved this page in my recipes

  7. Pamela

    I have these in the oven now and can’t wait to try them. Did anyone else have a bit of smoke from theirs? It wasn’t like set off the smoke alarm thick, but enough to kick the air purifier into high.

    • Jojo

      I wrap mine in foil and actually leave them in for 2-2 1/2 hours. That should prevent the smoking issue.

      • Mary

        Wrapping food in foil exposes your food 400x greater to aluminum when heated. Alzheimers, autism and more as a result. Use parchment paper.

        • Jackie

          5 stars
          Cooking with parchment paper at high heat can cause a fire! Be sure to use one that’s specifically made for higher temperatures. The ones bought in grocery stores usually aren’t. Otherwise, stick with aluminum foil. It’s been around for decades & is basically foolproof.
          Totally delighted with the recipe. Thank you for sharing!

    • Justin

      5 stars
      I’m guessing excess oil on your baking sheet. Oil the potatoes on a plate them transfer them to baking sheet. 2 1/2 goes for a potato is extreme. Plus, Jojo is steaming her potato when wrapped in foil. Not baking it

  8. Kerstin

    5 stars
    Absolute perfection!!! FYI – we sprinkled liberally with garlic pepper in addition to the salt – YUM!

  9. Evan from

    5 stars
    OMG literally the best baked potato I’ve ever had never ever using foil again lol thanks very much for the bomb dank recipe

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you loved it!

  10. Seema

    5 stars
    Thank you! So much less fuss and the potatoes were amazing! The salt thing is an eye-opener.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you loved them!

  11. Torrie from

    I’ve always prepared my baked potatoes this way but I used foil and boy oh boy what a difference. Definitely skipping the foil from now on!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you loved them!

  12. Why

    Bad reviews are ok. Racism in any form is not.

  13. Lou

    5 stars
    i used this for a school project in food tech and it was really good! my teachers and classmates loved it

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad everyone loved it!

  14. Yma

    Why do you have to line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      oh I’m sorry, that’s a mistake, you just need 1 baking sheet.

    • Broseph

      thank you for asking this! I was wondering the same and getting paranoid im gonna mess up! haha – cant wait til theyre done! going in the oven NOW!

  15. Hope

    I have always felt as you have about baked potatoes, meh, they are only ok, but WOW! The salt made all the difference for me! They were really, really good! As baked potatoes are my hubbie’s favorite food I know I’ll be making these weekly for a while. Thank you! 🙂
    I ordered both your cookbooks. 🙂

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Hope, ha, I’m glad you loved them! I hope you enjoy the cookbooks 🙂

  16. Dru

    I’ve been doing this for years,,,
    I was taught to slice off an end to allow the moisture to leave a little quicker…also have coated in butter also.
    All so good….

  17. Helen I.

    5 stars
    Tried your recipe, it was easy to make. Didn’t use big potatoes just medium size & it took 50 mins.. Thanks for sharing Love it!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

  18. gloss

    SOOO GOOD and a KEEPER!!! It came out fluffy with a crispy yummy exterior. Fluffed it up with a fork and threw in some shredded cheese and toppings. Even my 18 yr old who just got his wisdom teeth pulled out today loved it!

    Btw, I cooked it on parchment paper on 425 in my toaster oven and no issues.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you loved them!

    • Helga

      5 stars
      Thank you for this outstanding recipe. Comes out perfect every time.

  19. Adam B

    5 stars
    Real bacon only. None of that fake crap.

  20. Galeman

    5 stars
    Did I miss a Note that only Organic Potatoes should have been baked and eaten without peeling the skin? Even “Already Washed Potatoes” are not Pesticides Free – you have to see how many times potatoe plants are sprayed with strong potato beetle pesticides during its groving season… And, please, don’t be offended by this Note, because I adore ALL your recipes which have changed my already fine cook habits to vegan perfect.

    • Wishingiwaswrong

      Galeman, a strong wash in hot water and a good scrub will take care of that. Even certified organic doesn’t mean no pesticides, just an acceptable level of pesticides.

    • Jackie

      5 stars
      I, too, am a huge fan of always trying to get organic potatoes. However, for a lot of the population they’re not always accessible or affordable. Please be more respectful when telling others that they should only consume organic foods, because for majority of us there is no choice.

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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.