A step by step guide to making the Best Baked Potato. Crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, the perfect Jacket Potato is yours, ready and waiting!
For real, who doesn’t love a good jacket potato? The perfect comfort food for literally any occasion. As an ambassador of baked potatoes myself, it’s safe to say i’ve spent too much time perfecting the art of baking potatoes. We’re all looking for a beautifully crispy skin with a fluffy inside right? Okay good, follow me…
Top Tips for the BEST Baked Potato
Here I have compiled some quick game changing tips, to help you finish with the perfect jacket potato every single time. All you need is some spuds, an oven and salt/oil. These steps couldn’t be more simple but the effect they have is huge.
1. Type of Potato – Russets are the most popular for baking as they’re usually very large, with thicker skins and starchy centres. Other large floury potatoes which work well are Maris Pipers and King Edward. For your convenience, most stores will have varieties called ‘Baking Potatoes’. In terms of Sweet Potatoes, you can bake them but because they have a much larger water content it’s difficult to get them crispy and fluffy. Check out this quick Know Your Potatoes article for a little more info on types of potatoes and their uses.
2. Prep – Unless you’re truly at one with mother nature, make sure you wash with cold water to remove any dirt. I also stab my potatoes around 6-8 times (evenly spread) before baking them. This helps release the steam inside whilst it’s cooking, which reduces any chance of an exploding potato in the oven. I’ve also found that not stabbing it sometimes results in the skin becoming too moist from the steam and leaves it a little wilted, instead of firm and crispy. Here’s a great article on To Poke or Not To Poke your potatoes.
3. Oil and Salt – Adding salt not only seasons the potato, but it will also help draw out moisture from the potato and help produce a fluffy interior. Rubbing the potato in oil before baking will finish in a super crispy skin. It’s also pretty convenient in helping the salt stick.
4. Temp and Time – Unfortunately there is no ‘one size fits all’ regarding time, as the size and type of potatoes used will vary. However, I tend to find that 80mins at 180c (355f) and then blasted up to 220c (430f) for 10 minutes works superbly.
5. Topping – Whatever topping you choose, start with butter. It just turns the fluffy inside into rich, creamy goodness. For me? It HAS to be Baked Beans, Cheese and Worcestershire Sauce. Tuna Mayo and Chilli Con Carne are also popular choices. But always butter, ’cause butter makes everything better.
Common Mistakes to Avoid when Baking a Potato
1. The microwave is not your friend – Of course, starting in the microwave is quicker, but your potato will never get truly crispy skin with a fluffy centre. Microwaving produces too much moisture for that. It also cooks the potato unevenly.
2. Ditch the foil – Straight out the window! Giving your jacket potato and extra jacket to bake in will lock in the moisture and keep the skin from getting crispy.
3. Oven Etiquette – Aim for the middle of the oven and spread your spuds out evenly. I also find that using an oven rack instead of a tray helps for a more even bake. Sometimes when using a tray, your baked potato forms a hard flat surface on the bottom.
4. Don’t wait! – No seriously, what are you waiting for!? Crispy baked potatoes don’t stay crispy for long, so get those Instagram snaps in quick!
Quick Summary of the Best Potato Hacks!
How to make the Best Baked Potato (Full Recipe)
The Best Baked Potato
- 4 Baking Potatoes
- 4 knobs Butter
- Olive Oil
- Preheat oven to 180c (355f)
- Begin by washing your potatoes under cold water to remove any dirt.
- Dry with a paper towel, and stab with a fork several times all over, wiping away any extra moisture.
- Coat in a glug of Olive Oil and a good pinch of Salt.
- Pop on an oven rack (not tray) in the middle of the oven, evenly spaced apart.
- Bake uninterrupted for 80mins and then crank up the heat to 220c (430f) for 10mins or until ultra crispy.
- Slice open, add a knob of butter and enjoy with your favourite topping!