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!
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.
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.
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
- Beans and Cheese (British Classic)
- Tuna Mayo (the recipe for my tuna bagels go nicely on top)
- Chilli Con Carne
- Chicken Salad
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.
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!
Best Potato Hacks
Phew, we made it! Trust me it’ll be worth it in the end. Just to summarise:
Alrighty, let’s tuck into the full baked potato recipe shall we?!
How to make the Best Baked Potato & Video (Full Recipe)
The Best Baked Potato
- Large Baking Tray
- Wire Rack (optional)
- Paper Towels
Ingredients (check list):
- 4 Baking Potatoes (see notes)
- 4 knobs Butter
- Olive Oil
- 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.
- Slice open, add a knob of butter and enjoy with your favourite topping!
Quick 1 min demo!
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!