How to Cook a Baked Potato

 When it comes to comfort food, nothing beats a perfectly cooked baked potato. Whether you're serving it as a side dish or as the main event, a baked potato is a versatile and delicious addition to any meal. Here's how to cook a baked potato that's crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside.

Baked Potato Image


  • 4 large russet potatoes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Step-by-Step Instructions:

Step 1: Preheat the Oven

Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C).

Step 2: Scrub the Potatoes

Wash the potatoes thoroughly with cold water and scrub them with a vegetable brush to remove any dirt. Pat the potatoes dry with a paper towel.

Step 3: Poke Holes in the Potatoes

Using a fork, poke several holes in each potato to allow steam to escape during cooking. This will prevent the potatoes from exploding in the oven.

Step 4: Rub with Olive Oil, Salt, and Pepper

Drizzle each potato with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper, making sure to coat the entire surface of the potato.

Step 5: Bake the Potatoes

Place the potatoes directly on the oven rack and bake for 50-60 minutes, or until the skins are crispy and the insides are tender when pierced with a fork.

Step 6: Serve and Enjoy!

Remove the potatoes from the oven and let them cool for a few minutes before serving. Slice open the potato and add your favorite toppings, such as butter, sour cream, chives, or cheese.

Benefits of Eating Baked Potatoes:

Baked potatoes are a great source of fiber, potassium, and vitamin C. They're also low in fat and calories, making them a healthy addition to your diet. Plus, they're easy to prepare and can be customized with a variety of toppings to suit your taste preferences.


Q: Can I microwave a baked potato?

A: Yes, you can microwave a potato for a quicker cooking time. Simply pierce the potato with a fork, wrap it in a damp paper towel, and microwave on high for 5-7 minutes, or until tender. However, the skin will not be crispy like it would be if baked in the oven.

Q: How do I know when the potato is done?

A: The potato is done when the skin is crispy and the insides are tender when pierced with a fork. You can also test for doneness by squeezing the potato gently - it should be soft and pliable.

Q: Can I make baked potatoes ahead of time?

A: Yes, you can make baked potatoes ahead of time and reheat them later. Simply bake the potatoes as directed, let them cool, and store them in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. To reheat, place the potatoes in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for 15-20 minutes, or until heated through.

Q: What are some creative toppings for baked potatoes?

A: Some creative toppings for baked potatoes include: chili, broccoli and cheese, pulled pork, salsa, guacamole, bacon and ranch dressing, or even scrambled eggs and bacon for a breakfast twist!


Now that you know how to cook a baked potato, you can enjoy this classic comfort food any time you want. Whether you prefer yours loaded with toppings or simply with a sprinkle of salt and pepper, a baked potato is a delicious and satisfying dish that's easy to prepare and always hits the spot.