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With perfectly salty, crispy skin and a fluffy, perfectly-cooked inside, these oven baked potatoes are delicious with just a little bit of butter or loaded up with toppings galore!
Cooking Baked Potatoes in Oven
While this may seem like a really basic recipe (because it is!), we can honestly say that we’re confident that this is the best oven-baked potato recipe you’ll come across. Here’s why:
- The skin is crispy – there is nothing better than crispy potato skin! We’ve nailed the temperature and time that’ll help us to achieve the crispy-on-the-outside-fluffy-on-the-inside potato of our dreams.
- The skin is salty – not only is the potato skin crispy, but it’s also salty, and that combo is ridiculously delicious.
- It’s easy – this recipe doesn’t ask you to poke holes in your potatoes or wrap them in foil! We keep things really simple: coat with olive oil, sprinkle on the salt, and bake!
Ingredients for the Best Oven Baked Potatoes
Here’s what you’ll need to make the crispy, delicious baked potatoes in the oven:
- Russet Potatoes – to start, you’ll need 4 medium-sized russet potatoes. Russet potatoes are the classic baking potato because they have the perfect starch content for a fluffy inside, and a thicker skin than Yukon gold or red potatoes.
- EVOO – 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil really help the skin to get nice and crispy!
- Coarse or Flaky Salt – 1 teaspoon of coarse or flaky salt gets sprinkled over the skin just before the potatoes go into the oven!
How to Cook Baked Potatoes in the Oven
If you can remember these 4 words — preheat, rub, sprinkle, bake — you can bake the best potato EVER! Here’s exactly how you’ll do it:
- Preheat the oven to 425°F.
- Prep the potatoes – rub the potatoes with the olive oil, place them on a sheet pan, and sprinkle them with the salt.
- Bake – bake the potatoes for 60-75 minutes, until the skin is crisp and the potatoes can be easily pierced with a fork.
What temperature do you bake potatoes at?
We’ve found that baking the potatoes at 425°F lends the very best crispy-outside-soft-fluffy-inside result.
Do you poke holes in potatoes before baking?
We actually don’t poke holes in our potatoes before baking! It is said that poking holes in the potato allows steam to escape the potato so it doesn’t explode, but in reality, steam is actually able to escape from the skin (and we’ve never experienced a potato explosion!). If you’re firmly team holes, though, it won’t hurt anything to poke a few to give you peace of mind.
How long does it take to make crispy oven baked potatoes?
To be honest, kind of a long time: 60-75 minutes. That’s the ONLY drawback of baked potatoes (for me, at least). This is one of those starchy sides that’s super simple and hands-off but does take some planning because of the amount of time it takes.
Why do they put salt on the outside of baked potatoes?
We salt the outside of our potatoes for a couple of reasons! First, flavor: we personally love the taste of the salty crispy skin of the potato. Second, using salt helps draw more moisture out of the potato, leading to a fluffier inside and crispier outside.
How to Bake a Potato in the Oven with Foil
We don’t actually recommend baking your potatoes in foil (the foil tends to keep the skin from crisping), but if you prefer it this way, go for it! Simply oil and salt the potato, then wrap it in foil and bake for 60 minutes at 425°F.
Is it safe to bake potatoes in aluminum foil?
Yes, it is safe, but if you are worried about your potato touching the foil, you can wrap it in parchment first, then in foil.
How do you know when baked potatoes are done?
Finished baked potatoes should be able to be easily pierced with a fork. If you’re meeting some resistance when trying to poke the potato with a fork, we’d give the potatoes a few more minutes in the oven.
What goes good on baked potatoes?
ALL THE THINGS! Baked potato bars are one of my very favorite party-worthy spreads because it allows guests to top with the exact toppings that they love. Here are some of the most classic potato toppers:
- Shredded cheese
- Sour cream
Do you eat the skin of baked potatoes?
I do! It’s totally a personal preference, though. While I absolutely love the taste and texture of crispy, salty potato skin, others (ahem, my husband!) prefer skipping the skin and enjoying the fluffy inside of the potato only.
How do you store baked potatoes?
Store any leftover baked potatoes in an airtight container in the fridge!
Do potatoes explode when making the baked potato recipe oven method?
While this is a common (and valid) concern, we’ve never actually experienced a potato exploding in the oven (and between the 4 of us, we’ve baked a lot of potatoes!), so I wouldn’t worry too much about that happening. If it makes you nervous though, feel free to poke a few holes in your potatoes before popping them in the oven!
How do you keep potatoes from exploding in the oven?
We actually don’t do anything special to keep the potatoes from exploding in the oven. Some people prefer to poke holes in their potatoes (which is said to let the steam out of the potatoes, preventing explosion), but because we’ve never ever experienced a potato explosion, we skip that step.
- 4 russet potatoes medium-sized
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon of coarse or flaky sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 425°F.
- Rub the potatoes with the olive oil, place them on a sheet pan, and then sprinkle them with the coarse sea salt.
- Bake the potatoes for 60-75 minutes, until the skin is crisp and the potatoes can be easily pierced with a fork.
Janet Hartman says
I agree that oven baked potatoes with a lightly salted crispy skin are the best, but, if you don’t prick them, they can explode. It happened to me and several other people I know.
If you cut out some of the “eyes”, you probably don’t need to prick
Brandi Schilhab says
I’m so sorry you’ve had that experience, Janet!
Mike LaChapelle says
Here’s my take…. I;m a 65 year old man. We never pierced holes in a potato till we got microwaves in the 1980’s. Was told at the time that a microwave oven heats the potato from the inside and cooks about 6 times faster which could build up pressure. A conventional oven heats the potato from the outside and much slower. A conventional oven bakes a potato while a microwave oven cooks a potato. Since microwaves now have turntables they cook more evenly than they used too. Which is probably why potato’s would explode in them due to hot spots. That said. I always pierce holes in a potato that’s going in a microwave oven and don’t pierce one going in a conventional oven. I’ve never had a potato cooked in a microwave oven that turns out as fluffy and tasty as one baked in a conventional oven. But I’ll be first to say I don’t know everything. but just my $02. Have a great day!!! P.S. I gave your recipe 5 STARS because it made my mouth water!!!! But in actuality my heart Dr would say no salt on the outside. But I;m going to put my unpierced potato’s rubbed with olive oil in the conventional oven right now. Looking forward to the crispy skin.
Brandi Schilhab says
That makes sense, Mike! Thank you so much for sharing this with us. I hope you enjoy your potato!