Perfect Baked Potatoes with crispy skin and a fluffy buttery interior are a kitchen staple you need to know how to make.
Far from your average spud, these baked potatoes can be covered in toppings to make a hearty meal or stuffed with butter and cheese for an extraordinary side dish.
It’s not difficult to make baked potatoes that everyone will rave over. I use plenty of olive oil, kosher salt and just the right amount of time in the oven to make potatoes that are truly deserving of the label “perfect.”
Perfect Baked Potatoes
If you’ve tended to shrug off baked potatoes as a boring side dish, now’s the time to reconsider your stance. I guarantee you these Perfect Baked Potatoes can change your mind.
Too often baked potatoes turn out waxy with tough skin, or else overcooked and mushy. When done right though? Baked potatoes are delicious eaten on their own with a little salt and butter or covered with your favorite toppings. The possibilities are endless.
Potatoes are economical and almost universally loved, so knowing how to bake a potato just right can save you in many a meal prepping emergency.
Lucky for all of us, it’s so easy to bake the perfect potato that my youngest son was my helper as we shot the video prepping these potatoes. (So, feel free to grin at his little hands- or maybe that’s just me grinning at them.)
Forgot to plan a side dish for tonight’s dinner? Baked potatoes are the answer.
Need to figure out a recipe that will feed a crowd and satisfy kids and adults alike without breaking the budget? Baked Potato Bar to the rescue!
Almost everyone loves potatoes and there are so many ways to serve baked potatoes that you really can’t go wrong with adding them to your meal rotation.
Baked Potato Toppings
Everyone has their favorite way to top a baked potato. You can’t go wrong with a classic combo of butter, cheese, sour cream, bacon bits, and chives.
Shredded sharp cheddar and jack cheese are common favorites for topping potatoes but really any kind of shredded cheese you like will be good! You can use your favorite brand of store bought bacon bits or make homemade bacon bits by cooking bacon in the oven and then crumbling it small.
I also love having fun experimenting with less traditional stuffings and toppings.
BBQ Chicken Stuffed Baked Potatoes are among my favorite ways to serve potatoes. Tender bits of chicken covered in barbecue sauce make a fantastic stuffing for a perfectly crisp and tender baked potato. I’ve also made a variation on this recipe with turkey instead of chicken and it’s just as good.
A simultaneous desire for tacos and baked potatoes led to creating Beef and Black Bean Tacos. Juicy beef, beans and cheesy, this recipe more than satisfied both cravings.
A ladle full of chili is also an incredible way to turn a baked potato into a full and satisfying meal. Four Bean and Chipotle Chili would taste great on top of a crisp, fluffy baked potato for a vegetarian dinner.
Meat eaters will love potatoes stuffed with Spicy Five Bean Chili with Steak and Sausage and topped with a handful of shredded cheddar cheese.
Baked potatoes are simple and homey enough for a casual weeknight meal and fancy enough for a steak dinner. Is it too much to call them the Little Black Dress of potato recipes? Maybe, but you get the idea.
Russet potatoes are the best kind of potatoes for baking thanks to their high starch content and thicker skin. The high ratio of starch to moisture means all the butter and sour cream you dollop onto your spud will get absorbed right into the potato.
Russets also tend to be a little larger than other kinds of potatoes making them perfect for holding all those delicious toppings.
That said, you can use any potato you love as a baked potato! I often use very thin-skinned golden or Dutch potatoes when I know I’m baking them to use in the recipes below.
How To Bake A Potato
Perfect Baked Potatoes start with washing your spuds with cold water. Potatoes grow in the dirt so if you don’t want them to taste like their point of origin you need to scrub them well. A brush with bristles or a rough sponge should do the job.
After washing your potatoes, be sure to dry them thoroughly. You’re about to coat your potatoes with oil which won’t cling to moist potato skin.
A generous sprinkling of salt is the final ingredient before you pop these potatoes in the oven to bake. Along with adding flavor, salt helps the potato skin get crispy without turning hard and tough.
Even if you usually leave the skin behind when you dig into a baked potato, the skin on these Perfect Potatoes is so good you won’t want to leave one bit on your plate.
How Long To Bake A Potato
Baking your potatoes for the right length of time is essential for creating a finished product worthy of being called “perfect.”
I find that an hour, give or take a few minutes, is usually just right to bake the potatoes all the way through and create that delicious crispy skin that makes these potatoes stand out from the rest.
Of course, factors like the size of your potatoes, the number of potatoes you’re baking at a time and the accuracy of your oven will have an effect on how long to bake a potato. The last thing you want to end up with is an undercooked potato on your dinner plate!
To make sure your potatoes are done, check them with a fork. Your fork should pierce the potato easily and slide right in. The skin of the potatoes should look brown and crisp, not soggy or soft. Be sure to fluff the insides with the fork after slicing the finished potatoes down the middle.
Baked Potato Recipes
I love potatoes and over the years I’ve come up with plenty more ways to enjoy this favorite starchy vegetable without making my family eat the same baked potato recipe every single day. (Although even if I did make them eat baked potatoes every day, I’m not sure there’d be any complaints!)
My Twice Baked Potato Dip was inspired by the cheesy, fluffy filling of a twice baked potato. I turned it into a delicious party dip so that we could dip our potato chips in more potatoes! (We know how to party at this house.)
These Roasted Fingerling Potatoes with Chipotle Garlic Dipping Sauce are another fun and tasty party food. While not exactly a typical baked potato recipe, these oven baked roasted potatoes are made even better by dipping them into a spicy, creamy sauce.
If you’re a fan of roasted potatoes, these Rosemary Roasted Potatoes are about to become your favorite side dish. There’s something almost magical about the way a sprinkling of fresh rosemary transforms basic potatoes.
Baked Potato Chicken and Broccoli Casserole is all the best parts of a loaded baked potato served in casserole form. It comes together easily and is a great way to sneak a little broccoli into your kids’ dinner too!
Then there’s Baked Potato Soup. All the deliciousness of a baked potato tucked into a creamy, comforting soup, this recipe can be made on the stove or in the crockpot and ideal for warming you up a cold winter day.
Perfect Baked Potatoes
- 6 large russet potatoes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Scrub the potatoes to remove all dirt and then rinse and dry thoroughly. Poke several holes into each potato with a fork and then place them on a baking sheet.
- Drizzle each potato with about 1 teaspoon of oil. Rub the oil all over each potato. Generously sprinkle each potato with salt and then place in the oven.
- Bake for just over an hour, until fork tender. They should be crisp on the outside and tender inside.
- When the potatoes are finished, remove from the oven and slice each one down the center and fluff with a fork. Top each potato with the toppings of your choice. Enjoy!