Fail-Proof Baked Potato Recipe

5 from 4 votes

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The humble Baked Potato is the easiest, tastiest, most inexpensive side dish that always pleases a crowd. Crispy and salty exterior with a fluffy and soft interior. Top with butter, sour cream, bacon, cheese, chives or whatever your heart desires.

Man oh man, do I love a baked potato. It’s the perfect side dish for so many reasons: easy to make, minimal prep time, so easily accessible (everyone can find a potato!), ultra inexpensive and everyone loves them. Pull Baked Potatoes from the oven to serve alongside any main course for a filling and tasty accompaniment. Family or friends can customize them exactly how they like with any desired toppings. It’s an inexpensive way to feed a crowd that always goes over well!

Baked potato with butter and scallions

Baked Potato Recipe

A baked potato could not get any simpler in terms of ingredients. Here’s what you’ll  need:

  • Russet Potatoes – I go more into what type of potatoes you should get and why.
  • Olive Oil – this helps create a crispy skin.
  • Salt – to taste.

And that’s it! I know, so easy. If you are feeling adventurous you could always rub your potato in other types of seasonings. For example, cajun seasoning is a popular choice for that slightly spicy, salty and rich taste.

How to Bake a Potato

Best Potatoes to Use

And now for a few words on massive Costco-sized potatoes out there and varying baking times.

I love using a good Idaho potato, mainly because I have lived in Idaho for a good chunk of my adult life and they are generally cheap and easy to find. If your bag of potatoes doesn’t say “grown in Idaho” then look for a starchy, Russet potato. Basically they are the same thing.

When picking out potatoes to use for baking, choose Russet potatoes that are similar in size to one another. This will make all the potatoes cook at the same rate, regardless of size. Based on this baked potato recipe below, aim for a medium-size potato that you can hold in your hand comfortably that is not too small.

Beware of the Costco potatoes! Those monsters are enormous and will take forever and a day to cook. For a mashed potato, they would be perfect, but for a baked potato…notsomuch. If you have time to kill, great! Feel free to use them. For this particular application though, head to the regular grocery store.

Foil Wrapped

How to Bake a Potato

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Scrub medium-sized potatoes under cold water and dry with kitchen towels.
  3. Prick with a fork or sharp knife 3-4 times.
  4. Rub with olive oil and salt.
  5. Place on a foil-lined baking sheet.
  6. Bake 45-55 minutes or until soft. (Test with a fork or knife; it should slide in easily.)
  7. Cool slightly before serving with any desired toppings: butter, sour cream, cheese, bacon, salt, pepper, chives, etc..

Using Foil

If you don’t care so much about the salty, crispy skin OR just have a ton of potatoes to bake, wrap each washed, dried and pricked potato in foil. Bake for the same amount of time and serve.

Feel free to leave baked potatoes in a warm oven with the heat turned off before serving to keep warm. When wrapped in foil, they tend to hold their heat a bit longer than the plain olive oil rubbed potato.

Baked Potato Recipe

How long to Bake a Potato

Potato baking times all come down to the size of a potato. The larger the circumference, the longer the baking time. Here is a great rule of thumb:

  • Small potatoes: 35-45 minutes at 425 degrees.
  • Medium potatoes: 45-55 minutes at 425 degrees.
  • Large potatoes: 55-70 minutes at 425 degrees.
  • Costco-sized, mammoth potatoes:  70-90 minutes at 425 degrees.

The cooking time will, of course, vary from kitchen to kitchen because not all ovens and potatoes are the same. But piercing all the potatoes several times right to the center will help the potatoes cook more evenly.

Also, it’s important to note that baked potatoes are very forgiving to being over baked! It is better to over bake a potato than under bake it.

Potato

Using the Microwave

If you own any sort of microwave, you’ve probably noticed that ‘baked potato’ button lingering on the display.

I’m not sure at what point this made its debut, but the microwave is great to use in a pinch when you’re short on time or have a hankering for a fabulous cooked potato.

While the texture of the finished microwave potato isn’t quite the same (or as delicious) as oven-baked, it’s totally passable. So if you need some baked potatoes FAST, the microwave is a great option.

Microwave Baked Potato

  1. Scrub one medium-sized potato under cold water and dry with a kitchen towel.
  2. Prick with a fork or sharp knife 3-4 times, down to the center of the potato.
  3. Microwave on high power for 10 minutes, pausing to flip potato every few minutes for an even ‘bake’.
  4. Potato is done when it can be pricked with a knife or fork easily.
  5. Cool slightly before serving with any desired toppings: butter, sour cream, cheese, bacon, salt, pepper, chives, etc..
Baked Potato

More Potato Recipes to Love!

Not only is this a delicious and nearly fail-proof recipe, but it’ll make you fall in love with potatoes all over again. SO delicious!

Grab the printable recipe below and save, bookmark, pin or print this basic recipe because it’s a simple one you won’t want to lose.

5 from 4 votes

Baked Potato Recipe

The humble Baked Potato is the easiest, tastiest, most inexpensive side dish that always pleases a crowd. Crispy and salty exterior with a fluffy and soft interior. 
servings 4 servings
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 55 mins
Total Time 1 hr 5 mins

Ingredients

  • 4 medium russet potatoes
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt to taste

Instructions

Oven Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Scrub medium-sized potatoes under cold water and dry with kitchen towels.
  • Prick with a fork or sharp knife 3-4 times. (Prick down far enough into the center of the potato for even cooking times.) Rub with olive oil and salt. Place on a foil-lined baking sheet.
  • Bake 45-55 minutes or until soft. (Test with a fork or knife; it should slide in easily.) Cool slightly before serving with any desired toppings: butter, sour cream, cheese, bacon, salt, pepper, chives, etc..

Microwave Directions:

  • Scrub one medium-sized potato under cold water and dry with a kitchen towel. Prick with a fork or sharp knife 3-4 times, down to the center of the potato.
  • Microwave on high power for 10 minutes, pausing to flip potato every few minutes for an even 'bake'. Potato is done when it can be pricked with a knife or fork easily.
  • Cool slightly before serving with any desired toppings: butter, sour cream, cheese, bacon, salt, pepper, chives, etc..

Nutrition

Calories: 292kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 10mg | Potassium: 888mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin C: 12.1mg | Calcium: 28mg | Iron: 1.9mg
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: baked potato, baked potato oven, baked potato recipe, how to bake a potato, microwave baked potato
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Recipe Rating




9 Responses
  1. Shelli

    5 stars
    Love love a baked potato. Love the versatility ♥️ don’t forget to try insta pot or air fryer for different textures!
    Sadly I have never seen a decent potato at cost Co 🙁

    1. Jackie05478

      Their fingerling potatoes and small baby bakers (I think that’s what they are called) are wonderful and so much cheaper than the grocery store.

  2. Lena Boyd

    5 stars
    Thank you for the basic recipe, We love the Baked Potato, and I grow Chives so we load or eat simply, love, love..

  3. Melissa

    5 stars
    We had this recipe for baked potatoes alongside some smoked pork shoulder tonight. The combo was SO good! This recipe is basic, simple, and easy but more importantly, it is so helpful and informative. For anyone just starting to cook on their own or needing a good how-to, this is it.

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  6. Connie

    I used a method last year for 80 potatoes. Now I can’t remember how. Put them into a cold oven and then baked but how long?