Perfect Baked Potatoes

5 from 8 votes

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Learning how to make baked potatoes is a skill everyone can use. In this recipe, we make them with slightly crispy skin and the perfect fluffy interior!

the perfect baked potatoes, topped with sour cream and chives

How to make baked potatoes perfectly

You might think knowing how to make baked potatoes is easy. After all, it only requires turning on an oven and properly cleaning and preparing the potatoes. Right? Well, in part, that’s true.

So, if this is the case, why are there so many restaurants and home cooks serving mushy baked potatoes?

It’s likely one or more of these reasons:

  1. Wrong ingredients.
  2. Improper preparation of the skin.
  3. Over cooking them.
  4. Improper “holding” technique after baking.
ingredients to make a baked potato recipe: potatoes, sea salt, and bacon fat


The ingredients can make or break the perfect baked potato recipe.

What type of potato is best?

The heat of an oven and a long cook time can cause potatoes with thin skins (like red potatoes) to break down a bit. As a result, they may become mushy.

Just because a potato is large in size does not mean it’s suitable become a baked potato.

For best results, use russet potatoes, sometimes known as Idaho potatoes (like I use in my hassleback potatoes).

In addition to spuds, you will also need:

  • Fat – The fat will become a casing for the potato to keep the moisture inside, Also, it adds flavor and helps the skin to become crispy. It can be any type of fat you like; olive oil, butter, or my personal favorite, bacon fat.
  • Salt – Do not use ordinary table salt! You want to use a large grain, coarse salt, such as Kosher or sea salt.
3 unpeeled russet potatoes covered in bacon fat and Kosher salt

How do you prepare potatoes for baking?

One important step in knowing how to make baked potatoes perfectly is knowing how to prepare them properly.

  1. Wash each potato under running water. Then, use a vegetable brush to scrub the skins of any dirt and debris. Lastly, use a clean kitchen towel to thoroughly dry them.
  2. Pierce the potatoes several times all over with the tines of a fork or the tip of a sharp knife. This helps steam to escape, preventing them from being too soggy on the inside. Also, if you skip this step, your potato might explode from the build up of pressure during baking.
  3. Rub the skins with oil and then roll them in sea salt.

How to test for The Perfect Baked Potato?

The center of the baked potato needs to be 205°F when you insert an instant read thermometer. This will ensure a uniform, fluffy interior!

A close up of a plate of a Baked potato, sliced with sour cream and chives on top

Keeping potatoes warm

If you won’t be serving them immediately, you can keep the potatoes warm by wrapping them in aluminum foil, although the skin will lose crispness.

However, the easiest way to do this is to use the oven after you turn it off after baking. There should be plenty of residual heat in the oven to keep the potatoes warm for at least an hour.

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the perfect baked potatoes, topped with sour cream and chives

How to Make Baked Potatoes

5 from 8 votes
Learning how to make baked potatoes is a skill everyone can use. In this recipe, we make them with slightly crispy skin and the perfect fluffy interior!
Servings: 2 servings
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Total: 55 minutes


  • 2 Large Russet Potatoes
  • olive oil or bacon fat
  • salt


  • Adjust the rack in your oven to the middle position and preheat oven to 450°F.
  • Rinse and scrub each potato. Dry each potato thoroughly with a clean towel.
  • Pierce each potato with a fork or sharp knife four (4) times on each side. This will allow steam to escape during the baking.
  • Rub the outside of the potato with bacon fat, olive oil, vegetable oil, or butter then sprinkle the potatoes all over in kosher or sea salt before baking.
  • Don't wrap your potato, you'll be "steaming, not baking" it for the desired crispy skin and light fluffy insides.
  • Bake for 45-55 minutes (depending on size) on a rack lined baking sheet until the outside is crisp and the potato gives a little when lightly squeezed.
  • Carefully cut each potato open and add your favorite seasonings and toppings like butter, sour cream, chives, etc.


Calories: 292kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 156mg | Potassium: 888mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin C: 12.1mg | Calcium: 28mg | Iron: 1.8mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

Course: Main
Cuisine: American, Western
Have You Made This Recipe? Let Me Know on InstagramTag @keviniscooking or tag me #keviniscooking!
fluffy baked potato with butter and herbs


Whether in the kitchen or on the grill, you’ll find me cooking American favorites with a love for BBQ, Mexican and Tex Mex. I’m passionate about making tasty food because life’s too short to be bland!

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  1. 5 stars
    The potatoes turned out great! I used red potatoes, and the skin was nice and crispy with a fluffy middle. Went great with a salad 🙂

    1. Excellent! Thanks for coming back to let me know Michelle. I love baked red potatoes almost as much as russets. Cheers! 🙂

      1. 5 stars
        Kevin that was the best Red potatoes that my family has ever eaten. So crusty on the outside and soft and fluffy inside. Thank you

      2. Love to read comments like this in the morning! Thanks for taking the time to come back and let me know Susan. 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    These baked potatoes are delicious ! Definitely my go-to recipe from now on . Thanks for sharing !