How to Make Oven Baked Potatoes with Crispy Skin and that delicious flaked sea salt is much easier than you thought. So ditch the foil, it’s your number 1 mistake!
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.
Idaho Spud Harvest
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.
What Kind of Potatoes for Baked Potatoes?
You should always choose a well rounded russet potato for baked potatoes.
The fatter, more round potato will give you more filling and that beautiful fluffy potato when you squeeze it open.
Why Russet Potatoes
Russet potatoes have a better starch to them which leads to a fluffier inside once baked.
How to Make Perfect Oven Baked Potatoes with Crispy Skin and Sea Salt
Making a baked 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.
- Scrub your potatoes to remove any dirt. It seems natural , but a quick wash won’t get rid of the dirt so scrub instead.
- Dry the potatoes well so the oil will stick.
- Use canola or olive oil and rub it all over the potatoes with your hands.
- Scrape your hands down the potato to make sure the potatoes aren’t swimming in oil.
- Place Flaked Sea Salt on a plate and roll the potato only once so it isn’t over salted.
- (Do I have to poke the potato before baking?) Pierce the top of the potato so it doesn’t explode in the oven.
- Bake in a 350 degree oven for 60-75 minutes depending on size. One hour is generally all you need unless the potatoes are huge.
- Cut open and squeeze in and up so the insides are fluffy and broken up for easier eating.
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.
Why You Shouldn’t Use Foil with Baked Potatoes
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.
Oil and Flaked Sea Salt
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.
Loaded Baked Potatoes
But don’t stop there, once you have made a delicious baked potato you can take things over the top by making it a LOADED baked potato.
What is a Loaded Baked Potato?
A loaded baked potato is stuffed with:
- Shredded Cheese
- Sour Cream
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.
What Temperature to Bake Potatoes
Bake potatoes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
The oven should never be 400 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 for one 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 for 50-60 minutes.
- 400 for 40-50 minutes
However, we really recommend 350 as the perfect temperature.
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.
- Scrub the potato and poke it with a fork a few times as it could explode more in the microwave.
- Place the potato on a plate and microwave it on HIGH for 5 minutes.
- 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.
- Use a knife or fork to cut a zig zag across the top of the potato.
- Pinch each end and while pressing inward also press up which will break up the flesh so you have a light, fluffy filling!
Baked Potato Toppings
- Sour Cream
- Green Onions
- Ketchup (hahaha)
- BBQ sauce
- Salt and Pepper
What to Serve with Baked Potatoes
- Garlic Butter Steak at Home
- Smoked Turkey
- Instant Pot Ribs
- Spinach Salad with Bacon
- Garlic Dill Garden Salad
- One Hour Rolls
How to Make Oven Baked Potatoes
- 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.
- 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.