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best baked potatoes

How to Make Baked Potatoes

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Soak Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 352kcal
Author: Becky Hardin
Discover how to bake a perfect potato in the oven with a fluffy interior and crispy skin, and top it off with your favorite toppings for a delicious and easy-to-make side dish that complements any dinner!
Print Recipe



  • 2 cups water warm (130-140°F)
  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 4 (7-9-ounce) Russet potatoes scrubbed and lightly pricked with a fork
  • Vegetable oil or olive oil
  • Favorite seasonings or seasoning blend optional

Potato Toppings (optional):

  • Butter
  • Sour Cream
  • Shredded Cheese
  • Bacon crumbles
  • Chives chopped
  • Green Onions sliced
  • Tomatoes diced
  • Cooked broccoli
  • Sautéed onions
  • Caramelized onions
  • Cooked Hamburger or Sausage
  • Chili
  • Goat Cheese
  • Sautéed mushrooms
  • Grilled or Rotisserie Chicken


  • Cover a rimmed baking sheet with foil and set a wire rack inside.
  • Place oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat oven to 450°F.
  • Dissolve salt in warm water, then place the potatoes in the water to briefly soak for about 10 minutes. Be sure the entire potato is moistened.
    2 cups water, 3 tablespoons kosher salt, 4 (7-9-ounce) Russet potatoes
  • Transfer potatoes to the prepared baking sheet and bake at 450°F, 45-60 minutes. If using a food thermometer, the center of the largest potato should register 205°F.
  • Remove potatoes from the oven and leave the oven on. Brush the tops and sides of the potatoes with oil, and sprinkle them with the seasonings (or at least salt and pepper). Place the potatoes back in the oven and bake another 10 minutes.
    Vegetable oil, Favorite seasonings or seasoning blend
  • Transfer potatoes to a serving dish or plates. Immediately after removing the potatoes from the oven, use a sharp paring knife to cut a large X into the top of each potato (to release steam). Use paper towels to hold both ends of the potato and push together. Push firmly (but not too hard), and squeeze the potatoes (slightly harder from the lower sides of the ends of each potato). The flesh will push slightly up and out.
  • Top the potatoes with your favorite baked potato toppings and serve. Enjoy!
    Butter, Sour Cream, Shredded Cheese, Bacon crumbles, Chives, Green Onions, Tomatoes, Cooked broccoli, Sautéed onions, Caramelized onions, Cooked Hamburger or Sausage, Chili, Goat Cheese, Sautéed mushrooms, Grilled or Rotisserie Chicken



  • The best type of potato for baking is a Russet potato. Russets are starchy and have a high water content, which makes them ideal for baking.
  • Scrub the potatoes thoroughly with a brush under cold water to remove any dirt or debris. Dry them with a paper towel to remove any excess water.
  • Use a fork to poke several holes in the potatoes. This will allow steam to escape and prevent the potatoes from exploding in the oven.
  • Nutritional information does not include optional ingredients.
Storage: Store baked potatoes in an airtight container or Ziplock bag in the refrigerator for up to 2 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months.


Serving: 1potato | Calories: 352kcal | Carbohydrates: 67g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.04g | Sodium: 606mg | Potassium: 1539mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 4IU | Vitamin C: 21mg | Calcium: 52mg | Iron: 3mg