Here’s how to make a baked potato in the oven: the best way! This method makes a crispy skin and fluffy interior.

Baked potato

When it comes to side dishes, there’s nothing quite like the Baked Potato. Heck, it works as an easy dinner idea, too! Load it up with toppings and you’ve got a filling dinner. How to cook it up to perfection? Here’s exactly how to bake a potato in the oven: it comes out crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside, and ideal for toppings of all kinds! We’ve got our standard method, and then a cheater way to make it in less time for when you’re in a rush.

Use russet potatoes

The type of potatoes for a baked potato? Russet potatoes. Russet potatoes are large with dark brown, rough skin. They’re a part of a family of starchy potatoes that have a fluffy texture when cooked. Contrast that with waxy potatoes like Yukon gold, red potatoes, or fingerling potatoes: these types are best for roasting and mashing.

Baked potato in oven

How to bake a potato in the oven

Here’s our master method for how to make a baked potato in the oven! The tricks? Bake at a high temperature, and don’t use aluminum foil. This makes the best crispy exterior and fluffy interior! Foil makes them come out too soft. Here’s how to bake a potato:

  • Use high heat. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Using high heat makes a crispy skin.
  • Prick them and rub with olive oil. Scrub the potatoes and pierce them all over with a fork. Rub each potato with olive oil.
  • Place the potatoes directly on the oven rack. This makes them the crispiest! Don’t add aluminum foil or it will make them too soft. Add a tray on rack below to catch any dripping oil.
  • Bake 45 minutes to 1 hour. Bake the potatoes for 20 minutes and flip with tongs. Bake additional 25 minutes and check for tenderness with a fork. The fork should easily pierce the potato to the center. If it’s not tender, continue cooking up to 15 minutes more, depending on size of the potato. The bigger the potato, the longer it takes!

Variation: a quicker baked potato

Don’t have 1 hour? We’ve got a shortcut! Here’s how to make a quicker baked potato: cut your potatoes in half. Halving it makes it thinner, drastically reducing the baking time. Here’s how to do it:

  • Use high heat: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Slice the potatoes in half and season: Wash the potatoes and slice them in half, then place them on a parchment-lined sheet pan. Rub them with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt. Turn the potatoes cut side down and prick the tops several times with fork.
  • Bake 25 to 35 minutes: Bake until tender and lightly browned on the edges, about 25 to 35 minutes depending on the exact size of the spuds.

You’ll notice that with this method, the potatoes come out with flat edges. To make them look like a traditional baked potato, just mash the tops lightly with a fork. They’ll appear similar to the standard, just with two halves.

Baked potato

Other alternate methods

A baked potato in the oven is by far our favorite method. But if you prefer other ideas, here are a few more options:

  • Microwave: Making a potato for one? You can microwave it! Poke it all over, then microwave on High for 5 minutes. Then carefully flip it (it will be hot!) and microwave another 3 minutes. Test whether it’s fork tender, then continue to microwave for 1 minute intervals until cooked. The skin will not be crispy, but it works.
  • Grill: You can make a Baked Potato on the Grill! Prick the potatoes with a fork, brush with oil or butter, and cover them in foil. Grill 30 minutes on medium high heat, then flip and cook to 20 to 30 more until tender.

Serving a baked potato as a side dish

Once you’ve got your delicious baked potato, the fun begins! Slice it open with a paring knife and fluff the insides with a fork. Then you’re ready for toppings! You can serve it as a side dish with simple toppings, or add more elaborate toppings to make it into a meal. Here are some simple toppings to use when serving a baked potato as a side dish:

  • Butter, salt and pepper
  • Sour cream
  • Creme fraiche
  • Cashew cream (for vegan)
  • Chopped chives or green onion
  • Fresh herbs like basil, oregano, or thyme
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Bacon
Baked potato toppings
Loaded baked potatoes make an easy dinner!

Or, make a baked potato bar!

Our favorite way to serve a baked potato? As a main dish! Turn it into dinner by making a baked potato bar! Add hearty toppings and it turns into a delicious meal that’s ultra customizable for many different diets. We use this concept often as a meal idea for serving a crowd, and it always goes over well! Here are a few ideas for toppings for making a Loaded Baked Potato:

  • Mexican: Pico de gallo, corn, black beans, guacamole, cheese, sour cream, cilantro
  • Lox: Smoked salmon, chives, cream cheese
  • Chili: Chili, cheddar cheese, green onion, sour cream
  • Broccoli Cheddar: Sauteed broccoli, sour cream, cheddar cheese or Vegan Queso
  • Nacho: Vegan Taco Meat or taco meat, canned refried beans, cheddar cheese or Vegan Nacho Cheese, salsa, sliced green onions, chopped lettuce, pickled jalapenos, crushed tortilla chips

Head over to our Baked Potato Toppings post for more creative ideas. And that’s it! Let us know how your potato turns out in the comments below.

More potato recipes

Spud lovers, unite! Here are some of our favorite potato recipes:

This baked potato in oven recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free and gluten-free.

Print
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Baked potato

Classic Baked Potato


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes to 1 hour
  • Total Time: 29 minute
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Here’s how to make a baked potato in the oven: the best way! This method makes a crispy skin and fluffy interior.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 4 russet potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Instructions

  1. Baked potato in oven: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Scrub the potatoes and pierce them all over with a fork. Rub each potato with olive oil. Place the potatoes directly on oven rack (with a tray on rack below to catch any dripping oil). Bake 20 minutes and flip with tongs. Bake additional 25 minutes and check for tenderness with a fork. The fork should easily pierce the potato to the center. If not tender, continue baking, up to 15 minutes more depending on size of the potato. Cut the potato open with a paring knife, then fluff the interior with a fork. Enjoy with toppings of your choice!
  2. Quick baked potato: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Wash the potatoes and slice them in half. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the potatoes on top and rub them with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt. Turn the potatoes cut side down and prick the tops several times with fork. Bake until the potatoes are tender and lightly browned on the edges, about 25 to 35 minutes depending on the exact size of the potatoes. Prick them with a fork to assess doneness. To serve as a traditional baked potato, just mash the tops lightly with a fork. Serve immediately.
  • Category: Side dish
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Baked potato, baked potato in oven, how to make a baked potato

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you'll want to make again and again.

Leave a Comment

Recipe rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

1 Comment