Perfectly Baked Potatoes
Yield: as many as needed
This basic technique guarantees potatoes with crisp, flavorful skins and light, fluffy insides every time. Enjoy them with butter or sour cream or stuff with your favorite add-ins!


  • Russet potatoes, scrubbed well and thoroughly dried
  • Softened butter, olive, or avocado oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper



  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Pierce each potato three or four times with a fork.

    Rub each potato all over with a teaspoon or so of olive oil or softened butter (no need to measure—you want enough to lightly coat), and then lightly sprinkle all over with kosher salt and pepper.

    Place the potatoes a few inches apart on a baking sheet. (For a little extra crispness, you can bake the potatoes directly on the oven rack. This can be a bit messy though, so I usually use a baking sheet.) Bake the potatoes for 50 to 60 minutes, depending on size, or until the skin is lightly crisp and the insides are tender when pierced with a fork.

    Remove the potatoes from the oven. Cut down the middle of each potato with a sharp knife, gently squeeze from opposite ends to open it, and fluff the interior with a fork. Enjoy with your favorite toppings.


Be sure to use russet potatoes, which have a thicker and more crisp-able skin than thin-skinned red potatoes and Yukon Golds.

I usually use butter as it adheres a little more thickly and the salt and pepper sticks to it better. When using oil, I prefer avocado oil, as its higher smoke point is well suited to baking at higher temperatures.

To shorten the baking time, you can microwave the potatoes for 4-5 minutes before baking.

If not baking directly on the oven rack, you may wish to flip the potatoes about halfway through the cooking time to evenly crisp both sides. (I often forget to do this and they are still delicious!)

If you prefer softer skins, wrap the potatoes in foil before baking.

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