Baked Potatoes

6 servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes

Get Perfect Baked Potatoes every time without a microwave! The best guide for crispy outside tender inside baked potatoes, ready for your favorite toppings.

Whether it’s Mashed Potatoes or Potato Skins, is there a more classic, easy-to-cook-with potato for Side Dishes than a russet potato?

Baked Potato with sour cream on plate


Twice Baked Potatoes and Baked Sweet Potatoes are delicious variations on the original spud, but sometimes you just can’t beat an old fashioned, perfectly cooked Baked Potato. This oven Baked Potato recipe doesn’t require a microwave or aluminum foil, just a little time, a fork, and light seasoning. Potato recipes just don’t get more simple or classic than an oven baked russet!

A good Baked Potato should have slightly crispy skin that doesn’t pull away or have air pockets. A fork-tender fluffy interior is just what you want for absorbing melted butter and sour cream. Our go-to recipe for Baked Potatoes is simple and delicious with just a little oil and sea salt to crisp up the skin and give you the best side for any Main Dish.

There are many ways to make a Baked Potato but the oven-method is the best way for the crispy skin and fluffy interior you want. For hands off potatoes ready when you get home, you can slow cook them. For extra crispy skin, use an air fryer. Par-cooking your potatoes in the microwave speeds up baking time, but you won’t get a perfect Baked Potato with crispy skin.


Why do you prick a baked potato?

As a Baked Potato cooks, the center of the potato gets really hot, radiating out and creating steam that cooks the interior. Pricking your potato allows the steam to release slowly. Too much steam building under the skin pushes it away from the “meat” of the potato. But over pricking releases too much steam and your potato will have a longer baking time and dry out.

Skip the Microwave Method

If the internal temperature rises too fast, like when you use a microwave, the steam rushes to the surface and causes the skin to balloon. When the microwave stops, the heat stops, so the steam rapid releases and the skin deflates. The soggy, wrinkly skin left behind also has air pockets that trap hot air and make hard spots.

The same principle applies to baking the potatoes with aluminum foil, it traps heat to “cook the potato faster”. (It’s not that much faster.) But at the same time, you are steaming the potatoes so leaving the skin wrinkly and soft. Hands down, oven-baking on a wire rack is the best method. It’s worth the extra baking time to get a perfect bite from the outside of the potato all the way through to the fluffy interior.

Baked Potatoes on baking rack


  • How to Prepare: Cool potatoes 3-5 minutes so you can handle them. Cut a slice long ways down the center, about halfway deep. Grasp each long end with forefinger and thumb and push hands gently towards each other to open up. Use a fork to lightly mash interior until fluffy. Load with toppings!
  • Classic: The classic baked potato toppings are butter, sour cream, black pepper, and chives. Simple, timeless, and delicious!
  • Broccoli Cheddar: Top your Baked Potato with Roasted Broccoli and Nacho Cheese Sauce for an easy, classic vegetarian side dish.
  • Bacon Ranch: Brush cooked inside of potato with olive oil and sprinkle with Ranch Dressing Mix. Add crumbled cooked bacon and shredded cheddar cheese on top and broil until the cheese is melted.
  • Italian: Brush with olive oil when baking instead of vegetable oil and drizzle a little olive oil on fluffy cooked insides. Add a tablespoon of Marinara Sauce and top with shredded mozzarella cheese. You can add pizza toppings on top of the sauce too!
  • Taco Potatoes: Toss cooked leftover shredded or Grilled Chicken in Taco Seasoning and microwave until warm. Push fluffy insides down a bit to nestle chicken inside. Cover with cheese and broil until melted. Serve with your favorite toppings for tacos.

Slow Cooker Baked Potatoes

  • Prick the potatoes all over with a fork.
  • Brush with oil and season with salt.
  • Wrap seasoned potatoes in aluminum foil and place in bottom of slow cooker. 
  • Cover with lid and cook on low for 7-8 hours, or on high 4-5 hours, until potatoes are tender.

Air Fryer Baked Potatoes

  • Preheat Air Fryer to 400 degrees F. 
  • Scrub and dry potatoes really well.
  • Poke each potato with a fork a few times over every side.
  • Place 2-3 potatoes in air fryer basket.
  • Cook potatoes for 30-40 minutes, until tender and internal temperature is 205 degrees F.



  • Serve: Baked Potatoes can be at room temperature for up to 2 hours before they should be refrigerated. 
  • Store: Cool Baked Potatoes before storing and line container with paper towels to absorb moisture. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 1 week. Reheat on a microwave-safe dish, covered with a moist paper towel on 50% power until hot.
  • Freeze: Once potatoes are cooled, wrap in aluminum foil and store in a freezer safe plastic bag. Reheat Baked Potatoes from frozen wrapped in foil, on the oven rack, at 300 degrees F until hot.


You can check the doneness of your baked potato like meat, measuring the internal temperature with an instant read thermometer. A Baked Potato (russet) is done when the internal temperature reaches 205 degrees F.

Baked Potato with sour cream on plate

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Baked Potatoes

Get Perfect Baked Potatoes every time without a microwave! The best guide for crispy outside tender inside baked potatoes, ready for your favorite toppings.
Yield 6 servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 6 russet potatoes , scrubbed clean
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt


  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  • Line baking sheet with metal cooling/baking rack.
  • Pierce potatoes with fork 8-10 times each.
  • Place on metal rack and bake for 20 minutes.
  • Brush potatoes with oil all over and sprinkle with kosher salt.
  • Flip them over and bake additional 20 minutes.


Calories: 208kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 1173mg | Potassium: 888mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 28mg | Iron: 2mg

Baked Potatoes collage

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

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