Baked potato on orange plate with fork

How to Bake Russet Potatoes the Easy Way

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This recipe is how I make baked potatoes the easy way. I almost always use russets for that classic baked potato taste. These potatoes are crispy on the outside and flavorful on the inside, so they are tasty plain. Baked potatoes also keep really well in the fridge, so I can have this wonderful side even on a weeknight.

Baked Potatoes are Awesome

I get potato cravings from time to time, and I doubt I’m alone. One of the nice things about Noom is that I can eat potatoes and not feel bad about it later.

Baking is one of the healthiest ways to make potatoes. Potato’s bad health wrap has a lot to do with how Americans cook them (deep-fried), and the toppings people put on them (chili-cheese). But I think baked potatoes are a fairly healthy food.

What and When I Eat Them

Mostly, they are a healthy side for meat or fish. I love having shredded chicken on top of a hot baked potato. It’s so filling and not much fuss. Other ways I enjoy:

  • Classic butter: I try to limit my butter intake
  • Lemon Juice or Malt Vinegar: low calorie and very flavorful
  • Dry: Don’t feel like you have to put toppings on your potatoes. I certainly don’t.

Obviously, baked potatoes are good fresh. But I can keep these for 6-7 days in my fridge and they are still delicious out of the microwave. They are one of the few foods I trust to keep that long, which makes them a good meal prep food. The only trick is to put them in the fridge after they have cooled to room temperature.

Also, I like them when I’m sick and have to take a lot of pills. They are easy to reheat and agree with my meds.

Detailed Directions

Please remember to wash your hands and wipe down your counters before you start cooking. After that, I preheat my oven to 450°F. If your oven can’t handle such a high temperature, you can bake these at 425°F and get the same taste with longer cooking times. But I wouldn’t recommend anything much cooler.

Oven reading 450F

Next, get your potatoes out and really scrub them. Potatoes grow in dirt, and you probably don’t want to eat that. Even if you don’t like eating potato skins, you don’t dirt on your plate.

Clean potato on cutting board

Then take a fork or a sharp knife and stab up and down the sides of your potato 12-18 times, more if your potato is over 1 pound. You don’t have to stab very deep, just through the skin should be good.

Sliced apple and rolling pin

Then put them in the oven. I usually put mine directly on the oven rack. But they will still cook nicely on a cookie sheet. If you are using a cookie sheet, I recommend putting a little foil down, but you can skip the nonstick spray. Water will leave the potato and can make a small mess.

Potatoes cooking in oven

Bake until soft when you stab the center of the widest part of the potato. Most potatoes cook in about 45 minutes. For a potato 4 oz or less, I check at 30 minutes. Giant potatoes can take longer to cook. Also, you need to watch for cold spots in your oven, which are inconveniently potato-sized in my experience.

Baked potato on orange plate with fork

Recipe Notes

It’s difficult to overcook a baked potato, but very easy to undercook one. And no one wants an undercooked potato.  If you are unsure, give it another 15 minutes. In my experience, an extra 30 min probably won’t hurt its taste. Anything past that and it might start drying out, maybe.

Seriously though, don’t undercook your potatoes.

Plain Baked Potato

Easy Baked Potato

These potatoes are crispy on the outside and flavorful on the inside, so they are tasty plain. They also keep well in the fridge for up to a week.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 1
Calories 179 kcal

Equipment

  • Oven
  • Fork
  • Cookie Sheet Optional

Ingredients
  

  • 1 Russet Potato About 8 ounces

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 450°F.
    Oven reading 450F
  • Scrub potatoes.
    Clean potato on cutting board
  • Stab skin of potatoes all over with a fork.
  • Put in the oven either directly on the rack or a cookie sheet.
    Potatoes cooking in oven
  • Bake until soft in the center of the widest part of the potato. About 45 min for an 8-ounce potato.
  • Serve and enjoy!
    Plain Baked Potato
Keyword Dinner, Potato, Side