Perfect Baked Potatoes

Baked Potato

The Spruce / Diana Rattray

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 60 mins
Total: 65 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
310 Calories
3g Fat
64g Carbs
8g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 310
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 3g 3%
Saturated Fat 0g 2%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 42mg 2%
Total Carbohydrate 64g 23%
Dietary Fiber 7g 25%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 8g
Vitamin C 25mg 124%
Calcium 54mg 4%
Iron 3mg 18%
Potassium 1645mg 35%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Baked potatoes are a classic side dish that can easily be elevated to main dish status. While it doesn't seem like there would be much more to baked potatoes than baking, following a few basic steps will help you make perfect taters every time. Follow this recipe for deliciously fluffy, tender potatoes with a crisp exterior.

Choose russet potatoes (sometimes labeled as Idaho potatoes) for the best results. The skin will crisp up nicely while the thick, starchy interior becomes melt-in-your-mouth soft. Depending on their size, one potato should be more than enough per person. Prepping them is easy; be sure to scrub the potatoes well to remove dirt and imperfections, then prick the potatoes to let off steam as they bake.

Top your baked potato simply with butter, salt, and pepper, or add some embellishments like sour cream and chives. The classic side pairs well with steaks, pork chops, chicken, barbecue, and more. Try setting up a baked potato bar with plenty of toppings, or upgrade them to main dish with hearty toppings like chili or broccoli and cheese.

Ingredients

  • 6 large baking potatoes

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • Coarse kosher salt, optional

  • Butter or sour cream, optional

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients. Preheat the oven to 350 F.

  2. Scrub the potatoes under running water to remove dirt; use a small sharp knife to remove imperfections such as cuts or small bruises, if needed.

  3. Use a skewer or sharp fork to prick each potato deeply in several places. This allows steam to escape while the potatoes are baking.

  4. Rub each of the potatoes lightly with olive oil and, if desired, sprinkle with or roll in coarse salt.

  5. Place the potatoes directly on an oven rack in the center of the oven. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender and a fork will easily pierce the largest potato when inserted into the center.

  6. Remove to ​serving plate or individual plates and make a shallow cut down the center of each potato. Peel back a little of the skin on each and fluff a little of the potato with a fork.

  7. Serve with butter, if desired, or your choice of toppings.

How to Store

  • Store leftover baked potatoes in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days.
  • Reheat, loosely covered, in the microwave in 30-second increments.
  • While you can enjoy leftover baked potatoes as-is, you can also use them as a shortcut to making potato hash, potato skins, stuffed potatoes, and more.

How to Serve Baked Potatoes

  • Serve simply with salt and pepper and butter.
  • Top with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkling of chives or green onions.
  • Add shredded cheese or cheese sauce to the mix. A cheesy potato is also great with steamed or roasted broccoli.
  • Add a hearty sprinkle of cooked, chopped bacon.
  • Top with a ladle of chili and, if desired, cheese or sour cream.
  • Get creative and make it a main dish with barbecue pulled pork or Buffalo chicken.
  • Go Southwestern with back beans, salsa, and sour cream.

Tips

  • When shopping for potatoes, look for firm spuds with no mushy or dark spots and no sprouts. Store potatoes in a cool, dark, well-ventilated place.
  • If you're worried about drips, you can place a baking sheet on the oven rack beneath the potatoes.

At What Temperature Is a Baked Potato Done?

When a baked potato is fully cooked, the internal temperature should register as roughly 210 F.

Should You Wrap a Potato in Foil When Baking?

While you can wrap a potato in foil before baking, it's not necessary. You'll achieve a crispier skin without the foil.

How Many Potatoes Can I Bake at Once?

You can bake as many potatoes as will fit in a single layer on a rack in your oven. If you're baking several, you may want to rotate their oven position halfway through baking for even cooking.