Foolproof Baked Potatoes

Foolproof Baked Potatoes

For something so easy (bake a potato in the oven until it's done), there sure is a lot to say about how to make a better baked potato. First, please don't use the microwave. It cooks the potato unevenly and is more likely to create a superhot bite of potato than a savory side dish.

Follow this simple guidelines you'll end up with a delicious, soft, perfectly-cooked spud every time.
  • Prep: 5 min
  • Cook: 45-120 min
  • Total: 1 hour 30 min
  • Serves 1 potato per person
Foolproof Baked Potatoes
  • 45 to 60 minutes at 400°F OR
  • 60 to 90 minutes at 350°F OR
  • 90 to 120 minutes at 325°F
  • Preheat the oven to your desired temperature. If you have more time, using a lower temperature will produce a softer, more savory spud while a shorter, higher temperature will give you a crispier skin. Note that the time are provided as a range as thicker potatoes will take longer to cook.
  • russet potatoes (as many as desired)
  • Rinse and clean each potato under running water. Pierce each potato with a fork at 1" intervals all around to allow steam to escape. Place on a foil-lined baking sheet.
  • ¼ teaspoon olive oil per potato (optional)
  • For a soft skin, rub each potato with olive oil all over.
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt per potato
  • Sprinkle salt over potatoes.
  • Bake in oven using one of the temperatures above until potatoes can be easily pierced with a fork and register an internal temperature of 250°F on an an instant read thermometer.
  • butter
  • Serve with butter.
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