Crispy Baked Potatoes in the Oven

This is the perfect baked potato in the oven has a crispy skin with fluffy inside. Top with butter, sour cream and chives…. or any other toppings you can dream up.

overhead shot of baked potato in oven with text overlay for facebook


I hope I am not the only that considers a baked potato to be a whole meal. I mean, when paired with a steak it is certainly an expectable side dish, but I am not complaining with a spud alone. A the best baked potato is actually a super easy recipe, double win!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

The perfect potato with a fluffy inside and crispy skin- what’s not to love!

  • Simple ingredients – Besides any toppings that you might want to add, these baked potatoes really only require 3 ingredients.
  • Easy customizable – The great thing about baked potatoes is that you can add just about any toppings you’d like to. From bacon and cheese to pulled pork and chili!
  • Loved by all – Potatoes are one of those things that everyone loves- even the pickiest of eaters are sure to enjoy them.
angled shot of baked potatoes with different toppings on a tray

Baked Potatoes in the Oven

Baked potatoes in the oven are a wondrous things. Fluffy potatoes with a nice crispy skin. When cut open they are a blank canvas waiting to be painted with anything from a sprinkle of salt to leftover pulled pork.

Jacket potatoes is another common term for a baked potato. They are typically served “loaded” which means topped with butter, sour cream, bacon and chives. Some places would also argue this means cheese too.

A basic baked potato is a simple side dish that pairs with nearly any dinner recipe. I can make them ahead of time, seeing they take a while, and reheat in the oven for perfectly crispy skin all over again when I am ready to serve. Store leftover potatoes in an airtight container for up to a week.

PRO TIP: Don’t be afraid to eat potato skins. There are tons of nutrients there!

And one last reason I make baked potatoes all the time: my daughter demands them. I know people are tired of hearing about bloggers personal stories, so I’ll keep this one to two sentences.

My 2-year old calls her old school Mr. Potato Head a “baked potato” and she is obsessed with the thing. She often requests baked potatoes for dinner and since she is quite the foodie, she also prefers a crunchy skin.

Best Potatoes for Baked Potatoes

Really any kind of potato can be baked. Russet Potatoes seem to be the number 1 choice. They have a thick skin and the starchy interior has a sweet flavor and fluffy insides.

They are hardy and can hold lots of toppings (or none at all). Russets are also fairly large, so one can suffice for a whole meal or a solid side dish. Idaho potatoes come in second, Yukon gold is third and while they are a little bit more waxy, I actually like red potatoes too, but they don’t have the crunchiest of skins.

Other types of potatoes can be baked, but they have less starchy flesh or a thinner skin that makes them not as ideal.

overhead shot of baked potato with sour cream and butter

Best Baked Potato Recipe

Like so many things in life, there are many right ways to get the same results. The best baked potatoes will depend on your lifestyle- if you are trying to be a little healthier or omit sodium.

  1. Prep potatoes. Wash your potatoes. Using a potato nail or fork, poke holes all over to prevent them from exploding.
  2. Add olive oil and salt. Roll potatoes in olive oil (or other neutral oil with smoke poke above 400°F) and then coarse Kosher salt. You can do just olive oil, but salt will not stick without oil. This step can also be omitted and you will still get a pretty crunchy skin without the calories and salt. And sometimes… I roll in oil and salt and then dust the salt off after cooking (pictured).
  3. Bake. Place potatoes in the oven. Baking time will depend on size (see below).
  4. Add toppings. Remove carefully with an oven mitt or tongs and allow to cool slightly before dressing with favorite toppings.

Do I need to wrap my baked potato in foil?

If you want a softer skin on your baked potato, wrap them in foil and skip the potato nail. You won’t get a crispy skin because the skin steams instead of crisps regardless of whether you’ve rolled it in salt or not.

But you are rubbing and seasoning your potato, this helps to really get those flavors to sink in. For best results for a crispy skin, I don’t suggest it.

How Long To Bake A Potato

There are several variables about how long it takes to bake a potato. First is the size of the potatoes, second is type of potato and third is the oven temperature. While I am giving you instructions, this recipe is super forgiving and the temp can be adjusted based on other items you might be cooking.

On average, a medium size Russet potato will take 45-60 minutes in the oven at 400°F. Small potatoes will take about 30 minutes while larger potatoes can take upwards of 90 minutes for cooking time.

The great thing about baked potatoes is they can be baked at any temperature and can be placed right on the oven rack (although putting them on a baking sheet can make getting them in and out a little easier), so they are easy to make alongside other dishes cooking in the oven too.

The internal temperature of a baked potato should be between 200°F and 210°F. Remember carryover cooking will account for a 5° increase in temp, so remove them from the the oven slightly before they reach the desired doneness.

Cooking Times for Medium Size Potatoes

  • 350°F 60 to 75 minutes
  • 375°F 50 to 60 minutes
  • 400°F 40 to 50 minutes
overhead shot of baked potato in oven topped with bacon and cheese

Baked Potato in Microwave

Short on time? You can always make them in the microwave too.

  1. Prep potatoes. Scrub the potato, pat it dry and poke holes with a fork. Remove any blemishes with a paring knife.
  2. Add olive oil and salt. Roll in olive oil and Kosher salt just like the oven instructions.
  3. Wrap in paper towel. Wrap it loosely in a paper towel and place it on a microwave-safe plate.
  4. Microwave. Place the potato in the microwave it on HIGH for 5 minutes.
  5. Turn. Turn it over, and microwave it for 3-5 minutes longer or until fork-tender.

You can also make baked potatoes in the Instant Pot or Air Fryer Baked Potatoes!!

close up of baked potato topped with chili and cheese

What to Serve with Baked Potatoes

The great thing about potatoes is they taste great with pretty much anything. And switching up the toppings helps them to be versatile for any meal. Here are a few of our favorite main dishes to serve baked potatoes in the oven with:

Baked Potato Toppings and Variations

Of course the usual easy recipe: butter, shredded cheese, chives or scallions (green onions), crumbed bacon and sour cream. But what are some others that are perfect for a baked potato bar?

We’d love to hear about your favorite baked potato recipe- leave it in the comments!

overhead shot of baked potatoes with different toppings on a tray

Storage and Freezing

Storage: Put baked potatoes in an airtight container or plastic ziplock and refrigerate for up to 3-5 days. You can reheat in the microwave or oven.

Freezing: You can also freeze the potatoes. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap or foil before freezing to prevent freezer burn.

collage of baked potatoes in oven
Stuffed Breakfast Potato on a white plate cut in half

Stuffed Breakfast Potatoes

Stuffed Breakfast Potatoes are scooped baked potatoes stuffed with cheese, your choice of veggies, bacon and an egg. Perfect for feeding a crowd.
See The Recipe!
Sweet Potato Hash Browns are a simple breakfast recipe made with shredded sweet potatoes. Only 3 ingredients and a few minutes to cook! #sweetpotatohashbrowns #shreddedsweetpotatoes

Sweet Potato Hash Browns

Sweet Potato Hash Browns are a simple breakfast recipe made with shredded sweet potatoes. Only 3 ingredients and a few minutes to cook! 
See The Recipe!
overhead shot of baked potato in oven with text overlay for pinterest
overhead shot of baked potatoes with different toppings on a tray

Baked Potatoes in the Oven

4.96 from 49 votes
The perfect baked potato in the oven has a crispy skin with fluffy inside. Top with butter, sour cream and chives!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 4



  • Heat the oven to 400°F. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven.
  • Trim any blemishes with a paring knife.
  • Pierce the potatoes in a few places a fork. This allows steam to escape from the baking potato. If you are using potatoes nails, skewer them here.
  • Roll potatoes in oil and then salt. They don't need to be fully coated, but do the best you can. This step is also optional if you are looking for a healthier or less salty version.
  • Bake the potatoes directly on the oven rack on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet.
  • Bake for 45-60 minutes, turning them once or twice. Exact cooking time will depend on the size of your potatoes. Pierce them with a sharp knife or fork to determine doneness.
  • Remove potatoes. Serve and dress immediately.
  • If you’ve tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was in the comments or ratings.


To speed up baking a potato, pierce it and then microwave for 3-4 minutes. Microwaving cooks from the inside out, so this will soften the interior. DO NOT MICROWAVE WITH A POTATO NAIL IN THE POTATO. Next, bake for 25-35 minutes.


Calories: 168 kcal, Carbohydrates: 38 g, Protein: 5 g, Fat: 1 g, Saturated Fat: 1 g, Sodium: 11 mg, Potassium: 888 mg, Fiber: 3 g, Sugar: 1 g, Vitamin C: 12 mg, Calcium: 28 mg, Iron: 2 mg
Author: Jessica Formicola
Calories: 168
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: baked potato recipe, baked potatoes in the oven, how to make a baked potato
Did you make this recipe?I’d love to see your recipes – snap a picture and mention @savoryexperiments or tag #savoryexperiments!
Jessica Formicola in her ktichen

About the Author

Chef Jessica Anne Formicola

Jessica the mom, wife and chef behind Savory Experiments. You might see her on the Emmy- nominated TV show Plate It! or on bookshelves as a cookbook author. Jessica is a Le Cordon Bleu certified recipe developer and regularly contributed to Parade, Better Homes & Gardens, The Daily Meal, Mashed and more!

Read More About Jessica

4.96 from 49 votes (36 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating

Questions and Reviews

  1. 5 stars
    If I could give this recipe more than 5 stars, I would! I made these last night, and they’re just like the potatoes I love at a restaurant.

  2. 5 stars
    I haven’t even made this recipe, but I know these baked and then stuffed potatoes are going to be fabulous, because I have been cooking for a long time and I like what I cook. I have had two women who are my grandmother and my mother in my life who could cook anything but mostly the old Italian way. I can’t wait to try your cauliflower soup. Your experiments are keepers! Thanks very much. I have subscribed.
    Sincerely, Maryann W.

    1. Thank you, Maryann! I am a real person over here answer messages and notes and it makes me so happy to hear that. Feel free to email me anytime!

  3. 5 stars
    Lovely recipe. Looks very delicious. Everyone in my family loves good baked potatoes. I will definitely give your recipe a try.

  4. 5 stars
    You are not alone! I also consider a baked potato a stand alone meal. I sometimes find it difficult to figure out the cooking time though. So thanks for all the helpful tips in this post.

  5. 5 stars
    I am a potato lover to the core. This is my kind of food. Great as a side dish, or stand-alone meal.

  6. 5 stars
    I love this idea of having a baked potato topping bar! Thanks for the great ideas on how to dress them up. Now I know what to serve with dinner tonight. 🙂