Perfect Baked Potato

If you want to know how to make the perfect baked potato, keep reading. We’re talking crispy jackets that split open to reveal a fluffy white potato interior. This method results in perfection every time.

Perfect Baked Potato

A perfect baked potato has a fluffy, light interior and crisp skin. Run a sharp knife down the jacket of one and you reveal the kind of potato interior that loves to drink butter and doubles down on salt. This is how you do it.

The Secret To A Perfect Baked Potato

The path to great baked potatoes is more about what to avoid than what to embrace. In short, a hot oven paired with a salt-rubbed russet potato is the best approach. No foil, no fuss, and no microwave.

A baked potato split open and topped with butter and black pepper

Should You Wrap in Foil When Baking a Potato?

The short answer is no, unless you’re camping and cooking potatoes in the coals of a campfire. Wrapping a potato in foil yields a potato with wet skin. The foil prevents moisture from the potato from escaping, and keeps it close to the skin. If you like a crisp, dry skin (as most of us do), skip the tinfoil.
Baked potatoes prior to baking with holes poked into skin by a fork

Poke Holes?

Yes. This helps to avoid blow-outs as the steam builds within the potatoes as they’re baking. Use a fork to puncture the potato skin 10 times (or so) per potato.

Best Baked Potato Toppings

Get creative and have fun setting up a toppings bar. This way everyone pulls together their potato exactly as they wish. A favorite (classic) pairing is chili over a baked potato, go crazy and add some crushed corn chips for fun. Compound butter is an easy way to make toppings a bit special. And never skimp on the herbs, scallions, chives, and such. If you want a deep dive, I wrote up an entire page brainstorming baked potato toppings.

Potatoes baking in a row on and oven rack in an oven

More Potato Recipes

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Perfect Baked Potato

5 from 7 votes

Look for sizable russet potatoes with good, brown color. Skip any potatoes with greenish hue. And as we all know, what you put on your potato after baking is key. Here are a bunch of baked potato toppings if you need some inspiration.

  • 4 large baking potatoes
  • flaky sea salt
  • butter or olive oil
  1. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 400°F / 200°C degrees. Scrub the potatoes, prick them all over with a fork, and sprinkle generously with sea salt. Bake the potatoes until tender throughout. This can take an hour for large potatoes. Less for smaller spuds.

  2. While the potatoes are baking, prepare any toppings you're considering.

  3. Test potato doneness by sliding a sharp knife into it, when they're done, the knife should feel little resistance. Remove from the oven. You may want to allow the potatoes to cool a bit.

  4. Carefully slice a big cross into the top of each potato, then gently but firmly push in on the ends of each potato. This way the tops open up. Load up with toppings starting with butter (or olive oil) and enjoy!


Serves 4.

Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 5 mins
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Recipe Rating


I absolutely loved trying out this Perfect Roasted Potatoes recipe! The combination of the crispy outer layer and the fluffy interior is a game-changer. The golden-brown color and the aromatic herbs make these potatoes not only delicious but also visually appealing. Thanks for sharing this fantastic recipe.5 stars


Found this through Pinterest. These look A-MA-ZING! I totally linked them in my Friday dance!

Marty J. Christopher

Two comments in one day…eep. But I just wanted to mention that the trip sounded AMAZING. Just a wee bit jealous.

Mrs D

I too have just “remembered” the lovely baked potato. This spin on it sounds great. Thank you!


Need to try this. Looks really good.


Wow! This looks fantastic! I grew up in Maine potato country (Aroostook County) so I have a great fondness for all things potato! Just added your blog to my Maine Food Finds blogroll — looking forward to reading all your great posts!


I made these last night – the skin on the potatoes was crispy and delicious! (I love eating the skin – very nutritious too!) I topped the potatoes with a smidge of butter and a sprinkle of Lincolnshire Poacher cheese and had the arugula on the side with just some good red wine vinegar.

Tamsin Harriman

Thanks for a lovely idea. I was wondering what potato dish to serve at a bbq this Sunday and now I know exactly what to offer! We always used to have jacket potatoes (potatoes still in their jackets!) on Saturday nights when we were kids and I still love them. Haven’t had an oven for about 15 years (due to extensive travels) but now I do and I can bake potatoes once again.


I haven’t made baked potatoes in years! Seeing as Australia is now getting cold, it’s the perfect time…


Comfort food at it’s finest! Having some cooler days in the bay area, I was able to bake these up over the weekend! Score! I’ve baked potatoes in kosher salt before but the addition of the greens and dressing, it’s heavenlyl. I hope to someday meet you at farmers market in SF.


Baked potatoes are so simple and satisfying, but so under-appreciated. I love that everyone can dress them up his or her own way. I posted a similar baked potato recipe adapted from an old Nancy Silverton cookbook where you rub the potato with butter or oil and bake it on a bed of kosher salt. Fluffy, moist, delicious!


This looks particularly appealing to my taste… have to try it asap. U bring out the best in simple recipes.


I read this recipe today and I knew I HAD to make it! I whipped them up tonight for dinner with my fiance and topped the whole thing with a fried egg, a drizzle of the dressing, a pinch of shredded parmesan and fresh ground black pepper. Not only was it so completely satisfying (comfort food without the guilt? yes please!!!) but it looked amazing too! Thanks again Heidi for another wonderful inspiration!


This looks gorgeous and a perfect nearing-the-end-of-the-week-want-something-yummy-and-easy meal. You know?

Jamie @ charminglyordinary

When I was little I had this weird fascination with twice-baked potatoes. I have no idea where it came from, but I basically thought they were THE definition of classy eating and used to beg my mom to make them. I remember being ecstatic when my mom (who doesn’t really cook) came home from the grocery store a package of frozen ones. And…basically that’s my last memory of eating a “baked potato”. Your classic recipe looks lovely – I might have to revisit.

Caroline @ French Ponytail

Heidi, these pictures are incredible and those little taters are mouth-wateringly gorgeous! Thank you!

Jenny Sansouci - Healthy Crush

Those potatos look great! Mine never turn out like that! 🙁


I was so excited to make these since we just bought potatoes last week! Mine, of course, didn’t turn out as pretty, but they were quite tasty. Topped with a fried egg and it was a meal. My man loved them too. I haven’t thought of baked potatoes in so long and am excited to try filling them with other foods! Thanks for the inspiration as always; love love love your blog!!


I have looked far and wide for the perfect baked potato recipe and I think I’ve finally found it! I’ve done everything from baking potatoes in the oven in aluminum foil to microwaving in paper bags.
I tried this last night and it is absolutely my favorite baked potato recipe and will be in the rotation for lunch or a side dish at dinner.
Virginia Osborne

recipe club

wowwww….i made a variation of these with a sweet potato, and add subbed in fresh orange juice for the lemon juice – so good! so simple and the presentation if loverly.
thanks for the inspiration. i come here whenever i am running low on it and you never dissapoint heidi!
HS: Love that idea cory – and thanks for the nice note.

cory : eat and {relish}

WOW! It had been a couple of years and out of the blue I made these just last night. Kismet.


There is something so comforting about a simple baked potato. This is a great grown up version! Also, finally got around to seeing your piece in Whole Living magazine and it was wonderful! Congrats!
HS: Thanks Janel


Your photography is inspiring, love the blog, keep up the good work!


This is a great recipe. I read this at lunchtime on Friday and decided to add them, last minute, to that night’s dinner party menu. They were the most popular item! I wanted to make them vegan so I used a mashed avocado in place of the egg and no cheese. This was so simple, but so good. I can imagine so many variations on this! Thank you for your website. It gives me so many great ideas!
HS: Love the avocado swap idea!


Had this for dinner tonight with fried eggs. It was so good! Even my kids (8 years old and under) loved it!

Jennifer Feeney

Though denser than russets, german gold potatoes bake to a creamy consistancy that makes for a wonderful baked spud. For folks like me that don’t do dairy, the flesh has mouth feel of a buttered starch without the butter: toothy and slightly chewy, creamy and smooth all at once.
The color is wonderful and they are probably the sweetest taters next to fingerlings. (Which are also great whole roasted with olive oil and salt ,a dusting of garlic powder and herbs. A dressing of mustard with roughly chopped arugula or other bitter greens and a pinch of sugar or honey- oh my!)

ollie oranges

Nice variation on the Baked Potato. I always coat and salt the skin before baking, but your dressing is a welcome try.


Really gorgeous- baked potato is a great base for a meal- if you’re in a rush you can microwave for 10 minutes or so, then bake in oven …


Ohh this recipe couldn’t have come at a better time! I was just saying yesterday how much I miss having a fire place, because we used to have baked potatoes every Sunday night when we were little!! I’m going to be trying this version this week though! Thanks!


Heidi, I just wanted to say a big thank you for publishing your book “Super Natural Everyday”. I have been trying out your recipes and I love them. I also love how you’ve written little notes with suggestions with the recipes. I love the book so…. much that I have ordered “Super Natural Cooking” as well. Thanks for the inspiration Heidi. It is so… good to have such beautiful, vegetarian cookbooks to use and enjoy. Happy “natural cooking”. Many thanks, Julie
HS: Thank you Julie!

Julie Maloney

They look like little slippers !!!


What perfect timing! Last Saturday at a local flea market someone asked me to make some “potato bags” for her… cloth bags for microwaving potatoes. She insisted they make the most delicious and fluffy baked potatoes in a fraction of the time! (4-6 minutes!) I whipped up a bag yesterday and she is right. Yummy and fluffy!
I can’t wait to try this! I love sunny side eggs, so that will be on top of mine!


Oh my those spuds look mouth-watering. Warm, salty and filling. I think we’ll try them topped with spinach or maybe even kale over here.

Morgan G

My potato is in the oven! And I seriously think there were less russets at birite tonight…
HS: This cracked me up 🙂

Jill Pervere

Have you tried them with truffle sea salt? Fantastic experiment! Unlike truffle oil which is infused with truffle flavor, the sea salt has actual shavings of truffle mixed in. Fabulous!

Ciao Florentina

That looks like it may just have enough salt to even satisfy me!
gotta try…

Rocky Mountain Woman

Brilliant idea!
I’m a huge believer in simplicity- you just can’t go wrong with it.

dania @ the cookery

I have never, ever, seen baked potatoes look so good.
(And I am still dreaming of cucumbers, coconut and peanuts. Now if only our cuke seeds would poke through the soil…)


love love love a bit of nigel. im reading toast currently. great photos


Very clever twist! These look fantastic!

Jen @ keepitsimplefoods

ah, one of my favorite foods! thank you for the inspiration, i think i have to make this this weekend.

laura @ glutton for nourishment

Sea Salt is such a wonderful and easy way to really dress up a dish. And I love the spicy kick from the arugula. Yum!

Christa Avampato

Funny, I hardly ever buy Russets anymore either. That looks so good though… a totally self-contained meal (especially with the fried egg addition you suggest).


My kind of recipe; items easily on hand but wonderfully combined and surprisingly presented. Um mm good!

Tom @ Tall Clover Farm

I haven’t done “whole” baked potatoes in forever. Question from a gauche and entirely classless cook: Can regular table salt (v. sea salt) be used? Thanks…


I love making baked potatoes when I don’t feel like really cooking but am hungry. Sauteed veggies and some good sharp cheddar always make me happy. I have never done arugula and now that I think of it I have no idea why not!

Laura @ SweetSavoryPlanet

I don’t know if it’s a southern thing per say, but I grew up on baked potatoes and I do love them! I love their crisp skins and fluffy insides. This is comfort food to me.


i’ve never actually baked a potato…i always get scared and microwave them instead! this sounds so good though; the consistency of baked versus microwave is huge, and sea salt? yeah, i’m in!

Heather (Heather's Dish)

This is so simple and beautiful, and I had come to snob a good baked spud over the years. I should throw a couple in the oven the next time I turn it on, or do it the way we used to do when we were children: wrapped in aluminium and thrown in the barbecue almost at the beginning. Even onions are perfect cooked like this, and the subtle smokiness is unbeatable, although some skin patches may burn a bit too much.


I love the rustic simplicity of this recipe – and yes, a fried egg with a runny yolk on top would be a lovely addition!

Lauren @ Healthy Food For Living

This IS a good idea! I will tweak it a bit for more color, and serve it at my coffee shop in Washington


Great, easy dinner idea. 🙂

A Teenage Gourmet

For a crispier potato skin rub the skin with butter or olive oil before putting them in the over.


YUM!!! i loveee baked potatoes! they get a bad reputation for being a “white carb” but it is what you pair with it (i.e. globs of sour cream, cheese and butter or a big fat steak) that makes it a less of a healthy choice. Full of potassium and the skin has a ton of fiber! this looks great, especially with arugula and the mustard in the dressing. can’t wait to try!

Kate @ the pseudovegan

My husband and I regularly make a meal of baked potatoes, steamed broccoli and pan-fried tofu. Baking them is so much better than microwaving them. I rub mine in olive oil, then sprinkle with sea salt and fresh pepper.


As a typical Finn I’ve always been a huge fan of good old potatoes. I love the look of these and the dressing sure sounds amazing! I know what you mean about quietness, I really miss the countryside where I feel like my ears are hurting because I can’t hear anything!

Maria @ Scandifoodie

Thanks very much for this.
Since baking takes a long time, one trick is to microwave the potatoes for about half the regular time, and then put them in a hot oven. Faster and less energy consumption, and I think they taste just fine this way.
If you’re ever in the UK, pubs and cafes often serve “jacket potatoes” = baked potatoes with a variety of toppings. Tasty and fresh and cheap too.


Pure food genius!

Cindy D

Hello, Heidi! Just started reading your site after hearing much about it, and I must say I’m in love! I’m new to the blogging world myself, and while my blog is very food centric, there’s little cooking going on, I must admit (you should check it out though, right now it’s focused on Maastricht, the culinary capital of the Netherlands! Ever been?). I want to start though, and you cook exactly the way I like to cook and eat (and the boyfriend’s vegetarian, so this site is perfect for him too). I’ll be checking back in a lot this summer when I’ll be helping my mom work through her CSA basket for a while, and then again when I move to LA later on. Thanks for the inspiration!


Mmm beautiful potatoes (who knew)?! Love the sound of these.


Wow, I have not baked a potato in . . . perhaps forever, but I have been more and more drawn to them. Thank you for posting this. I may just have to bake a potato one of these days!


What a fantastic twist on baked potatoes. We always do a baked potato night at my boyfriend’s parents’ place over the holidays. They haven’t really cottoned on to the whole vegetarian thing and what they’re supposed to feed us apart from potatoes, beans, and the occasional souffle, but this looks like a step in the right direction. Thanks, Heidi.


Just a suggestion, as there really cannot be any one right way to bake a spud:
Do not prick the skin right away. Coat the spud lightly in oil, and bake for half an hour in a hot oven. This helps steam the inside and crisp the outside.
Take a fork to the skins, then continue baking for another half an hour (or till done.


I had these at a picnic once a long time ago and though they were delicious, I never remembered them until about a week ago, and now I find a recipe on your blog! Funny how things work…

sweet road

Super dreamy road trip, sounds like a relaxing contrast to the newly released cookbook experience 🙂 I love baked potatoes with crispy skins side-by-side with some greens, but nestling them inside the potato is really cute, thanks for sharing!

Julianna Starr

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