Potato/ Sides

The Best Baked Potato

November 13, 2017 (Last Updated: December 15, 2019) by Chris Collins

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!

baked potato with beans and cheese on chopping board with more in the distance

Top Tips for the BEST Baked Potato

We’re all looking for a beautifully crispy skin with a fluffy inside right? Okay good.

Here I have compiled some quick game changing tips, to help you finish with the perfect jacket potato in the oven 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. Best Potatoes for Baking

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’. Check out this quick Know Your Potatoes article for a little more info on types of potatoes and their uses.

close up shot of raw potato with 3 more blurred in the background

2. Do you have to stab baked potatoes?

Short answer is no, BUT… I usually 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 is all you need!

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. What temperature to bake potatoes?

It took me a lot of tweaking for this one, but for me the perfect time and temperature to bake a potato is 80mins at 180c (355f) and then blasted up to 220c (430f) for 10 minutes. The lower temperature gives the potato a decent time to cook through the centre and get rid of as much moisture as possible. The blast at the end produces that gorgeous crunchy skin you’re after.

Of course all potatoes will cook at a slightly different speed (mostly depending on size rather than variety) so just be vigilant after 60mins at 180c/355f.

4 baked potatoes on a wire rack ready for the oven

5. Baked Potato Toppings

Whatever topping you choose, start with butter. It just turns the fluffy inside into rich, creamy goodness. But here’s some of my favourites:

Best Baked Potato Toppings

Instead of topping the potatoes, you can also slice the top off, scoop out the centre and add a different filling. This is exactly what I do with my Jalapeno Popper Loaded Potatoes and Cheesy Broccoli Stuffed Potatoes.

golden baked potato fresh out the oven on wooden board with more lined up blurred in the background

Common Mistakes to Avoid when Baking a Potato

1. Baked potato microwave and oven

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. Should baked potatoes be wrapped in foil?

No – chuck that 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!

jacket potato with beans and cheese with beans pouring out on chopping board

Best Potato Hacks

Phew, we made it! Trust me it’ll be worth it in the end. Just to summarise:

The Best Baked Potato Guidance Do's and Don'ts

Alrighty, let’s tuck into the full baked potato recipe shall we?!

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How to make the Best Baked Potato & Video (Full Recipe)

baked potato with beans pouring out on chopping board with 3 more blurred in the background

The Best Baked Potato

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!
5 from 11 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dinner / Lunch
Cuisine: American / English
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings (click & slide): 4
Calories: 433kcal
Cost per serving: 50c / 50p

Equipment:

  • Large Baking Tray
  • Wire Rack (optional)
  • Paper Towels

Ingredients (check list):

  • 4 Baking Potatoes (see notes)
  • 4 knobs Butter
  • Salt
  • Olive Oil

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 356f/180c
  • Begin by washing your potatoes under cold water to remove any dirt.
  • Thoroughly 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 tray (or wire rack if you have one).
  • Bake uninterrupted for 80mins, then crank up the heat to 430f/220c for 10mins or until ultra crispy.Β 
  • Slice open, add a knob of butter and enjoy with your favourite topping!

Quick 1 min demo!

Notes:

a) What Potato to use - Russets are great because they're large, with thick skin and starchy centres. Maris Pipers and King Edwards also work great. Some supermarkets also sell a variety of potato called 'Baking Potatoes' which is also quite handy.
b) Stabbing - Stabbing the potatoes is important to allow moisture to escape during cooking. Just be sure to wipe away any moisture after doing this (and also important to thoroughly dry after washing). Any excess moisture will cause the potatoes the steam and prevent crispiness.
c) Foil - Absolutely no need for this. As above, it encourages steaming and prevents the skins from getting crispy.
d) Toppings - A real British combo is baked beans, cheese and Worcestershire sauce (personal fave). Tuna mayo works great, as does chicken salad and chilli con carne. Or, just add a good dollop of butter and serve as a side.
e) Calories - Based on using 1 tsp olive oil and 1 tbsp butter per large russet potato.

Nutrition:

Nutrition Facts
The Best Baked Potato
Amount Per Serving
Calories 433 Calories from Fat 147
% Daily Value*
Fat 16.31g25%
Saturated Fat 8.012g40%
Trans Fat 0.468g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.064g
Monounsaturated Fat 6.276g
Cholesterol 31mg10%
Sodium 110mg5%
Potassium 1542mg44%
Carbohydrates 66.69g22%
Fiber 4.8g19%
Sugar 2.3g3%
Protein 8.02g16%
Vitamin A 359IU7%
Vitamin C 21mg25%
Calcium 51mg5%
Iron 3.2mg18%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition is based on the absence of salt unless stated as a measurement in the ingredients. Cost is worked out based on ingredients bought from UK supermarkets, then divided by the number of servings. In both instances these values are just for guidance. Please check out my FAQ Page for more info.
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If you loved these steps for the Best Oven Baked Potato then be sure to pin the recipe for later! Already made it or got a  burning question? Give me a shout in the comments below and pick up your free ecookbook along the way!

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23 Comments

  • Reply
    Jenn
    December 15, 2019 at 10:20 pm

    5 stars
    I”m a baked potato NUT and these were super amazing! They are on my list of favorites, and thank for the baking tips – they come out perfectly made this way!

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      December 17, 2019 at 10:04 am

      That’s awesome to hear, thanks Jenn! πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Erika
    December 15, 2019 at 9:59 pm

    5 stars
    I love baked potatoes. The toppings are so versatile too. I like bacon on mine!

  • Reply
    Anita
    December 15, 2019 at 9:13 pm

    5 stars
    Thanks for all the helpful tips. I’ve been committing the microwave and aluminum foil mistakes. Not anymore. πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Kate
    December 15, 2019 at 8:39 pm

    Looks so yummy and delicious! Can’t wait to try this thanks for sharing!!

  • Reply
    Veena Azmanov
    December 15, 2019 at 7:55 pm

    5 stars
    Yum and super delicious. Love your detailed explanation to making this awesome dish and homemade special to. Cheese is my all time favorite too.

  • Reply
    Jaia
    September 22, 2018 at 6:50 pm

    5 stars
    I just tried your method and have the most delicious jackets!

    They were crispy on the outside and cooked to perfection on the inside. I love that I don’t have to put them in the microwave or keep checking/rotating them whilst cooking. Also, I didn’t have a wire rack, I just stuck them on the baking tray and they were fine.

    Thank you!

    • Reply
      Chris
      September 23, 2018 at 1:53 pm

      So glad you loved them!! Thanks for coming back and sharing your kind words πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Laura
    November 14, 2017 at 4:07 pm

    5 stars
    I can see you have reached perfection! Now I need to make one. But what about cooking it on a barbecue? I have great expectations from you now ! Keep me posted

    • Reply
      Chris
      November 14, 2017 at 4:52 pm

      Haha! Testing an Englishman on his barbecue skills, how could you!? I would use the same concept, cook over indirect heat then plonk over direct heat to crisp it up (flipping once).

      • Reply
        Laura
        November 15, 2017 at 2:54 pm

        5 stars
        Haha, I could. I married an Irish one !! Well done !

  • Reply
    Silvia
    November 14, 2017 at 3:32 pm

    5 stars
    I looove baking whole potatoes. It’s one of my childhood memories. I like them with butter and salt.

    • Reply
      Chris
      November 14, 2017 at 3:47 pm

      Butter and salt ftw!!

  • Reply
    Jordan
    November 14, 2017 at 3:10 pm

    5 stars
    I love these tips! Such a great post, I will need to pin this for later!

    • Reply
      Chris
      November 14, 2017 at 3:24 pm

      Thanks, Jordan! πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    lisa
    November 14, 2017 at 1:25 pm

    5 stars
    Truly a masterful baked potato. I haven’t baked potatoes in a long time, but this looks like a meal unto itself! I’m in!

    • Reply
      Chris
      November 14, 2017 at 2:58 pm

      Yay! Go and remind yourself how amazing baked potatoes are:)

  • Reply
    Liz @ I Heart Vegetables
    November 14, 2017 at 12:36 pm

    5 stars
    I love mine topped with cheese and broccoli! Such an easy but delicious meal, especially for a big group!

    • Reply
      Chris
      November 14, 2017 at 2:57 pm

      Cheese and broccoli sounds delish! Straight on the to-cook list!

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