Home > Side Dishes > Baked Potato Baked Potato November 5, 2019 | 24 Comments SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Jump to Recipe This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy. The secret to the perfect Baked Potato in a fraction of the time: cutting it in half! That’s right, we roast potato halves instead of whole potatoes. Not only do they take less time, they also have perfectly caramelized edges and a soft, fluffy interior. Top the potatoes with your favorite toppings; we love salt and pepper, butter, sour cream, sharp Cheddar cheese, and green onions. Read on for more ideas for topping your potatoes and how to make them into a filling meal. The secret We’re obsessed with potatoes at my home, and in my opinion, there aren’t too many meals easier than loading up a baked potato and calling it dinner (with a side of this Italian salad of course)! And this is especially true when baking the potato takes around 35 minutes instead of an hour. The secret is in cutting the potatoes in half and baking them that way. I use this technique when cooking sweet potatoes (for these delicious loaded sweet potatoes) and the method works perfectly with russet potatoes as well. In fact, I’ve never had a tastier baked potato; the edges get slightly caramelized, the skin is perfectly crispy, and the inside is light and fluffy. The other important “secret” to these potatoes is make sure you don’t skip the seasonings! Potatoes need salt and pepper. You can reduce this, of course, if you’re sensitive to salt or pepper, but, if you’re wanting more flavor, it could be as simple as adding another sprinkle of salt and pepper. How to make Baked Potatoes in the oven The descriptions below correlate with the photo collage beneath the text Wash and cut: Thoroughly scrub the potato to remove any dirt or debris. Dry the potato and then cut exactly in half the long way. Poke: Poke holes on the skin side of the potato, using the tines of a fork – about 3 to 4 times. Make sure you pierce more than just the skin; it should go into the flesh. Add oil: Add oil to the potatoes. Drizzle it on evenly and then… Rub oil into the potatoes: Even rub the oil onto both sides of the potatoes. Season: Add salt and pepper to both sides of the potatoes and then again, rub onto both sides of the potatoes. Place the potatoes face down: And bake! How long to bake a potato A baked potato half will take anywhere from 30-50 minutes in the oven, depending on many different factors. Those factors include the size of the potatoes and the actual temperature of the oven, how many potatoes are being baked together, and how fresh the potatoes are. The best way to tell your potato done is by simply inserting a fork through the potato. If it slides in easily, the potato is cooked through. If the fork hits resistance, give the potatoes an additional 5 minutes and continue to check every 5 minutes until the potatoes are done. Remember, when you open your oven to check the potatoes, you lose a lot of oven heat, so check quickly and get the oven closed as fast as possible. Baked Potato FAQs Should Baked Potatoes be wrapped in foil? I don’t recommend wrapping your potatoes in foil before baking. Foil holds in moisture and will steam your potatoes instead of roasting them. This will give you a boiled taste and texture. Why poke holes in the potato before baking? We poke holes in a potato before baking to allow the steam that builds up inside of the potato to escape. Without the holes, a potato could explode during cooking! What is the best potato for baking? The best potatoes for baking are russet potatoes. They are high in starch, so that when they’re baked, they’ll lend a light and fluffy texture. Red potatoes and Yukon gold potatoes are also good baked, and they lend a more buttery flavor with a less-fluffy texture; I love red potatoes best in this creamy vegetable soup and Yukon gold best in these insanely good mashed potatoes! Can you bake potatoes ahead of time? You certainly can! They won’t be as good as made fresh, but they’ll still be pretty great! Here’s how you do it: Bake according to the recipe and then let the potatoes cool. Refrigerate in an airtight container and when ready to eat, reheat in the oven at 350 degrees F, baking for 15-20 minutes or until sufficiently warmed through. Topping your potato Keeping it simple: butter, salt, and pepper (a perfect side dish). Jazzed up a bit more: the above additions, plus freshly grated sharp Cheddar cheese (or your favorite cheese), cooked and crumbled bacon, green onion or chives, and a scoop of sour cream (or Greek yogurt) Hearty meal: a broccoli-Cheddar cheese sauce or a few scoops of this famous crockpot chili Taco potato: taco meat (from these taco lettuce wraps), Cheddar cheese, fresh lime, and sour cream Sloppy joe potato: add the meat from this sloppy joe recipe BBQ: leftover BBQ pulled pork or chicken Vegetarian: seasoned baked beans and Cheddar cheese And if you’re serving a crowd, you can make a baked potato bar. Set out all the toppings, bake the potatoes, and let guests chose how to top them! More veggie side dishes Roasted Vegetables Reader Favorite! Roasted Brussel Sprouts Roasted Broccoli Savory and Sweet Variations: Roasted Sweet Potatoes Roasted Carrots FOLLOW ALONG! Subscribe to my newsletter and follow along on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram for the latest updates, recipes and content. Baked Potatoes 5 from 7 votes - Review this recipe The secret to perfect Baked Potatoes in a fraction of the time: cutting them in half! That's right, we roast potato halves instead of whole potatoes. Not only do they take less time, they also have perfectly caramelized edges and a soft, fluffy interior. SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Print Recipe Baked Potatoes 5 from 7 votes - Review this recipe SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Print Recipe The secret to perfect Baked Potatoes in a fraction of the time: cutting them in half! That's right, we roast potato halves instead of whole potatoes. Not only do they take less time, they also have perfectly caramelized edges and a soft, fluffy interior. Course Main Course, Side Dish, Vegetarian Cuisine American Keyword baked potato Prep Time 10 minutes Cook Time 35 minutes Total Time 45 minutes Servings 4 full potatoes Calories 254kcal Ingredients4 (evenly sized) russet or Yukon gold potatoes (6-9 ounces in size) Note 13 tablespoons olive oil1 teaspoon fine sea salt, divided1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper, dividedServe with your favorite toppings such as: freshly grated Cheddar cheese, butter, green onions or chives, sour cream, cooked and crumbled bacon, etc. InstructionsOVEN: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large dark sheet pan with parchment paper. Don't skip the parchment paper; it really helps the potatoes cook evenly without the cut side getting too hard.CLEAN POTATOES: Thoroughly scrub the potatoes using cold water to remove all the dirt and any debris. Completely dry the potatoes and cut the potatoes in half lengthwise.PREP POTATOES: Place the potatoes, flesh side down, on the sheet pan. Pierce the skin of the potato 3 to 4 times with the tines of a fork. Flip the potatoes flesh side up. Drizzle the oil over all the potatoes and take your time to rub the oil into both sides of the potatoes so all parts of the potatoes are sufficiently covered. Evenly sprinkle 3/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/8 teaspoon of pepper over all the potatoes (3/4 teaspoon and 1/8 teaspoon for ALL potatoes not each). Now flip again, so the potatoes are flesh side down. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt over all the skins of the potatoes and remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper on the skins.BAKE: Bake flesh side down for 35-45 minutes, checking at 35 minutes. Check for doneness by inserting a fork into the biggest potato. If it goes in easily, the potatoes are ready! If not, add an additional 5 minutes. Cook until fork tender, checking every 5 minutes.ENJOY: Remove from the oven and serve with your favorite toppings. We like a pat of butter, Cheddar cheese, sour cream, and green onions or chives. See the blog post for more ideas. Make sure to taste the potatoes and add additional salt and pepper as needed. Recipe NotesNote 1: I have also tested this recipe with potatoes that are 9-13 ounces in size. Add an additional tablespoon of oil and they bake for about 10 minutes longer. You'll need to add an additional sprinkle of salt and pepper on the larger potatoes after baking (taste first). Also, while you can cook more than four potatoes at a time, remember that the more potatoes on the sheet pan, the longer the overall cooking time will be. Nutrition FactsServing: 4full potatoes | Calories: 254kcal | Carbohydrates: 37.3g | Protein: 4.4g | Fat: 10.7g | Sodium: 12.8mg | Fiber: 4.5g | Sugar: 1.7g DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? I love hearing from you when you've made one of my recipes! Tag me on Instagram at @ChelseasMessyApron or leave me a comment below.