The perfect baked potato really does exist! Learn how to cook a baked potato in the oven so that it’s fluffy on the inside and crispy on the outside. It’s so easy to make, and you can finish it off with the best toppings. It’s a great side dish for any dinner!
What’s in this Baked Potato Recipe?
Cooking baked potatoes in the oven with my tried and true method is so easy. They come out with crispy, well-seasoned skin, and a fluffy, moist interior.
- Potatoes: I recommend using Russet potatoes for this recipe (I’ll tell you why below). 7-9 ounce potatoes are the perfect portion size and are ideal for the exact cook times listed here.
- Salt + Warm Water (Brine): Dissolve salt in warm water to soak the baked potatoes before baking. This draws out moisture to create the perfect texture.
- Oil: Vegetable oil works best since we’re roasting at a high temp. This crisps up the skin on the potato as it bakes.
- Seasonings: Salt and pepper work great, but you can use other seasonings you like as well. Get creative!
Pro Tip: Use any toppings or add-ins you like. Butter, sour cream, chives, and shredded cheese are classic options. Check below for even more topping ideas!
Variations on a Baked Potato
There are so many delicious ways to enjoy baked potatoes. Try some of these fan favorites:
- Loaded: Add bacon bits, shredded cheese, sour cream, and chives.
- Broccoli Cheddar: Melt lots of cheddar and sprinkle in some small broccoli bits (cook and cut beforehand).
- Mexican: Top with shredded Mexican blend cheese, sliced jalapeños, sour cream, pico de gallo, and green onions.
- Savory Mushroom: Add sautéed or caramelized onions, sautéed garlic mushrooms, and sprinkle in some cheese too if you like (Swiss or gruyere would be great).
Russet potatoes are the perfect option, because the skin gets crispy (not waxy) and holds up through baking, while the inside gets so soft and fluffy!
I recommend setting your oven to 450°F to bake. Use a thermometer to check the center of your potato–it’s done when it reaches 205°F.
At 450°F, bake for 45-60 minutes (until the interior reaches 205°F), and then you’ll bake another 10 minutes to finish them off with the oil and seasonings. So the total time is around 1 hour.
They are high in magnesium and potassium which are both great for heart health. They also contain about 28% of your daily fiber.
Setting them on top of a rack ensures that the hot air fully circulates around every inch of the potato. This prevents any sogginess or uneven cooking.
How to Store and Reheat
Store leftover baked potatoes in an airtight container or Ziplock bag in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
I recommend reheating in the oven for the best results. Preheat to 350-400°F, then bake for just 15-20 minutes (or until heated through). You can also microwave to speed things up, but the skin will likely be soggy and the inside might dry out.
How to Freeze
Wrap baked potatoes in aluminum foil, then place in Ziplock bags and remove all air. Freeze for up to 6 months (but best within 3 months). Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
Oven baked potatoes are my favorite side dish for almost any meal. They’re simple enough to complement any main dish, but you can also add all the intricate toppings you like to make it just right for tonight’s dinner. Here are some serving ideas!
- A classic baked potato pairs perfectly with a nice restaurant-style steak and a glass of red.
- Serve it along with your favorite chili recipe, and load that right on top of the potato!
- They taste great alongside roast chicken, beef stew, or served with soup and salad.
- Instead of fries, serve these with caramelized onion burgers… and make extra caramelized onions to put on top!
How long should you soak the potatoes in warm water? Do you poke them before soaking?
About 10-20 minutes! Yes!
Potatoes are great for bodybuilders who try to gain mass as they are a good source of carbohydrate. Thanks Becky for sharing your recipe.
Glad this works well for you! Thanks, Samantha!
I really like your method of baking first, and then adding oil and seasoning before putting them back in. I’ll definitely be trying this!
It really makes them PERFECT!
what an amazing post admin thanks for this.
What about poking holes in the potato so it doesn’t burst in the oven? I have had that happen and it’s a mess, lol.
Made them for dinner tonight. It was Perfect! Thank you for the tutorial, I appreciate it!
Yay! So glad to hear that :) :)
what an amazing post admin thanks for this.
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Those are some good looking potatoes. Reminded me of my time in England and their classic jacket potatoes. These however seem as an improved version which makes me hungry just by looking at your photos. I know what we’ll have for dinner tonight. :) Thank you Becky.