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close up view of baked potato with baked potatoes in the background

How to bake a potato

  • Author: Melissa Griffiths - Bless this Mess
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4


If you're wondering how to bake a potato, this post is exactly what you need! This is your ultimate guide to making a perfectly baked potato with a fluffy center & a crispy skin.


  • 4 Potatoes (about 5-8 ounces each)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Wash and scrub your potatoes clean. Poke each potato with a fork a few times to allow steam to release while cooking.
  2. Place potatoes directly on a baking rack set inside a baking sheet and place them in the oven.
  3. Bake until the center of the potato reaches between 205 and 212 degrees. This will be roughly 35-45 minutes depending on the size of the potatoes.
  4. Remove from the oven and use a pastry brush to coat each potato in a thin coat of olive oil.  Sprinkle with salt and then flip them over and brush the other side with oil and sprinkle with salt.
  5. Bake the potatoes for an additional 10 minutes to crisp the skin.
  6. Remove the potatoes from the oven, cut a small X on the top of each potato and then using two hands (be careful, they are hot), gently press the potatoes inward so that they "bloom" from the X.
  7. Enjoy right away with your favorite toppings.


  • These were medium sized potatoes that came in a 10 pound bag. If you are using the large "baking" potatoes, be sure to add at least a half an hour, if not more, to the cooking time.
  • Table salt, kosher salt, and sea salt (fine to coarse) all work well here. I like a mix of fine and coarse sea salt on the outside.
  • Not committed to putting the tater directly on a oven rack? Stick a wire baking wrack inside of a rimmed baking sheet and let the potatoes cook on the rack. Last option, line a baking sheet with foil and bake on the baking sheet.
  • Prep Time: 5 min
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Category: Side
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

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