Baked Potatoes in the Oven

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  • 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.

    Overhead of loaded baked potato 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!

    Hot Potato!

    Baked potatoes in the oven are a wondrous things. Crispy outside with a soft, fluffy inside. 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.

    Raw potatoes on a cutting board

    They are versatile and pair with nearly any entrée. 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.

    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.

    Potatoes on a baking sheet with potato nails

    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.

    What are the best potatoes for baked potatoes?

    Russet Potatoes are the best for baking. The skins are thicker and the starchy interior has a sweet flavor and fluffy texture.

    overhead of loaded baked potato

    They are hardy and can hold lots of toppings (or none at all). Russet potatoes are also fairly large, so one can suffice for a whole meal or a solid side dish.

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

    Loaded baked potato from the side

    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.

    But you are rubbing and seasoning your potato, this helps to really get those flavors to sink in.

    How Long To Bake A Potato?

    There are several variables about how long it takes to bake a potato. First is size, second is type of potato and third is the temperature of the oven.

    On average, a medium size Russet potato will take 45-60 minutes in the oven at 400 degrees.

    The great thing about baked potatoes is they can be baked at any temperature and don’t need a dish, so they are easy to make alongside other dishes cooking in the oven too.

    Cooking Times for medium Russet Potatoes:

    • 350°F 60 to 75 minutes
    • 375°F 50 to 60 minutes
    • 400°F 40 to 50 minutes

    Microwave Baked Potatoes:

    First, let’s say this technically isn’t baked if you nuke it. But sometimes you have a craving and need a potato FAST!

    The second warning I will give you is that the skin will not be crispy. There is no trick or secret. Microwaved potatoes do not have crispy skin.

    Do not wrap your potato in foil or use potato nails if you plan to microwave it.

    Here is how you bake a potato in the microwave:

    1. Scrub the potato, pat it dry and pierce it with a fork.
    2. Wrap it loosely in a paper towel and place it on a plate.
    3. Microwave it on HIGH for 5 minutes.
    4. Turn it over, and microwave it for 3-5 minutes longer or until fork-tender.
    Baked potatoes in the oven for Pinterest

    How do I make baked potatoes on the grill?

    If you plan to make baked potatoes on the grill you will need to wrap them in foil to protect the skin from burning to ash while cooking. It takes the same amount of time as baking at the same temperature.

    The perks are that it won’t heat up your kitchen in the middle of the summer and can be cooked alongside anything else you grilling up.

    1. Preheat the oven to 375-400 degrees.
    2. Prep your potatoes and wrap in heavy duty aluminum foil. Rub with oil and seasonings, if desired.
    3. Bake with lid closed for 50-60 minutes, turning once while cooking.
    4. Remove and enjoy!

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

    What are the best baked potato toppings?

    Of course the usual: butter, shredded cheese, chives or scallions, 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 toppings- leave them in the comments!

    Close up of loaded baked potato

    Questions you might have about how to bake a potato:

    Do I need to use olive oil, salt and pepper on the skins? Some people do, but I have never found it necessary. If you do want to, rub with a small amount of olive oil and season generously in step #3.

    Do I need potato nails for baking? No. In fact I am pretty sure most people don’t use them and they can be hard to find. My mother always used them so I tend to as well. They get hot and heat the interior, helping it cook just a tad faster.

    What happens if I don’t pierce my potatoes? They will explode. Trust me, I’ve done this before by accident.

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

    Here are some quick meals to serve with your baked potatoes:


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    overhead of loaded baked potato
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    5 from 3 votes

    Baked Potatoes in the Oven

    The perfect baked potato in the oven has a crispy skin with fluffy inside. Top with butter, sour cream and chives!
    Prep Time5 mins
    Cook Time1 hr
    Course: Main Course, Side Dish
    Cuisine: American
    Keyword: baked potato recipe, baked potatoes in the oven
    Servings: 4
    Calories: 168kcal
    Author: Jessica Formicola



    • Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven.
    • Trim any blemishes with a paring knife.
    • Pierce the potatoes in a few places with the tines of a fork. This allows steam to escape from the baking potato. If you are using potatoes nails, skewer them here.
    • 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!


    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: 168kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 11mg | Potassium: 888mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 28mg | Iron: 2mg

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