Learn how to bake a potato perfectly which has a crisp skin but perfectly fluffy tender inside. This technique will yield a perfect baked potato each and every time! Top with your favorites like butter, sour cream, cheese and more! If you love these, you will also love these Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes, Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Twice Baked Potatoes, Smashed Potatoes and Garlic Mashed Potatoes.
How to Bake a Potato
One of my absolute favorite side dishes which also happens to be incredibly easy to make is baked potatoes. When I head to a restaurant, this often becomes a side dish that I definitely order. I love mine with a nice hint of salt and pepper along with a nice complement of melty butter.
From plain baked potatoes to loaded baked potatoes, I will tell you exactly how to bake a potato perfectly.
What Potato is Best for Baking?
I personally believe that russet potatoes are best for baking. They are the ones that you would find baked in any restaurant. They are super starchy but also have a low moisture content which results in a wonderful fleshy fluffy texture once baked. The skin also gets really crisp too which I love. They are the best so you perfectly learn how to bake a potato.
When selecting russets to bake, try not to grab super large or even super small potatoes. A nice medium size is just perfect to ensure even baking for the recipe and tips below.
How Long to Bake a Potato
I like to bake my potatoes at a super high heat between 425 and 450 degrees in my oven. Since it does take a while to turn that hard spud into tender deliciousness, this helps speed the process and also helps with getting that crisp outer skin.
It can take about an hour of baking to get your potato to become completely tender.
How to Make Baked Potatoes
Here are my top tips for ensuring you have perfect baked potatoes each and every time.
- Make sure to scrub your potatoes. A nice scrub down and cleaning of the potato is a great way to begin your process.
- Prick that Stud- I always ALWAYS make sure to add a few pricks using a fork to the outside of my potato. This will help the steam escape and keep your potato from exploding in the oven!!
- Rub down- Make sure to rub your potato down with oil. You can use vegetable oil or even olive oil. Pro trick- if you hate rubbing it down, you can also use an oil spray which keeps things a bit neater and cleaner. And forget the foil here.
- Season them up! Give the outsides a nice liberal sprinkling of kosher salt.
- Bake them up! As I mentioned above, these baked potatoes will take about 50-70 minutes depending on the temperature you set them at. You will know they are ready to eat when you add easily push through the surface of the potato into the flesh with no resistance. You can even squeeze it with mitted hands and if it gives easily, it’s ready to eat!
- Cool- These babies are hot hot! So make sure to cool them a little bit.
How to cook a baked potato in the microwave
If you want to get your potatoes ready faster, the microwave is the best way to speed it up!
You can even still get the baked potato vibe by splitting the time between both appliances. Add the potato to the microwave for half of the time then pop in the oven to finish it off for that beautiful baked potato feel with less time.
How long to microwave a baked potato
Up to 10 minutes max. Using oven mitts, begin checking your potato doneness around the 4-5 minute mark so it doesn’t shrivel up too much. So if you don’t have the time to truly learn how to bake a potato, this is a great and fast substitution.
Best toppings for a baked potato
Now that yo have learned how to bake a potato, here are some ideas for how to jazz it up!
- Butter of course! Use a nice high quality one that really flavors that spud up
- Sour cream (my mom’s fave!)
- Cheese – cheddar is a big win here
- Bacon (dice up some bacon and add to your spud)
- Chili (that’s a delicious meal in and of itself!)
- Chives (for a beautiful vibrant garnish)
- Broccoli (you can add with cheese for a nice variation that also adds some veggies)
- Or you could use an air fryer and make something like these Easy Air Fryer Potato Skins.
Grandbaby Cakes’ Best Potato Recipes
How To Bake A Potato
- 3 russet potatoes medium
- 6 tsp oil
- kosher salt to taste
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Begin by scrubbing your russet potatoes, getting rid of debris and dirt then pat dry.
- Next prick each potato all over with a fork making sure to pierce the inside.
- Rub down each potato with 2 teaspoons of oil or use the olive oil spray to evenly coat the potatoes.
- Sprinkle each potato liberally with salt.
- Add each potato to a wire rack inside of a baking pan then place in the oven for 50-70 minutes or until you can easily push through the surface of the potato into the flesh with no resistance. You can even squeeze it with mitted hands and if it gives easily, it’s ready to eat!
- Cool for 10 minutes then serve them up!