The best potatoes for baked potatoes are the ones that result in crispy, delicious skin and a fluffy interior when baked! While you could pop any potato into the oven, only certain varieties will make a perfect baked potato! I'm going to let you know the best potato for the job, as well as give you some tips and recipes!
What Are The Best Potatoes For Baking
All potatoes are not made equal. They each have a different starch and moisture content that yields different results when baked.
If you choose the wrong potato variety, they could end up soggy, too firm, or gummy. I put together this list of the top 6 potatoes for making the best baked potato!
If you need some ideas for dishes that go well with potatoes, check out my post which is all about what to serve with potatoes!
Types Of Potatoes
There are three different types of potatoes: starchy, waxy, and all-purpose potatoes. Each one of these types has its own pros and cons and is better for different cooking methods.
Starchy potatoes have a high-starch content and are low in moisture. They have thick skin and are super absorbent, which is great for milk or butter.
This combination creates nice and crispy skin with a light and fluffy interior! These are the types of potatoes that are ideal for baking.
Additionally, these potatoes are great for making fluffy mashed potatoes and tasty french fries.
Starchy potatoes include varieties such as russet and Idaho (which is my favorite russet potato).
Waxy potatoes are the opposite of starchy ones as they have a high moisture content and are low in starch. These potatoes have thinner skin and creamier consistency.
They tend to hold their shape very well after being cooked, so waxy potatoes are more suited for boiling, being baked in casseroles (where you want the potato to keep its shape, such as gratins), potato salads, and stews.
The waxy potatoes include varieties such as fingerling, baby potatoes, red potatoes, and new potatoes.
All-purpose potatoes fall right in the middle of the spectrum between starchy and waxy. They have a relatively average moisture and starch content.
These varieties can typically substitute any starchy or waxy potato called for in a recipe.
All-purpose potatoes include varieties such as Yukon gold, white potatoes, and purple potatoes.
Russet potatoes are the number 1 best option when it comes to making a perfect baked potato! They are high in starch and have a thick skin.
When baked, the skin becomes beautifully crispy! Additionally, they are known for a light and fluffy interior. Use russets to make any easy microwave baked potato or an extra flavorful smoked baked potato!
2. Idaho Potatoes
Many people think that Idaho potatoes and russets are the same things. Well, they are, to an extent. Russet potatoes can be grown anywhere in the US while Idaho potatoes can only be grown in Idaho.
As far as the actual potato itself, they are extremely similar. They are both very high in starch and low in moisture. Add some superior Idaho potatoes to your baked potato bar!
3. Sweet Potatoes
Any kind of sweet potatoes are wonderful for baking! They get deliciously roasted skin and have a nice and tender interior.
If you are a fan of sweet potatoes, I strongly suggest trying them baked!
4. King Edward
King Edward potatoes are one of the oldest potato varieties known! They have a unique appearance with a creamy skin with pink blushes.
When cooked, they have a light and fluffy texture, making them perfect for baking! It is actually one of the most popular potatoes for roasting.
5. Maris Piper
This potato variety is incredibly popular and has a wide range of uses, as it is an all-purpose potato. They are known for a creamy-yet-fluffy inside when baked, as well as an extra crispy exterior!
Both King Edward and Maris Piper are less commonly found in our local grocery stores (at least in my neck of the woods)!
6. Yukon Gold
Yukon gold potatoes are a popular all-purpose potato as they are lower in starch than some of the previously mentioned varieties. While they are great for mashed potatoes, they also make a wonderful choice for baking!
Check out this recipe for some delicious twice-baked potatoes!
Tips For The Best Baked Potatoes
- Don't wrap the potatoes in foil, you want the skin to get nice and crisp!
- Make sure you pierce the potatoes with a fork multiple times before baking.
- You want to bake the potato at a higher temperature, like 425°F (220°C) for about 1 hour.
- Don't over-bake your potato! It is done when the internal temperature reads 210°F (99°C).
- If you don't have time (baked potatoes can take about an hour), you can start them in the microwave for 5 minutes while you wait for the oven to preheat.
- Make sure to completely dry your potatoes after washing them. Excess moisture can lead to soggy skin.
- Bake the potatoes on a wire rack so that the hot air can get under them for all-around even cooking.
- Wait until the final 10 minutes of baking to rub oil on the potatoes and add salt.
- Potatoes don't need to rest, so slice them open immediately! This allows all the excess steam to escape so that the interior doesn't reabsorb the moisture and become gummy.
I hope this guide has helped you learn how to make a perfect baked potato! Leave a comment down below and let me know your favorite potato varieties and baked potato tips!
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📖 Recipe Card
Best Potatoes For Baked Potatoes: Smoked Baked Potato (+ Tips & Tricks!)
- 4 russet potatoes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil (extra virgin)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Wash and pierce the skin of your potatoes with a knife or fork. Preheat your smoker to 225°F (107°C).4 russet potatoes
- Brush each potato with extra virgin olive oil. Sprinkle the coated potatoes with kosher salt, or roll the potatoes in a shallow bowl of salt.1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Place the potatoes directly onto your smoker grill. Smoke the potatoes for 2 hours, or until tender. Remove from heat and serve.
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Angela is an at home chef that developed a passion for all things cooking and baking at a young age in her Grandma's kitchen. After many years in the food service industry, she now enjoys sharing all of her family favorite recipes and creating tasty dinner and amazing dessert recipes here at Bake It With Love!