It’s much easier than you thought to make Perfect Baked Potatoes with crispy skin and that delicious flaked sea salt. So ditch the foil, it’s your number 1 mistake!

a baked potato with melting butter, salt and pepper

Perfect Baked Potato Recipe

I ate my baked potatoes with ketchup growing up.  I know. You think I’m crazy. Ok, I lied, I still do it. 🙂

You guys!!! It’s like a french fry if you think about it so it’s not THAT weird, ok. Might as well put it out there that my dad eats peanut butter pickle sandwiches too. NOW THAT IS GROSS!

I’m older, and while it might look like I’m not any wiser I actually have learned a few things and the first being how to make perfect baked potatoes.

It’s time for Idaho spud harvest so I couldn’t help but talk about potatoes here. I miss spud harvest. I went to college in Idaho and my parents now live there.

The Idaho Potato Commission even took me on a tour of harvest one year. It was my favorite.

Now, I don’t know if anything has changed, but it used to be that the kids got out of school so that they could help with harvest. It was amazing watching everyone have a job from little toddlers to college students. Families and friends, farmers and their help all worked around the clock to put potatoes on your table.

I can still remember the glow of tractor lights when I was walking home from a late library session one night. We actually just bought an investment property in Rexburg, so it seems my heart will always be pulled back there.

a loaded baked potato with cheese, sour cream, butter, bacon and green onions

What Do You Need to Make Perfect Baked Potatoes?

You don’t need much to make the best baked potato. Here’s all you need to make this “recipe:”

  • Russet potatoes
  • Olive oil
  • Flaked sea salt

What Kind of Potatoes for Baked Potatoes?

You should always choose a well rounded russet potato for baked potatoes. The fatter, rounder potato will give you more filling and that beautiful fluffy potato when you squeeze it open.

Russet potatoes have a better starch to them, which leads to a fluffier inside once baked.

a baked potato with melting butter, salt and pepper

How to Bake a Potato with Crispy Skin

Making a baked russet potato shouldn’t be so tricky, but if you’ve ever under cooked them, poked a million holes, over cooked it so they skin is like leather, or ended up with a bland potato, you need to read on.

  1. Scrub your potatoes to remove any dirt. It seems natural, but a quick wash won’t get rid of the dirt so scrub instead.
  2. Dry the potatoes well so the oil will stick.
  3. Use canola or olive oil and rub it all over the potatoes with your hands.
  4. Scrape your hands down the potato to make sure the potatoes aren’t swimming in oil.
  5. Place flaked sea salt on a plate and roll the potato only once so it isn’t over salted.
  6. Pierce the top of the potato so it doesn’t explode in the oven.
  7. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 60-75 minutes depending on size. One hour is generally all you need unless the potatoes are huge.
  8. Cut open and squeeze in and up so the insides are fluffy and broken up for easier eating.

What Temperature to Bake Potatoes?

Bake potatoes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. The oven should never be 400 degrees F or over for baked potatoes. The skin will cook faster than the insides leaving you with leather.

How Long to Bake a Potato?

Bake a potato at 350 degrees F for 1 hour or up to 75 minutes if they are very large potatoes. Remove from the oven to cool for a minute or two before opening as the steam on the inside will get ya.

If you need to bake faster you can do:

  • 375 degrees F for 50-60 minutes.
  • 400 degrees F for 40-50 minutes

However, we really recommend 350 degrees F as the perfect temperature.

a baked potato with melting butter, salt and pepper

Should I Wrap Baked Potatoes in Foil?

While in college, there was a common place for boys to take their dates to, Texas Roadhouse. I was introduced to the world’s best rolls. (Besides our Potato Rolls of course.) Oh look, potatoes are creeping in everywhere.

Texas Roadhouse totally blew my mind with baked potatoes as a college student. I had grown up eating a lot of baked potatoes as my parents grew up in Idaho and Oregon, but we just wrapped them in foil and baked them.

That’s a huge mistake.

I love you, Mom. Just in case you read this. 🙂 I’d eat your foil wrapped potato any ol’ day just to sit at your counter with my feet dangling from the stool again.

Wrapping a potato in foil not only gives it a tiny hint of a metallic flavor, but it steams the potato instead of baking it. We want BAKED potatoes, not steamed.

That means that the heat needs to hit the potato straight on its skin. Ahhh but it doesn’t stop there, we need flavor and texture too.

Olive or Vegetable oil help to crisp up and roast the potato skin, and who doesn’t love roasted potatoes?

Flaked, not table or kosher salt, but Flaked Sea Salt adds flavor to a root vegetable that can often be bland and lifeless. It also adds another layer of texture and fun to the potato!

I see posts all over the internet where they rub the potatoes with salt, which is great, but trust me on this, FLAKED SEA SALT, our favorite Flaked Sea Salt by Maldon. Or if you must, Kosher will do.

a loaded baked potato with cheese, sour cream, butter, bacon and green onions

Our Favorite Baked Potato Toppings

Once you have made a delicious baked potato in the oven, you can take things over the top by making it a LOADED baked potato. HECK. YES.

  • Shredded Cheese
  • Butter
  • Sour Cream
  • Bacon
  • Sour Cream
  • Chives
  • Green Onions
  • Ketchup (hahaha)
  • BBQ sauce
  • Ranch
  • Salt and Pepper

Bring on the cheese and bacon! I’ll be honest, I’m a butter, cheese and bacon girl myself but my family is all about the dollop of sour cream.


How to Cook Potatoes in the Microwave

While we don’t recommend cooking your potatoes in the microwave just for a baked potato side dish, we know that life can get crazy and you can’t wait an hour.

  1. Scrub the potato and poke it with a fork a few times as it could explode more in the microwave.
  2. Place the potato on a plate and microwave it on HIGH for 5 minutes.
  3. Turn it over, and microwave it for 5 minutes longer or until tender when pricked with a fork.

How to Open a Baked Potato

Did you know there’s a better way to open your baked potato than just sliding a knife from one end to the other? Look at the picture for a clue.

  1. Use a knife or fork to cut a zig zag across the top of the potato.
  2. Pinch each end and while pressing inward also press up which will break up the flesh so you have a light, fluffy filling!

How to Reheat a Baked Potato

You put in the effort to read up on how to cook a baked potato in the oven so that the skin crisps up nicely, so don’t ruin your work by reheating leftover baked potatoes in the microwave!

Instead, reheat baked potatoes in the oven at 350 degrees F for 15-20 minutes.

a baked potato with melting butter, salt and pepper

What to Serve with Baked Potatoes

These really are the BEST baked potatoes ever! They can be loaded with toppings and enjoyed as a main dish, or you can serve them as a side to any of these family favorites:

Everything You Need for the Perfect Steak Dinner

The main dishes listed above are blasted delicious with these potatoes, but if you ask me, the perfect steak dinner must include an oven baked potato and a wedge salad with blue cheese dressing. That’s it…that’s a steak dinner at its finest in my book!

More Easy Potato Side Dishes:

How to Make Oven Baked Potatoes

3.60 from 22 votes
Servings: 5
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes


A crisp and salty jacket on a perfectly light and fluffy russet potato. It's the perfect baked potato!


  • 5 Large Russet Potatoes
  • 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1/4 Cup Flaked Sea Salt, (this is our favorite and a better price online)


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Wash each potato and dry it thoroughly.
  • Place an oven safe cooling rack on a cookie sheet.
  • Place the salt on a plate.
  • In a bowl, add the olive oil and rub each potato with the olive oil.
  • Rub each potato in the salt and set on the rack on top of the cookie sheet.
  • Carefully slice a zigzag on top of the potato or use a fork to pierce the skin in a zig zag pattern
  • Bake for 60-75 minutes, or until tender.
  • Remove from the oven and serve with butter, sour cream, cheese and bacon or any desired toppings.


Reheat baked potatoes in the oven at 350 degrees F for 15-20 minutes.


Serving: 1gCalories: 366kcalCarbohydrates: 67gProtein: 8gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 5677mgPotassium: 1539mgFiber: 5gSugar: 2gVitamin C: 21mgCalcium: 51mgIron: 3mg
Author: Sweet Basil
Course: 200+ Easy Side Dish Recipes Every Mom Needs
Cuisine: American

a baked potato with melting butter, salt and pepper and another loaded baked potato with toppings