Wondering how restaurants get those perfectly baked potatoes? Here’s the hints on how to make the best oven baked potatoes with salty, crispy skin and fluffy potato inside.
Does your family love potatoes? Mine will take them any way they can get them: stuffed potatoes, cheesy potatoes, roasted potatoes…even sweet potatoes. If potatoes are for dinner, they’re 100% all in.
How did your mom bake potatoes when you were growing up? I honestly can’t remember how my mom did, but I know that when I first got married, if I wanted a baked potato, I’d take the easy route and throw them in the microwave.
Now baked potatoes are good any time and with just about any main dish recipe, but microwaving a baked potato can lead to dry potato skin and even a dry potato inside if you cook it too long.
As we started visiting several steakhouses that served amazing, crispy, salted skin baked potatoes, I knew I had to figure out how to get that same flavor and texture at home.
We’ve made baked potatoes in the air fryer, but what about the perfect baked potato in the oven?
We’re talking the best baked potato recipe here today that takes just 5 minutes prep time and yes, a little longer to bake than the microwave, but so totally worth it.
What are the best potatoes for baking?
To start, you need to choose the best type of potato. As you remember from our ultimate potato guide that we shared last year, Russet potatoes are the best for baking. They are a high starch potato that when baked, lend a light, mealy texture.
What is the best way to bake a potato?
If you love the restaurant-style, crispy skin baked potatoes, here’s how you get it.
- Wash and dry 4 large Russet potatoes.
- Rub olive oil all over the outside of the potatoes.
- Rub salt on the outside of the potatoes. Be generous with both the oil and the salt. It’s what gives the potatoes that amazing flavor and makes you want to eat the skin.
- Place the potatoes on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated oven (425ºF) for about 50 minutes. The exact timing will depend on how large the potato is.
Frequently Asked Questions
You will often see recipes for wrapping a potato in foil. Although this works, we don’t believe this is best. The potato actually gets “steamed” and the skin will not get crispy if it is baked wrapped in foil. For that reason, we say no foil is best!
The purpose behind piercing a potato with a fork is to let the steam escape and prevent the potatoes from exploding while baking. I’ll be honest that I don’t always poke the potatoes before I bake them. I’ve never had a potato explode on me. But…for safety, I do recommend piercing the potatoes.
I like to bake potatoes at 425 degrees. It generally takes a large Russet potato about 45 minutes to become tender, but the exact timing will depend on how large the potato is. And testing the potatoes is when I do pierce them with a fork. Poke the potato with a fork to ensure that the potato is soft inside.
According to the Idaho Potato Commission, the perfect baked potato will be 210º Fahrenheit inside.
Baked potatoes are not low in carbs, but they are a natural food so are a great option, especially for those who lead active lifestyles. Be sure to eat the skin where most of the vitamins and minerals are.
What’s the Best Baked Potato Recipe?
You’ll find that just below. Because of the flavor of the olive oil and salt, I’m happy just topping the baked potato with butter and a little bit of fresh parsley, but when I’m feelin’ crazy? Serve with sour cream, cheddar cheese, chives and bacon for the most delicious loaded baked potatoes.
Pro Tip: If you are fixing bacon as a topping, cook it in advance and rub bacon grease on the outside of the potato rather than oil. It’s amazing!
Another Tip: Use coconut oil or butter for rubbing on the outside. Each fat gives just a little bit of a different flavor. Try several to find which one your family likes best.
Baked Potato Toppings
Baked potato bars are a fun idea for a party. Here’s some toppings ideas other than traditional cheese, sour cream and onions:
- Leftover Chili
- Broccoli and cheddar
- Pizza toppings
- Taco meat and cheese
- Avocado (Guacamole)
- Buffalo Chicken Dip (don’t knock it until you try it!)
- Cream Cheese
- Minced Garlic
Our most popular potato side dish recipes:
- Easy Oven Roasted Potatoes
- Rich and Creamy Mashed Potatoes
- Oven Baked Cheesy Potatoes
- Grilled Baked Potatoes
- Buttery Crusted Baked Potatoes
- Christmas Cheesy Potatoes
- Spinach Mashed Potatoes
- Baked Potato Wedges
Serve these classic potatoes alongside our favorite corn dish for a delicious meal.
Oven Baked Potatoes
- 4 large Russet potatoes
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon salt
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
- Wash and dry the potatoes.
- Pierce the potato 2-3 times with a fork (See notes in article above!)
- Rub oil all over the potatoes (or choose one of the other options above to rub on the outside).
- Rub salt all over the potatoes. We prefer coarse sea salt or pink himalayan salt.
- Place the potatoes on a baking sheet and bake for about 45 minutes.
- The exact baking time will depend on how large the potatoes are. The potato should be tender inside if you poke a fork into it.
- Serve with butter, cheese, chives, sour cream and all of your favorite toppings!