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How to make a perfect baked potato

How to make a perfect baked potato, including a clever time-saving trick! This method gives a super fluffy middle, and a crispy skin – utterly perfect!

How to make the PERFECT baked potato! This method gives a soft and fluffy centre, with a crispy skin - and even includes a time-saving tip. My favourite method for making jacket potatoes!

I know some of you reading this will have made hundreds of baked potatoes in your lives, and will already be completely happy with you potato technique. If that’s the case, congratulations! And feel free to skip this one.

But judging by the popularity of my ‘how to make perfect roast potatoes‘ post (which is somehow one of the most popular posts on this blog!), I also know that you might be quite new to cooking for yourself. Or, maybe you’ve just never ventured into the world of baked potatoes before (you’re going to love it). Or maybe you’re just nosey and you want to see how I make mine. In which case, hello fellow nosey person! Read on.

How to make the PERFECT baked potato! This method gives a soft and fluffy centre, with a crispy skin - and even includes a time-saving tip. My favourite method for making jacket potatoes!

In the UK, we call baked potatoes ‘jacket potatoes’ because they’re soft and fluffy in the middle, with a crispy jacket surrounding them. It’s one of the more adorable food terms we have, and possibly the one that makes most sense (it certainly beats ‘toad in the hole‘, anyway). I really do think that baked potatoes are underrated – they’re not exactly haute cuisine, but they make a brilliant easy dinner, either served alongside something else, or on their own with some kind of topping. My personal favourite is butter and cheddar cheese – when something is so perfect, why complicate it?

I feel I should add a little disclaimer here (I know you guys are all lovely, but you’d be surprised how many people enjoy complaining on the Internet) – this is just one way to make a baked potato. If you use a different method, great! But personally I think my way of making a baked potato is the perfect way to get a fluffy middle and a crispy skin. Yum.

So, without further ado…

How to make a perfect baked potato

1. Choose the right potato

In the UK, bags of potatoes often tell you what they’re best for – great for mashing, roasting, baking, etc. If you’re not lucky enough to have things spelled out for you quite this clearly, try Maris Pipers, King Edwards, Yukon Golds, or Rooster potatoes. You can find out lots more about different potato varieties here! Choose quite a large potato for optimum baked potato-ness, and remove any eyes or sprouts.

How to make the PERFECT baked potato! This method gives a soft and fluffy centre, with a crispy skin - and even includes a time-saving tip. My favourite method for making jacket potatoes!

2. Wash thoroughly and prick with a fork

Piercing the potato’s skin with a fork will stop it from splitting when it cooks. You don’t need to pierce it deeply – just a few times all over is fine.

How to make the PERFECT baked potato! This method gives a soft and fluffy centre, with a crispy skin - and even includes a time-saving tip. My favourite method for making jacket potatoes!

3. Cook in the microwave until the centre is almost soft

Part-cooking in the microwave is my baked potato’s dirty little secret. You can just put your raw potato straight into the oven if you like, but they can take ages to bake – sometimes a good hour or more – and ain’t nobody got time for that. Plus, I’ve found that pre-cooking them in the microwave helps to give a really soft and fluffy middle, without ending up with a really hard and thick skin.

Cook the potato in the microwave for around 6-10 minutes (depending on the size of your potato), or until the centre is almost entirely soft (poke it with a fork or sharp knife to test it). Turn the potato over halfway to ensure even cooking. When it’s ready, the skin should be just starting to wrinkle.

How to make the PERFECT baked potato! This method gives a soft and fluffy centre, with a crispy skin - and even includes a time-saving tip. My favourite method for making jacket potatoes!

4. Lightly drizzle with oil

I never used to oil my jacket potatoes, but it makes such a difference to getting a super crispy skin, and will make your baked potato taste amazing too. Just drizzle over a tiny amount of oil, and rub it all over the skin of the potato. You can also add a little sprinkle of salt at this stage too.

How to make the PERFECT baked potato! This method gives a soft and fluffy centre, with a crispy skin - and even includes a time-saving tip. My favourite method for making jacket potatoes!

5. Bake!

Finally, you can actually bake your baked potato. Since the potato is already mostly cooked, you can bake it for as long as you like really – anything from ten minutes to half an hour – to get the skin to your desired crispiness.

How to make the PERFECT baked potato! This method gives a soft and fluffy centre, with a crispy skin - and even includes a time-saving tip. My favourite method for making jacket potatoes!

And then it’s just time to cut it open and stuff! In my opinion, a dollop of butter is a must. Just watch it melt…

How to make a perfect baked potato gif

And then it’s just time to add your toppings! As you can probably tell from the abundance of cheese recipes on this site, I’m partial to a bit of grated cheddar (and potentially a little heavy handed with it too…), but the options are endless. Baked beans, sweetcorn, and coleslaw are some of my favourites – feel free to leave your ideas in the comments!

So there you have it – how to make a perfect baked potato, Becca-style. What’s your favourite technique?

How to make a perfect baked potato-15
Print Recipe
5 from 3 votes

How to make a perfect baked potato

How to make a perfect baked potato, including a clever time-saving trick! This method gives a super fluffy middle, and a crispy skin – utterly perfect!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Light lunch, Side Dish
Servings: 1
Calories: 344kcal
Author: Becca Heyes

Ingredients

  • 1 large potato
  • 1/2 tsp oil

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 190°C (Gas Mark 5 / 375°F).
  • Thoroughly wash the potato, and remove any eyes or sprouts. Prick a few times all over with a fork.
  • Place on a microwave-safe plate, and cook in the microwave for around 6-10 minutes (depending on the size of the potato), until the centre is almost entirely cooked and the skin is just starting to wrinkle. Turn over halfway through cooking.
  • Drizzle the potato lightly with oil, and rub it all over the skin.
  • Bake the potato until the skin has reached your desired level of crispiness – anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes.

Video

Nutrition Facts
How to make a perfect baked potato
Amount Per Serving (1 large baked potato)
Calories 344 Calories from Fat 64
% Daily Value*
Fat 7.1g11%
Saturated Fat 1g5%
Cholesterol 0mg0%
Sodium 22mg1%
Potassium 1554mg44%
Carbohydrates 64.5g22%
Fiber 8.1g32%
Sugar 2.9g3%
Protein 7.5g15%
Calcium 30mg3%
Iron 2.9mg16%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Note: Nutritional information is approximate, and will depend on exactly what ingredients you choose. Information above is for 1 large potato baked with oil, not including toppings.

Here are some more straightforward guides for how to make perfect potatoes:

Perfect roast potatoes:

Perfect roast potatoes

Crispy baked potato wedges:

How to make homemade gnocchi:

Roasted black bean taco salad with avocado lime dressing
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Recipe Rating




Becca @ Easy Cheesy Vegetarian

Monday 15th of February 2021

Thanks Destiny! :)

Destiny

Friday 5th of February 2021

I just made this right now and it came out perfect, cheers!!

Becca @ Easy Cheesy Vegetarian

Monday 15th of February 2021

Thanks Destiny! :)

David

Tuesday 31st of March 2020

Thanks Becca, I like your version of cooking a jacket potato. I didn't have any olive oil, so I just used sunflower oil. Nice & crispy on the outside and deliciously soft on the inside. Loads of butter and mature cheddar cheese. Absolutely gorgeous. 

Regards,

Dave.

Becca @ Easy Cheesy Vegetarian

Monday 6th of April 2020

Thanks so much Dave, sounds delicious :D

Shera Camilleri

Monday 23rd of March 2020

First attempt at doing jacket potatoes. Result as described. Very easy to follow and quick to cook.

Becca @ Easy Cheesy Vegetarian

Tuesday 24th of March 2020

Great! Thanks for the lovely comment!

Ken Charles

Tuesday 30th of August 2016

A few comments learned from baking potatoes for over 40 years, and working in restaurants. Baking them on a bed of salt (rock salt works best & you can reuse it) helps to pull the moisture out of the potatoes, as does poking them with a fork. This helps to make a fluffy baked potato. I always oil (or butter) the skin before baking and usually sprinkle kosher salt on the outside also before baking. I was trained once by a good chef that you should cut off a bit of the ends of the potatoes (1/4 inch), which will also let the moisture out and make a very fluffy baker. I don't do this as much anymore since the finished product looks a bit strange, but it does work. I've been microwaving them before baking since I got my first microwave years ago, as it really cuts down on the time baking. Here in the States the best potatoes to use for baking are the thick skinned Idaho Russet, which makes a great edible skin when baked. Last but not least, NEVER put foil on a baked potato, during or after baking. This will cause any moisture still in the potato to soften the skin and you will be missing the best part of the baker.

Becca @ Amuse Your Bouche

Tuesday 30th of August 2016

Great tips, thanks Ken! I've always wondered if you can reuse salt after using it for baking - great to know you can :)

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