If you love entertaining, you know that baked potatoes are the perfect party food. Everyone loves a warm, crispy-skinned potato filled with buttery, creamy and cheesy filling topped with chives or bacon crumbles. They’re as great at a cozy indoor winter dinner as they are hot off the grill, poolside in the summer. Serve them at your Super Bowl party with chili, or with cheesy broccoli as an easy weeknight dinner. Baked potatoes are incredibly kid friendly and customizable. Plus, you can pretty much set them to cook and walk away knowing that in about an hour, they’ll be perfect and ready to serve. 

Follow these steps and basic instructions for perfect oven baked potatoes every time. We recommend Russet or Idaho potatoes.

Perfect Baked Potatoes

Ingredients

  • 4 large baking potatoes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • coarse salt

Step 1: 

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

Step 2: 

Scrub potatoes well under running water. Use a small, sharp knife, to cut out any small bruises or imperfections. 

Step 3:

Prick each potato deeply 8 to 12 times all over. This allows moisture to escape during baking. 

Step 4:

Rub each potato with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt. 

Step 5:

Place potatoes on center of center rack in oven. Place a baking sheet on the lower rack to catch any drippings. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes or until potatoes are tender and pierce easily with a fork. Check the largest potato for doneness — skin should be crispy, but flesh should feel soft.

Step 6:

Remove from oven and place on serving platter or individual plates. Make a shallow cut on top of each potato. Serve with butter, sour cream, jalapeños, parsley, bacon bits, fresh cut chives, cheese, chili, baked beans, or anything else you wish!

*Note: If cooking more than 4 potatoes, you may need to extend cooking time by up to 15 minutes.