The best kind of magic: comforting complex carbs!
Crisp and salty potato skins with the fluffiest potato-y insides?! Oh my gosh, they are the epitome of pure. Add some toppings on and seriously, they might be the most perfect easy-to-make and even easier-to-eat potato out there.
Confession: I was that weird kid that ordered Wendy’s baked potatoes. I mean, I get why no one gets excited about those baked potatoes – they’re often wrinkly and not at all fluffy inside – but a proper baked potato? Those are perfection!
In my books, there are three things you need to have to be considered a perfect baked potato: crispy salty skins, fluffy insides, and piping steamy heat. A proper baked potato is so incredibly easy you’ll wonder why you’ve overlooked them your whole life.
How to bake a potato
- Wash and dry your potato. Give it a good scrub and then make sure it’s completely dry.
- Poke. I have never had a potato explode on me but I also don’t want to clean up exploded potatoes, so I always give my potatoes pokes with a fork.
- Rub with oil. No foil jacket here – all you need to do is loving rub your potato with a bit of oil.
- Salt. Chanel your inner salt bae and make it rain salt. The oil will help the salt stick to the skin.
- Bake. Bake your potato, on a rack in a very hot oven. Give it a flip half way through to encourage even baking.
- Make Fluffy. After your potatoes are baked, use clean oven mitts (or a clean kitchen towel) to squeeze and massage your potato a bit.
- Slice and serve. Cut a little opening, use a fork to fluff, and serve! I like them pure with a pat of really good grass-fed butter and flaky sea salt, but I never ever say no to baked potato toppings!
Ideal temp for a baked potato in oven
The ideal temperature for baked potatoes is 425°F. A super hot oven will help the skins crisp up beautifully and bake the insides to fluffy, steamy perfection.
How long to bake a potato?
Not gonna lie, baked potatoes take time, but it’s worth it.
Bake potatoes for 45 minutes to 1 hour, depending on how big your potatoes are.
Baked potato in foil or no foil?
Should baked potatoes be wrapped in foil? The answer is no! Leaving your potatoes naked in the oven means that the skins will be crispy instead of wrinkly. You know skin on french fries? The skins of these potatoes taste like that.
Baked potato ingredients
Literally all you need is a potato. The best and original baking potato is a russet. Along side your potato you’ll need some oil and salt.
What are the best potatoes for baking?
The absolute best potatoes for baking are russets. Russets are the classic potato for baking. They have a thick skin that crisps up perfectly in a piping hot oven and their starchy insides bake up incredibly fluffy, sweet, and starchy. They’re also suitably large, which is nice because you can make a meal out of one potato. Or even two?!
How to pick the best potatoes
Take your time when you’re picking out your potatoes. You’ll want potatoes that are all about the same size so they finish in the oven at the same time. Give them a gentle squeeze. The best potatoes are firm and not squishy. They should be relatively blemish free with no cuts, bruises, or wrinkles.
Air fryer baked potatoes
To air fry a baked potato: scrub, dry, and poke your potatoes. Rub them with a bit of oil and season with salt. Place in your air fryer and cook on 400°F until fork tender, about 50 minutes to 1 hour, flipping half way.
Crock pot baked potatoes
To make crock pot potatoes: scrub, dry, and poke your potatoes. Rub them with a bit of oil and season with salt. Place in your crock pot and cook on high for 3-4 hours or until fork tender.
Instant Pot baked potatoes
To make Instant pot baked potatoes: place 1 cup of water in the bottom of your crock pot and place the insert inside. Scrub, dry, and poke your potatoes. Rub them with a bit of oil and season with salt. Cook on high pressure for 14 minutes, then natural release.
Microwave baked potato
Microwave a washed, poked, and salted potato on full power for 5 minutes, then flip and go another 5 minutes. use tongs or oven mitts and be careful, the potato will be hot. Do one at a time.
Loaded baked potato
To make a loaded baked potato, bake a potato, fluffy it up, and top with shredded cheddar cheese, crispy bacon, sour cream, and chives or scallions.
Carbonara baked potato
The most luxurious baked potato I make is a carbonara baked potato. It is SO good. Think: the creamy, cheesy, egg sauce you love on pasta, but mixed in with fluffy steamy potatoes. Little crispy nuggets of pancetta and freshly cracked black pepper and you’re GOLD.
To make carbonara sauce, warm 2 tablespooons heavy cream over medium heat in a small sauce pan. When there are whips of smoke, move the cream off the heat and whisk in two egg yolks until thick and creamy. Whisk in 1/4 cup finely grated parm, returning to very very low heat if needed to melt the cheese. Pour on your baked potato and add some crispy bits of pancetta and lots of black pepper.
Other baked potato topping ideas
- Chili: topped with chili, cheddar, sour cream, and scallions
- Broccoli cheddar: roasted broccoli and shredded cheddar
- Mapo: All the spicy meaty deliciousness of mapo minus the tofu topped off with loads cheese. One of my favorite ways to eat baked potatoes!
Heat the oven to 425°F. Scrub and dry your potatoes. Use a fork and lightly poke the potato in a couple of spots.
Rub the potato with oil and season generously with salt. Place on a wire rack on a baking sheet.
Bake for 30 minutes, then flip and bake for another 20-30 minutes. Squeeze or use a fork to check the doneness. The potato should be tender and soft.
Use clean oven mitts or a clean kitchen towel to gently squish your potato to mash the insides a bit. Place the potato on a place and slice lengthwise then use a fork to fluff the insides. Enjoy hot with plenty of butter, sour cream and chives.