Perfect Baked Potatoes Kitchen Tip

Kitchen Tips & Tricks | 31 comments

Making a baked potato, thinking the potato is done and then when you cut into it the middle is still hard is really annoying.  That’s what happens when I toss the potatoes into the oven and don’t really pay attention to what I am doing or how long they’re cooking. No, I want a perfect baked potato.

perfect baked potatoes

I feel the baked potato and think they’re done, but they aren’t really. I’ve come up with a strategy that insures I don’t deal with an imperfect baked potato, so I thought that I’d share those methods for today’s kitchen tip. Here’s a (in my book) fool-proof way for a perfect, crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside baked potato.

The first method for baking potatoes assumes that you have plenty of time, you’re not in a rush and you’ve planned ahead. The second way, a variation of the first, produces equally delicious results in a fraction of the time. For those days when you’re a little less than organized. Which probably happens here more often than I’d care to admit.

How To Make a Perfect Baked Potato:

The “I’ve got time…” method for a Perfect Baked Potato:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Start with organic russet potatoes of the large baking variety. Wash, scrub, and dry the potatoes.
3. Optional: brush each side of the potato with olive oil. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt.
4. Poke holes on all sides with the point of a sharp knife or fork.
5. Bake at 375 degrees F for 75-90 minutes.

  • This can vary depending on the size of your baked potato and the altitude at which you live, so you will still need to test for doneness and find what cook time works best for you.

The “I’m short on time” method for a Perfect Baked Potato:

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
2. Start with an organic russet potato of the large baking variety. Wash, scrub, and dry the potato.
3. Poke holes on all sides with the point of a sharp knife or fork. Microwave the potatoes, up to 4 at a time, on full power for 4 minutes.
4. Turn potato over and microwave for 4 more minutes.
5. Optional: brush each side of the potato with olive oil. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt.
6. Then, bake the microwaved potato in the 450 degree F preheated oven for 20 minutes.

baked potatoes with balsamic mushrooms and blue cheese

Delicious perfect baked potato recipes for your inspiration:

Do you have any special tricks for cooking baked potatoes or a favorite way to serve them?

Don’t forget to head over to Butternut Squash, Pomegranate + Roquefort Salad to enter to win an autographed copy of Deliciously Organic, by Carrie Vitt

Katie Goodman

About the Author:

Katie’s lifelong interest in cooking good food has shown her that part of the goodness in life is enjoying delicious food with friends and family. She is: Mom. Writer. Photographer. Recipe Developer. Website Founder. Lover of all things good in life. A mix of great recipes, family memories, and yummy photography is what Katie serves up each week at GoodLife Eats™. Katie and her family reside in Colorado.

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  • 1
    Liz @ Blog is the New Black - January 18, 2011 @ 8:20 am

    All great tips! I can’t wait to make some soon….


  • 2
    Heather @ Heather's Dish - January 18, 2011 @ 8:31 am

    I have the hardest time with baked potatoes…I lOve these tips!


  • 3
    Estela @ Weekly Bite - January 18, 2011 @ 8:50 am

    wonderful tips! I have a tendency to over cook them, so they end up chewy :(


    • Lisa Sears replied: — November 19th, 2012 @ 2:29 PM

      the chewiness, may well be the type of potatoe you are using. stick with the potatoes that are suggested for BAKING. they are typically larger then the others. another suggestion is- after you bake the potatoe. my husband and i will through them on the grill for the last few minutes, while the meat is finishing on the fire. it crisp the skin and gives the potatoe the desirable grill marks. delish!!

  • 4
    Tricia @ Saving room for dessert - January 18, 2011 @ 8:57 am

    Great tips and congrats on the Tasty Kitchen spotlight! It’s about time :)


  • 5
    julie africk - January 18, 2011 @ 9:15 am

    Hi. Love your blog!! Baking at 450 degrees for 45 minutes works well also. Bake for a little less time for smaller potatoes. J


  • 6
    Liz J - January 18, 2011 @ 9:53 am

    I’ve found when using method #2 placing the Potatoes in a shallow dish if water in the micro help keep them from getting dried out or sort of mealy on the inside


  • 7
    naomi - January 18, 2011 @ 10:40 am

    I love that you gave two ways to do it. I don’t always have time so the microwave short cut works when I don’t.


  • 8
    Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction - January 18, 2011 @ 11:04 am

    Yum! I love baked potatoes, but I rarely make them. I’m feeling inspired now, though… Thanks :)


  • 9
    Michelle (What's Cooking with Kids) - January 18, 2011 @ 11:10 am

    I love how you designated the steps – I have time vs. I don’t…Makes it easy for us to pick which one works for us! xo


  • 10
    Lauren from Lauren's Latest - January 18, 2011 @ 11:18 am

    Wow! Two ways to make them, depending on your schedule! Genius!


  • 11
    Tracy - January 18, 2011 @ 11:45 am

    Great tips! And, I love the different methods based on how busy you are – brilliant!


  • 12
    Jamie | My Baking Addiction - January 18, 2011 @ 2:07 pm

    Great tips, Katie! I never thought of microwaving first!


  • 13
    UrMomCooks - January 18, 2011 @ 4:09 pm

    Baked potatoes are an awesome go-to meal! Good reminders for success… Underbaking is not my problem – I once had a potato explode on me in the oven… Needless to say, we had to move! Leftover BBQ is my family’s fav way to eat bakers, but cheese and veggies are sooo good too!


  • 14
    Lisa {Smart Food & Fit} - January 19, 2011 @ 5:33 am

    Great tips. You always have time to eat healthy…..love the I have time vs. the I don’t have time….there’s no excuse!
    I love baked potatoes especially sweet potatoes!


  • 15
    Happy When Not Hungry - January 19, 2011 @ 7:28 am

    Great tips! Thanks for sharing. Can’t wait to make some!


  • 16
    SMITH BITES - January 19, 2011 @ 8:59 am

    yep – do that at my house too Katie! i’m a potato girl so absolutely had to find a way to speed things up!!


  • 17
    Jun - January 22, 2011 @ 2:15 am

    Thanks for the tips! They’re are really helping!


  • 18
    Taylor - January 22, 2011 @ 9:47 am

    Thanks for the great tips…and the fun baked potato recipes! I can’t wait to try the baked potato soup!


  • 19
    moxie*Lisa - January 22, 2011 @ 9:57 am

    I should never come over here when I am hungry! Oh I am a potato lover and those look divine!


  • 20
    Med - January 22, 2011 @ 10:20 am

    Potatoes are so delicious they can be done with such variety that there is always room for them! These pictures are superb. and the instructions are so helpful, great recipe!


  • 21
    Paula - January 23, 2011 @ 9:04 am

    I found your link on tasteologie, and only wish that it had been up on Friday for my baked potato bar party. After an hour my potatoes were just as described, not cooked on the inside. I was just lucky enough to be able to throw them in the microwave to cook them soft for a hungry group.


  • 22
    Lacey @ dishfolio.com - January 24, 2011 @ 1:52 pm

    This potato looks amazing. Great food styling and photos as well! We’d love to see your stuff posted at dishfolio.com!


  • 23
    Michelle Judd - February 03, 2011 @ 10:50 am

    I rarely have enough time to bake my potatoes in the oven, so here’s my trick:

    - Wash, scrub, dry potato (russets, all the way)
    - Pierce both sides of potato with sharp knife
    - Microwave potato on high for 4-5 minutes, depending on size
    - Turn potato over and microwave for an additional 4-5 minutes
    - Take potato out of microwave and immediately wrap in aluminum foil
    - Leave potato in foil for 4-5 minutes
    - Unwrap and enjoy!

    The potato will steam inside the foil and will be fluffy on the inside.


  • 24
    Sharon - July 23, 2011 @ 10:50 pm

    Thanks for the tips! I’m loving your website. one question: Do you stab the potatoes before you micro them in the 2nd method? I’ve always heard they will explode if you don’t.


  • 25
    Roger Putman - October 27, 2011 @ 7:33 pm

    Greatest baked potatoes I ever made. Cooked (8) giant ones for 80 minutes. rubbed with EVO (olive oil) and sprinkled sea salt over them before baking…..Wow !!!!!!!! Thanks :)


  • 26
    Suzanne - November 10, 2011 @ 8:38 am

    I almost never have time for the oven. My fave is to wash, pat dry, and rub with olive oil. Wrap in Saran Wrap, (two layers) and microwave. 5 to 7 mins is all it takes. They come out so good. You can also buy them prepped for the microwave (they come wrapped in plastic and cost about $1.75 per spud) I never pierce the potatoe and have never had one split. Great to carry to work with some fixins’ too. But be careful, the plastic wrap holds the steam in, so use caution opening them!


  • 27
    Moaa - March 15, 2012 @ 1:44 pm

    Thank you so much for the tips/info. Just finished baking my 4 potatoes and did the first method @375 for 75min.


  • 28
    meesh - April 29, 2012 @ 10:04 pm

    When shopping for a recipe I rely on the comments that other chefs have left almost more than the actual recipes – so I wanted to leave some for anyone wondering if this really works. I got excellent reviews on this at a dinner party I just hosted – I used the shortcut version in the microwave and followed up with the olive oil and oven. I also followed what another poster said by adding a little water to the plate in the microwave. This version of the recipe is very easy and it came out well! Thanks!!


  • 29
    Naomi - October 21, 2012 @ 6:42 pm

    I did the “I’ve got time” method and it turned out awesome!!! Threw some sour cream, cheese and green onions on it…….yum!


  • 30
    Gregory O'Neill - August 11, 2015 @ 9:17 am

    Thank you for the tip on cooking the potatoes quickly! I run a B&B and am making a twice-baked potato dish with an egg dropped in the center (and then baked), side of avacado, sour cream, chive, and bacon…all served on a large leaf of lettuce…not my recipe, but it’s had a great response so I keep making it! It was taking way way too long to cook the potatoes so this is a life/time saver! Thank you SO very much:)!


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