How to Bake a Potato

Cyd Converse

Wondering how to bake a potato? We've got all the tips you need to make the best ones.

Sometimes, you just crave a baked potato. Crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside and seasoned with butter, salt and pepper…oh my!

When I was pregnant with my son, I craved baked potatoes every day for the first three months. It was the only food I could handle well, so I had one for breakfast, lunch, and sometimes, dinner.

Ever since then (almost 25 years ago!) baked potatoes have held a special place in my heart. I still get that strong craving every so often, so it’s good to know how to bake a potato just for me.

How to Bake a Potato Photo

How to bake a potato in the oven

  1. Preheat your oven to 425°F.
  2. Scrub the potato with a brush under cold water until you’ve removed any dirt.
  3. Pat the potato dry with a paper towel.
  4. Rub the potato with butter or oil. Season with salt and pepper, if you wish.
  5. Prick the potato all over with a fork. The holes will allow steam to escape during baking.
  6. For crispy skin, do not wrap your potato in foil.
  7. If you want a soft potato skin, wrap your potato in foil.
  8. Place your potato directly on the oven rack for crispier skin, or on a baking sheet for softer skin.
  9. Bake for 45-60 minutes, until you can easily stick a fork in the potato. A large Idaho potato will take 55-60 minutes.
How to Bake a Potato Image

How to bake a potato in the microwave 

To make a baked potato fast, use your microwave.

  1. Scrub the potato with a brush under cold water until you’ve removed any dirt.
  2. Pat the potato dry with a paper towel.
  3. Prick the potato all over with a fork. The holes will allow steam to escape during baking.
  4. Place your potato on a microwaveable plate and heat on high for 5-7 minutes, or until it’s tender.
How to Bake a Potato Pic

How long do you bake a potato at 450°F?

Bake it for 45 minutes, or until you can easily stick a fork in it.

How long do you bake a potato at 375°F?

Bake it for 60-75 minutes.

How long do you bake a potato at 350°F?

Bake it for 70-80 minutes.

How to Bake a Potato Picture

How to eat a baked potato:

Cut open your potato the long way and squeeze the ends toward one another. Add salt, pepper and any seasonings you wish. Add your desired toppings and dig in!

Baked Potato Toppings:

  • Butter
  • Oil (for a vegan option)
  • Chives
  • Sour Cream
  • Shredded cheese
  • Crumbled bacon
  • Steamed veggies

How to store a baked potato:

If you need to keep your baked potato warm for a short time until you eat it, you can wrap it in foil and let it stay up to 45 minutes at room temperature. For longer storage, refrigerate your baked potato, without foil, in a plastic container for up to one week.

For some fun baked potato options, check out How to Make a Blooming Baked Potato or these Toaster Oven Potato Skins. You can even make Baked Potato Soup!

Cyd is a native of Upstate New York, born to a family of women who love to cook and host parties. She shares her love of all things food, home and entertaining on her blog, The Sweetest Occasion and on Instagram.

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