This baked potato recipe will teach you all you need to know to make the fluffiest and crispiest baked potato on the planet. Get the butter and sour cream ready!
Obsessed with potatoes? Check out our 10 Favorite Potato Recipes.
Have you wondered how restaurants make baked potatoes that are next-level good and full of texture? Well, that’s what we’re going to cover in this recipe.
Making the Perfect Baked Potato
Making a perfect, steakhouse-worthy baked potato only requires three ingredients and a little bit of technique. Below, find a rundown of the process before you dive in.
- Prepare the Oven: Adjust the rack in your oven to the middle position and preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Clean the Potato: Rinse the potato under cold water and scrub any excess dirt off with a clean kitchen sponge.
- Pierce the Potato: Puncture the potato with a paring knife or fork in several different places.
- Season the Potato: Rub the potato with olive oil and massage coarse salt all over the skin.
- Bake the Potato: Cook it in the oven for 45 minutes, or until it’s easily pierced with a fork. Enjoy!
Did you know? You can make baked potatoes in the air fryer! Check out our air fryer baked potatoes recipe for the step-by-step instructions.
The Dos and Don’ts of Making a Perfect Baked Potato
Here you’ll find the dos and don’ts of making the perfect baked potato. Follow these simple, yet crucial, rules and you’ll be golden.
- DO scrub the potato thoroughly with a clean sponge. The skin is perhaps one of the best parts of a baked potato. Scrub it clean of any excess dirt or grime so that you can enjoy all the nutrients, fiber, and flavor it has to offer.
- DO pat the potatoes dry after cleaning. The more moisture you remove from the skin before baking, the crispier it will get.
- DO pierce the potato in several places. Piercing the potato in several spots allows the steam to escape in the oven, while also ensuring that the center cooks and turns fluffy. If you don’t pierce it, it could explode in the oven and cause a huge mess!
- DO season the potato with olive oil and salt. Just like a steakhouse does, coat each potato in olive oil and coarse, flakey kosher salt (like this one) and watch yourself never leave the skin behind again.
- DO slice and fluffy your potato right away. The golden moment to slice and fluff your potato is right after it comes out of the oven. If you wait too long, the potato will continue to cook and lost its fluffiness. To prevent burning your hand, hold the potato securely with a kitchen towel.
- DON’T wrap your potato in aluminum foil. Wrapping the potato in aluminum foil will result in a soft, soggy skin and overcooked flesh. Why? The foil creates a steaming effect. If you like crispy skin and a fluffy interior, this is a big no-no.
- DON’T soak the potatoes. Soaking the potatoes (especially in hot water) will cook the outside and make it so the inside has a super hard time catching up. It will also turn your potato soggy.
- DON’T bake the potato directly on the rack. This rule is especially true for potatoes coated in olive oil – you don’t want to start a fire! To prevent this, it on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil.
The Best Toppings for a Baked Potato
Here you’ll find some of the best topping combinations to experiment with. This is half of the fun anyway, right?
- The Classic: Air fryer bacon bits, sour cream, butter, chives or scallions, and salt and pepper to taste
- Chicken, Broccoli & Cheddar: Sliced chicken breast, air fryer broccoli, shredded sharp cheddar cheese, and salt and pepper to taste
- Fiesta-Style: Guacamole, salsa, and sour cream
- Chili & Cheese: Instant Pot chili, shredded sharp cheddar cheese, and sour cream
- The Greek: Grilled chicken, tzatziki (cucumber, herb, and greek yogurt sauce, and green onions
Tips for Storing Leftovers
Although it’s recommended you eat baked potatoes fresh out of the oven, there are some tips to keep them as fresh as possible in the fridge. For up to five days, store them wrapped individually in aluminum foil. When you’re ready to eat one, pop it in the oven for 10-15 minutes unwrapped. Of note, you should never freeze them – they simply don’t thaw well.
What kind of potato is best for baking?
The best potato for baking is hands down a russet potato. It has the highest starch content (making for fluffy insides) and the perfect skin for crisping.
What is the best way to microwave baked a potato?
There is no best way to microwave a potato. The texture will always pale in comparison to oven-baked.
Are baked potatoes gluten-free?
Yes, baked potatoes are naturally gluten-free.
Do you need to adjust the baking time depending on the size of the potato?
Yes, you need to increase or decrease the baking time according to the size of the potatoes you’re baking. To check doneness, try to pierce them with a fork.
Other Perfect Potato Recipes
- 15-Minute Air Fryer French Fries – Guilt-free french fries
- Ranch Roasted Potatoes – Zesty oven-baked potatoes
- New Potatoes with Bacon & Herbs – A Slavic classic
- Crispy Smashed Potatoes (Extra Easy) – The crispiest potatoes EVER!
- Adjust the rack in your oven to the middle position. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Rinse and scrub the potato under cold running water.
- Pierce the potato several times with a fork or sharp knife, making holes that are about 1 inch apart.
- Rub the potato with olive oil and sprinkle it with coarse salt on all the sides. Bake it for 45 minutes, or until it's easily pierced with a fork.
One picture shows potatoes directly on oven rack and second photo shows on a baking pan once oiled. Do they go directly on rack or baking dish?
Hi Karen, thats a great catch, we need to flip the photo. Sorry to the confusion and thanks for pointing that out!