Perfect Baked Potato Method

The Perfect Baked Potato Method

I know this recipe may seem a little.. well.. basic, but it’s a good one to know! Every time I make baked potatoes I do it this way. You will get a perfect baked potato every time. You know how sometimes when you make homemade baked potatoes they end up kind of gummy and they aren’t soft and fluffy on the inside? If you bake potatoes this way, you will never have that problem again. It’s time to throw away the tin foil people! Be sure to add a little more time if you are making a lot of potatoes – you will want to increase the time by 10 minutes for every few additional potatoes.

Perfect Baked Potato

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  • 1 large russet potato
  • Oil (vegetable or canola oil)
  • Kosher salt


  • Heat oven to 350 degrees and position racks in top and bottom thirds. Wash potato (or potatoes) thoroughly with cold water. Dry well, then using a fork poke 8 to 12 deep holes all over the potato. Place in a bowl and coat lightly with oil. Sprinkle with kosher salt and place potato directly on the rack in the middle of oven. Place a baking sheet on the lower rack to catch any drippings.
  • Bake 1 hour or until skin feels crisp but flesh beneath feels soft. Serve by creating a dotted line from end to end with your fork, then crack the potato open by pushing the ends towards one another. The potato will be hot and steamy so be careful!
  • NOTE: If you're cooking more than 4 potatoes, you'll need to extend the cooking time by up to 15 minutes.


  1. Brooke Trogdon says:

    That's so funny you posted this. I know how to bake a potato BUT the other day I decided to google "how to bake a potato" and there is a website called and it does this exact process that you posted. They were super yummy and great for when you're broke!

  2. Quinn and Suzanne says:

    Thanks! This is simple but fundamental — super helpful!

  3. Kim says:

    Tried this method tonight. My potatoes took an hour and a half to cook. I only cooked four average sized potatoes. One turned out super super dry, and one was way underdone. I don't know what I did wrong, but I won't make these again.

    • S says:

      You should make sure your oven temp is right. Buy one of those cheap thermometers that you leave in the oven and see if it’s really 350 degrees. I checked when I visited my parents and their oven was off by 25 degrees. Always check when you move into a new house or visit long term.

    • Corinthian Minner says:

      Cook your potatoes at a higher temp. I always cook mine at no less than 425. I also don’t punch holes in them (thus no need for a pan underneath) and my potatoes are scrumptious. I’ve had to give out this “simple” recipe over and over because the potatoes are so fantastic.

    • Bonny says:

      Make sure your potatoes are near the same size. If one is smaller than the others, put it in 5-10 minutes earlier to give it a longer baking time.

  4. Meg says:

    Is there a way to get this flavor and texture from making the pototoes in the microwave oven?

    • Erica says:

      @Meg– Haven’t tried it in the microwave. I can’t promise you will get the same flavor and texture!

    • Sally says:

      Just visiting, but will jump in here. No, you can’t get the same results in a microwave. Microwaved “baked” potatoes are steamed, not baked.

    • Emma says:

      I cook mine in the microwave (add the olive oil and salt, and cover in wrap before ‘zapping’ for 8 mins). If you eat the skins (and why the heck wouldn’t you!) either grill or top-up in the over for another 10-15 mins. This way you get the crispy-ness you can’t achieve in the microwave.

  5. Hannah says:

    I tried this the other day and they turned out wonderful!!! I even added garlic powder along with the salt on the outside and it was delicious!

  6. Thesha says:

    Its embarrassing to admit but I have never made a baked potato before, however, I have them on the menu for later in the week so this post came at just the right time. Thanks!

  7. Rachel says:

    I do my potatoes in the microwave. I scrub them, rub with oil or butter (just enough to put a very thin layer on), sprinkle with kosher salt then place them in a plastic (WalMart) bag, add a couple of tablespoons of water (I make 3 potatoes – usually red ones) and cook 3-5 minutes, check them by squeezing and adjust cook time accordingly. Very moist!!

  8. Amanda says:

    I rub our taters down with butter or olive oil, and seasoned salt plus pepper. Wrap them in tinfoil and stick in the oven. Skins always come out crisp and flavorful and the insides are fluffy deliciousness.

  9. Kimmy P says:

    love this recipe. Ready in an hour as stated. Inside was so soft. Wish the skin was crispier, but would cook this again.

  10. Patty says:

    Who doesn’t like a baked potato with a nice salty crispy skin. But when I am in a hurry to prep a meal and my husband decides at the last minute that he wants a baked potato I will cook them in the microwave for just a few minutes (depending on the size of the potatoes) and then will finish them off in the oven. He never knew difference.

    • Echo says:

      That is a great idea for when you don’t want to heat up the house in the summer too. Thank you for the tip!

  11. Corinthian Minner says:

    Your recipe is almost identical to mine, except I don’t understand why you punch holes in the potatoes? That allows moisture to release to drip in a pan that is completely unnecessary.

    Simply wash potatoes. Dry. Rub in olive oil and place on an oven rack. Bake at 425-450 degrees until a fork inserted in the top goes in easily past the skin. This way allows no moisture to escape the potato and the inside is light and fluffy and as juicy as a potato can be. Plus, the skin is hard, allowing for easy scooping of the potatoes insides and is wonderful for twice baked potatoes

  12. Bonny says:

    Poking holes in a potato before baking it insures it won’t build up pressure inside and explode. When I was a new wife, I didn’t know to do this and I once had to clean up little bitty potato parts from all over my oven. I then looked up how to bake a potato & read that it should always be poked with a fork before baking.

    • Tim says:

      I agree, you are risking a huge mess, by not poking holes in the top of the potatoe, 3 pokes with a fork, an inch deep, works perfectly.

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