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Crispy Baked Potatoes

Crispy, oven-baked potatoes are a restaurant-inspired favorite! This method of salt baked potatoes results in crispy outside with fluffy, buttery insides. You only need a few ingredients to make this delicious side dish. Learn expert tips on how to get that crispy skin that rivals your favorite steakhouse. 

The crispy, salty outside is a delicious treat that turns a simple potato into a fan favorite. This is truly the best baked potato recipe on the internet!

two baked potatoes on white plate with white background

There is one skill every home cook should master: how to make delicious potato dishes.

Baked potatoes are probably one of the easiest side dishes to whip up: they are cheap, hands-off, and are difficult to ruin. If you are a beginner cook, this is a great recipe to start with.

Choosing Potatoes for Baking

The best way to make baked potatoes is with russet potatoes.

Russet potatoes are large and oblong with brown skin. They are excellent for mashing, baking, and for making potato chips.

Russet potatoes are also labeled as “baking potatoes” or Idaho potatoes in many grocery stores.

potatoes, olive oil, butter, salt, and utensils on a white background

Other potatoes like yukon gold potatoes or red potatoes are better for roasting, topping salads, or adding to soups and stews.

When you are choosing potatoes for this recipe, be sure to select potatoes that are roughly the same size. While it’s difficult to overcook a potato, it’s easier to track cooking time when they are relatively uniform in size and shape.

Tools to make this recipe easier:

  • Baking sheet with an oven rack – Using a baking sheet with a rack will help air circulate all around the potato and give you that crispy outer skin.
  • Foil or parchment paper – Line your baking sheet with aluminum foil for easy clean-up. Parchment paper can also be used, but check the oven-safe limit prior to cooking.
  • Tongs will help you split the potato and mix in the butter and salt.

How to get crispy skin on potatoes

When we make these potatoes, eating the outside skin is our favorite part. It’s crunchy, crispy, salty, and crave-worthy! The combination of olive oil and kosher salt (or sea salt), plus using a wire rack creates crispy potato skins.

Setting your oven at a higher temperature than normal will also aid in crisping the outside of the potato.

The cooking time is longer than a regular baked potato. However, the extra cooking time and the hot oven does not overcook the potato. Instead, it enhances the flavors of the fluffy, buttery insides.

Why do you salt baked potatoes?

Adding salt to the outside of potatoes draws the moisture out of the potato. Factor in using a wire rack to allow the air to circulate around the whole potato will yield a crispier, evenly-cooked result.

sprinkling salt on top of three potatoes

The Best Baked Potatoes

The great thing about these crispy potatoes is the simplicity! Simply rub down the outside with olive oil, season with salt, and bake.

three baked potatoes on white wooden background

Step 1: Wash the potatoes.

First, wash the outside of the potato. Since we are eating the skin, we want to get rid of any dirt residue or weird “eyes” that may be forming.

You do not have to pierce the potato. Piercing can shorten cooking time, but it is not necessary.

Step 2: Season the potatoes.

Dry off the potatoes, then drizzle with olive oil. I usually do this right on the sheet pan. Alternatively, add the potatoes to a large bowl and season them there. Avoid using too much olive oil – about a tablespoon or less (depending on size) for each potato will be sufficient.

You could also use the same amount of melted butter in place of olive oil.

Then, generously sprinkle with Kosher salt and rub into the skin of the potatoes.

Step 3: Bake the potatoes

Place on a foil-lined baking sheet (use foil for easy cleanup!) with a rack and place in the oven for 1 hour or until a sharp knife pierces the potatoes easily.

three potatoes on baking sheet

When a knife easily pierces the center, the potatoes are done. Remove them from the oven.

Split the baked potatoes down the center using a paring knife as if you were preparing a regular baked potato. Carefully, with potholders, squeeze the top and bottom of the split to get the potatoes to “open up” a bit.

With the back of a spoon, gently slide the spoon in between the skin and the flesh of the potato to loosen the insides of the potato.

To the inside, add a pat of butter and salt and gently stir. After the potato has been stirred, add in the butter and salt. Place the split potatoes back in the oven for another hour, or until the outside edges begin to brown to your liking.

Baked Potato Toppings

This potato is delicious on it’s own, but feel free to add some of your favorite toppings!

Consider these ideas:

  • crumbled bacon
  • sprinkling of cheddar cheese
  • a dollop of sour cream
  • a few chopped green onions
  • Or, turn this into a twice baked potato!

Reheating and storing leftover baked potatoes

  • Storing: Store leftover baked potatoes in the refrigerator for no more than 3 days.
  • Reheating: To reheat leftovers, place in a preheated 350F oven for 15-20 minutes or until warmed through.
  • Freezing: Although I haven’t tested this, you can freeze cooked baked potatoes (wrapped in foil) for up to one month. Defrost in the fridge and reheat in the oven.

Other ways to enjoy potatoes:

I hope you enjoy this easy recipe for the perfect baked potato!

Yield: 4 potatoes

Crispy Oven-Baked Potatoes Recipe

Crispy Oven-Baked Potatoes Recipe

Crispy, oven-baked potatoes are a restaurant-inspired favorite! This method of salt baked potatoes results in crispy outside with fluffy, buttery insides. You only need a few ingredients to make this delicious side dish. Learn expert tips on how to get that crispy skin that rivals your favorite steakhouse.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 Russet potatoes, also called baking potatoes or Idaho potatoes
  • Butter
  • Olive Oil
  • Kosher Salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400F degrees.
  2. Wash and clean the outside of the potato to remove dirt, "eyes", etc.
  3. Dry off the potatoes, then drizzle with olive oil until each potato is well-coated.
  4. Then, generously sprinkle with Kosher salt and rub into the skin of the potatoes.
  5. Place on a foil-lined baking sheet with a rack, and place in the oven for 1 hour or until a sharp knife pierces the potatoes easily. 
  6. Then, split the potatoes as if you were preparing a regular baked potato. Using a spoon, carefully scoop away some of the potato from the sides, like you were assembling a loaded baked potato.
  7. Add a pat of butter and salt to the inside of each potato and gently stir.
  8. Place the split potatoes back in the oven for another hour, or until the outside edges begin to brown. 

Notes

Use pot holders or tongs to squeeze either edge of the split to get the potatoes to “open up” a bit.

Consider these ideas for toppings:

  • crumbled bacon
  • sprinkling of cheddar cheese
  • a dollop of sour cream
  • a few chopped green onions
  • Or, turn this into a twice baked potato!

Reheating and storing leftover baked potatoes

  • Storing: Store leftover baked potatoes in the refrigerator for no more than 3 days.
  • Reheating: To reheat leftovers, place in a preheated 350F oven for 15-20 minutes or until warmed through.
  • Freezing: Although I haven't tested this, you can freeze cooked baked potatoes (wrapped in foil) for up to one month. Defrost in the fridge and reheat in the oven.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1 grams

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 305Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 8mgSodium: 136mgCarbohydrates: 56gFiber: 6gSugar: 3gProtein: 7g

The nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate generated by a calculator.

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