Learn how to bake potatoes using these simple, fool-proof methods that will result in perfectly cooked spuds every time! Each of these methods has its own advantages, so choose the one that is best suited to you! No matter which way you choose to whip up some baked potatoes, they are sure to taste fantastic!
Guide To Baking Potatoes
I definitely love a good potato recipe (doesn't everyone?) From potato salad and mashed potatoes to a more sophisticated potato au gratin- this tuber can be prepared in so many ways and is amazingly versatile!
In this guide, we are taking a look at one of the most classic ways you can enjoy a potato- baked! I'm going to walk you through all of the different ways to can bake a potato (and there are a few of them) as well as give you some tips and tricks for how to ensure your baked potatoes are the best!
- Guide To Baking Potatoes
- Best Potatoes For Baking
- How To Bake Potatoes In The Oven
- How To Bake Potatoes In The Microwave
- How To Bake Potatoes In A Slow Cooker
- How To Bake Potatoes On A Grill
- How To Bake Potatoes In A Smoker
- How To Bake Potatoes In An Air Fryer
- How To Bake Potatoes In An Instant Pot
- Baked Potato Reference Sheet
- Tips For Baking Potatoes
- How To Know When Baked Potatoes Are Done
- Baked Potato Toppings
- ❓ FAQ
- 🥔 More Potato Recipes
- 📋 Recipe
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Best Potatoes For Baking
Technically, you can bake any potato. However, they will not all yield the same results! There are potatoes that are ideal for making mashed potatoes because they are creamy, potatoes that can hold up to the temperature of the oven for potato salad, and then potatoes that yield perfectly fluffy baked spuds!
For the best baked potatoes, you'll want to choose a potato variety that has a high starch content. My preferred type is Russets, but you could also use Yukon gold potatoes.
For some more information, take a look at my article on the best potatoes for baked potatoes!
How To Bake Potatoes In The Oven
This is the most traditional method for baking potatoes. To bake potatoes in the oven, you simply place them on a baking sheet or directly on your oven racks and bake them in a preheated oven for 45-60 minutes. This method produces crispy skin and a fluffy interior.
- Preheat. Preheat the oven to 425°F (215°C) and line a baking sheet with some parchment paper.
- Prepare. Clean and dry your potatoes, then pierce them with a fork several times.
- Season. Coat the potatoes in olive oil, followed by salt, and place them onto the baking sheet.
- Bake. Bake in the oven for 45-60 minutes, or until soft.
- Serve. Remove them from the oven, slice open the top, and serve with your favorite toppings.
How To Bake Potatoes In The Microwave
This method is much faster than oven baking and is a good option if you're short on time. To microwave-bake potatoes, you simply prick them with a fork and microwave them for 5-10 minutes until they're soft. Then, you finish them off in the oven for 10-15 minutes to crisp up the skin, if desired.
- Prepare. Place your cleaned potato onto a microwave-safe plate and pierce it all over with your fork several times.
- Cook. Cook for 3-4 minutes, flip, and then cook for another 3-4 minutes.
- Crisp the skin (optional). If desired, place the potato into a preheated oven at 400°F (205°C) for 10 minutes to get the skin crispy.
- Rest. Check your potato for doneness and let it set for 1 minute before serving.
How To Bake Potatoes In A Slow Cooker
This method is great for when you don't want to heat up the oven, or if you want to free up oven space. To slow cooker bake potatoes, you simply wrap them in foil and place them in the slow cooker. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours. This method produces soft skin and a moist interior.
- Prepare. Pierce your potatoes all over with a fork, rub them with olive oil, and then sprinkle them with some Kosher salt.
- Wrap. Wrap the potatoes tightly in aluminum foil and place them into the slow cooker.
- Cook. Cook on low heat for 6-8 hours or high heat for 3-4 hours.
How To Bake Potatoes On A Grill
This method is great for summer barbecues or when you want to add a smoky flavor to your potatoes. To grill bake potatoes, you simply wrap them in foil and grill them over indirect heat for 45-60 minutes. This method produces a crispy skin and fluffy interior with a smoky flavor.
- Preheat. Preheat your grill to 350°F (175°C), or medium heat.
- Pierce. Pierce your potatoes with a fork and coat them in olive oil.
- Wrap. Coat your potatoes in salt and then wrap them in aluminum foil.
- Close. Place the potatoes onto the hot grill over indirect heat and close the lid.
- Cook. Cook for 45-60 minutes, or until tender.
How To Bake Potatoes In A Smoker
If you have a smoker, then this is a great option for producing some tasty baked potatoes! Smoked baked potatoes are really something special. It takes longer than a grill but is quicker than a slow cooker. This method will yield potatoes with crispy skin, a fluffy interior, and an extra smokey flavor.
- Preheat. Preheat your smoker to 225°F (105°C) and pierce your cleaned potatoes all over with a fork.
- Prepare. Brush the potatoes with some olive oil and sprinkle them with Kosher salt.
- Cook. Place the potatoes directly onto your smoker grates and let cook for 2 hours.
- Serve. Serve immediately.
How To Bake Potatoes In An Air Fryer
The air fryer is another option perfect for simply avoiding the oven altogether! It frees up some space when you're cooking other dishes and results in a potato with crisp skin and a fluffy interior!
- Preheat. Preheat your air fryer to 400°F (205°C).
- Prepare. Pierce your potatoes all over with a fork and lightly coat them in olive oil. Then sprinkle coarse Kosher salt over them.
- Cook. Place the potatoes into the air fryer basket and cook for 35-40 minutes or until tender.
How To Bake Potatoes In An Instant Pot
If you have an Instant Pot, you know how convenient they are! You add your potatoes and let the Instant Pot do all the hard work! With this method, you will have potatoes that have soft skin and are moist on the inside.
- Prepare. Place a trivet into your Instant pot and add one cup of cold water.
- Pierce. Pierce your potatoes using a fork and set them on the trivet.
- Cook. Close the lid, switch the valve to 'seal,' and set it to manual high pressure for 15-16 minutes (for a large potato). *Cooking times based on the potato size are noted in the recipe linked below.
- Natural pressure release. When the time is up, allow the Instant Pot to release the pressure naturally (this could take about 15 minutes).
- Open. Once the pressure has been released, switch the valve to 'vent' to release the remaining steam and carefully open the lid.
- Serve. Serve immediately.
Baked Potato Reference Sheet
Take a look at this handy reference sheet to help you decide which method is best for you and your family!
|Oven||45-60 minutes||Crisp skin, fluffy|
|Microwave||5-10 minutes||Soft (use the oven to crisp skin)|
|Grill||45-60 minutes||Crisp skin, fluffy, smoky|
|Slow Cooker||6-8 hours / 3-4 hours||Soft skin, moist interior|
|Smoker||2 hours||Crisp skin, fluffy, very smoky|
|Air Fryer||35-40 minutes||Crisp skin, fluffy|
|Instant Pot||30-40 minutes||Soft skin, moist interior|
Tips For Baking Potatoes
- No matter which method you choose, the key to baking great potatoes is to prick them with a fork, rub them with oil or butter, and season them with salt and pepper.
- The cooking time will vary based on the size of the potatoes you are cooking.
- Using coarse Kosher salt on the outside of your potatoes will help to form a nice crust!
How To Know When Baked Potatoes Are Done
The easiest way to check that your potato is done is by poking it with a fork! It should easily slide into the potato. Additionally, you can give the potato a gentle squeeze to see if it is soft.
Baked Potato Toppings
After all of your hard work, you finally get to enjoy your tasty spuds! There are so many different ways to serve them, so here are some recommendations. If you are serving a large crowd, it may be easier to just set up a baked potato bar so everyone can choose their own toppings!
Take a look at my post about baked potato toppings for an in-depth list!
- Pico de Gallo
- Pot Roast
Of course, you can enjoy your baked potatoes exactly as they are. Or, you can serve them with some yummy sides (check out what to serve with baked potatoes here!)
>>>>See all of my recipes HERE<<<<
There are so many ways you can prepare a baked potato! Which one of these methods is your favorite? Leave a comment down below and let me know!
This depends on the method you are using to bake your potatoes. If you are baking them using the traditional oven method, then go ahead and skip the foil as it will prevent the skin from crisping up. You should only use foil if grilling your potatoes or cooking them in a crock pot.
Yes! No matter what method you use, you should always pierce the potatoes all over with a fork before cooking. These tiny holes allow the steam to escape during the baking process, which actually prevents your potatoes from possibly exploding!
Again, this varies based on the method. However, in the oven, you'll want to use a higher temperature to bake your potatoes. I recommend baking your potatoes in the oven at 425°F (215°C) for 45-60 minutes. This helps to ensure nice and crispy skin!
🥔 More Potato Recipes
- Bacon Cream Cheese Mashed Potatoes - Rich and creamy mashed potatoes that feature cream cheese and bacon!
- Green Bean Potato Sausage Casserole - A simple and tasty casserole that is loaded with potatoes, sausage, and green beans!
- Crockpot Creamy Ham Potato Soup - A warm and cozy soup filled with veggies, potatoes, and ham!
- Dauphinoise Potatoes - Thinly sliced potatoes are smothered in a rich and creamy cheese sauce!
- Fondant Potatoes - Sophisticated and elegant potatoes that are shockingly easy to prepare!
- Oven Roasted Potatoes - Crispy potatoes that are perfectly seasoned and pair well with everything!
How To Bake Potatoes: Oven Baked Potatoes (+Tips & Tricks!)
- 4 medium russet potatoes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil (extra virgin)
- ½ tablespoon sea salt
- Preheat your oven to 425°F (215°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Wash your potatoes and pat them completely dry. Then, use a fork to poke holes all over the potatoes.4 medium russet potatoes
- Place the potatoes onto the prepared baking sheet, brush them with olive oil, and then generously sprinkle sea salt over them.1 tablespoon olive oil, ½ tablespoon sea salt
- Bake in the oven at 425°F (215°C) for 45-60 minutes, or until the skin is crispy and the potatoes can easily be pierced with a fork.
- Remove the potatoes from the oven, slice them open, fluff the inside, and then serve immediately with your desired toppings.
Equipment You May Need
- Russet potatoes are my favorite for baking as they are high in starch content and make some super fluffy baked potatoes! For more options, check out my post on the best potatoes for baked potatoes!
- Don't skimp on the salt! You want to essentially coat the exterior of the potatoes in salt to create a flavorful and crispy crust!
- Depending on how large your potatoes are, your cooking time may vary slightly. Smaller potatoes will cook quicker, while larger potatoes may take the full 60 minutes.
- To store: Keep any leftover baked potatoes stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Make sure you let them cool completely before storing them.
- To reheat: Reheat your baked potato in the air fryer at 350°F (175°C) for 3-5 minutes or in the oven at 350°F (175°C) for 15-20 minutes.
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!
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