Perfect Baked Potato

Perfect Baked Potato

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There are methods to baking the perfect fluffy baked potato. You know, the kind with the salty crispy skin outside and the pillowy potato inside.

Not everyone grew up eating baked potatoes. My mom was a stay-at-home-mom and she cooked a lot but often times she kept it super simple with a baked potato night.

She’d lay out your traditional toppings like butter, cheese, sour cream, and green onions. Sometimes we had crispy bacon, steamed broccoli, and even chili to top off our potatoes. We always had a green salad with ranch dressing for dinner and it was particularly good with a steamy baked potato.

The thing I remember most about the outcome of the potatoes was how crispy the outside skin was and the inside was perfectly fluffy. You could eat the entire thing, it was so good!

I’ve baked potatoes many different ways with different temperatures and times but I always go back to my roots.

How to bake the perfect baked potato-

  1. Russet potatoes are by far the very best to use for baking potatoes. Because the skin is a bit thicker, you end up with the perfect crispy skin. Russets are also high in starch and mealy in texture so when baked, the insides are fluffy and light.
  2. After your potatoes are scrubbed and dry prick both sides twice with a fork. I have forgotten to do this and my potatoes have exploded in the oven. Not fun to clean up.😫
  3. Next you’ll massage melted butter all over the outside of the potato. I have used oil instead of butter but I find the flavor of the skins are much better with butter.
  4. Now for a generous amount of kosher salt. I usually hold the potatoes over the kitchen sink so I don’t have a salty mess everywhere. Just sprinkle away until the potato is nice and coated. Some of it will fall off so don’t be shy about the salt. You can also sprinkle coarse black pepper in addition to the salt if you like a good peppery skin. Note: Table salt is usually not a great option for coating the potatoes as it’s much finer and will dissolve into the butter. Kosher salt is coarser and holds up really well on the outside of the skin.
  5. Time to bake! I find that 400℉ works perfectly every time, and if you’re using medium size potatoes, 45-50 minutes is ideal. Depending on the size of the potato, you may need to cook it longer or shorter. You’ll know it’s done when the outside is crisp and it feels soft when you squeeze it. Place in preheated oven directly on oven rack.

Topping ideas-

  • Butter
  • Sour cream
  • Crispy bacon
  • Green onions or chives
  • Steamed broccoli
  • Chili and cheese
  • Taco meat
  • Seasoned shredded chicken and corn

That’s it! These potatoes are so good I could practically eat them by themselves but we all know that’s not going to happen. Have fun topping off your spuds and digging in with all those delicious options.

Let’s eat!🤍

Perfect Baked Potato

There are methods to baking the perfect fluffy baked potato. You know, the kind with the salty crispy skin outside and the pillowy potato inside.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Baking, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 172 kcal


  • 1 tbsp melted butter
  • 4 medium russet potatoes, scrubbed and dry
  • kosher salt


  • Preheat oven to 400°F
  • Prick clean potatoes with a fork twice on both sides.
  • Massage melted butter into the skins and coat well.
  • Sprinkle a generous amount of kosher salt over the potato.
  • Place in oven directly on rack and bake for 45-50 minutes until skin is crispy and the potatoes are soft to the touch.
  • Remove from oven using an oven mitt and slice open. Fluff inside and top off with your favorite toppings.


Topping ideas-
  • Butter
  • Sour cream
  • Salsa
  • Crispy bacon
  • Cubed ham
  • Green onion or fresh chives
  • Chili and cheese
  • Taco meat
  • Shredded chicken and corn
Note: The size of the potato will depend on the cooking time.
Nutritional facts are for 1 potato without any toppings.
Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be understood as an estimate rather than a guarantee. The Menu Maid makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.
Keyword Baked potato, Butter, potatoes

A few of my favorite kitchen essentials used for this recipe.

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