How to Bake a Potato

by lou16

If you want to learn how to cook a baked potato you've come to the right place as I'm going to show you a couple of different options for cooking the best baked potato ever.

I love baked potatoes, they really are the ultimate comfort food and they're so easy to make that it's a wonder they're not on everyone's menu plan!

As much as my whole family loved baked potatoes they used to take so long to cook when I was a child that we only had them occasionally. Enter the microwave and baked potatoes were not only yummy, but a fast, easy and nutritious meal to enjoy.

Let's look at cooking baked potatoes the traditional way, the quick way and a third option which combines the best of both worlds.

The Traditional Way to Bake the Perfect Potato

Baked Potato Heaven on a Plate!

The traditional way to make baked potatoes ensures that you have a delicious crispy skin with fluffy potato on the inside and if you have the time it is definitely the way to bake your potatoes.


Oven Baked Jacket Potatoes

Oven Baked Jacket Potatoes

Delicious baked potatoes with crispy skins and fluffy insides, perfect as both the main event at your meal or as a side dish.

Prep time 5 min  -  Total time 65 min
Ingredients for 1 serving
Potato  • Oil  • Sea Salt

Preheat Oven

Preheat your oven to 350 F, 180 C or Gas Mark 4

Scrub & Prick Potatoes

Scrub your potatoes (the amount you use will depend on how many you're cooking for - 1 per person) to ensure all of the dirt is off as baked dirt really doesn't taste too good!

Use a fork and prick your potatoes all over - this allows steam to escape while the potato cooks which means a fluffier potato inside.

Oil & Season Potatoes

Now that you've cleaned and pricked your potatoes it's time to massage them! You can brush them with oil, but I prefer to rub the oil into the skins - you just need enough to ensure the skin is covered completely. Next you can add some sea salt to them as well (this is optional) - I never used to bother, but I saw someone do this a few years ago and it does add another dimension to the skins when cooked.

Bake Your Potatoes

Now it's time to pop your potatoes into the oven. I always wrap my potatoes in foil first as it was the way I was taught, but I know a number of people who don't and their jacket potatoes always taste nice as well.

They will need to bake for about 60 minutes, give them a little squeeze to see if they're soft or not as if you have a slightly bigger potato it might take 5 or 10 minutes longer.

Serve Your Baked Potatoes

Now your potatoes are cooked you can cut them open, add your potato topping of choice and serve them - delish!

Recipe  5.0/5 Stars (1 Votes)

Talking of tradition, when I was growing up we called these potatoes jacket potatoes because they were cooked wearing their 'jackets'.   These days I find myself referring to them as baked potatoes, I'm not sure if it's because I live in a different country or because the chefs on the cooking channel my hubby constantly has on refer to them as baked potatoes.

What do you think they should be called?   Please answer the poll below and let's decide if baked or jacket reign supreme.....

Should These Potatoes Be Called Baked Potatoes or Jacket Potatoes?

A Quick & Easy Way to Cook Baked Potatoes

Waiting for an hour before your baked potato is ready is not always a mid week option for busy families or households.    After a hard day's work you want to come home and make a quick and easy meal, well you can still have baked potatoes as part of that just read on to find out how...

Microwaved Backed Potatoes

Microwaved Backed Potatoes

Delicious baked potatoes in a fraction of the time - you can still get the fluffy inside of the potato when cooking them this way although the skin's not as nice as when cooked traditionally.

Prep time 1 min  -  Total time 10 min
Ingredients for 1 serving

Scrub & Prick Potato

Scrub your potato to remove all the dirt and then stab several times with a fork - this is even more important step when you're microwaving potatoes.

Cook the Potato

Place the potato into the microwave on a plate and cook on full power for 5 minutes. Turn the potato over and cook on full power for another 5 minutes. If the potato is soft remove from oven and serve (some larger potatoes may take slightly longer so if it's not soft cook for another minute).

Serve Your Jacket Potato

To serve the potato simply cut it open and add your topping. In the picture I've added tuna with mayonaise and sweetcorn which is a topping my daughter loves.

Recipe  5.0/5 Stars (1 Votes)

You can now buy a special microwavable potato cooker (see opposite) which has spikes in the bottom which help release the steam (like the pricking of a potato does) along with a lid.   The lid is quite handy if you don't like your microwave steaming up as it does when the potatoes are cooked on plates.

I haven't actually tried this myself, but the reviews are good so it's another idea that you might want to use.

Another Baked Potato Recipe That You'll Love

One of the things I love about baked potatoes or jacket potatoes (however you voted) is the yummy potato skin, but cooking by microwave doesn't allow you to enjoy that and time is often a factor when it comes to weekday meals.

My father actually came up with a solution which I discovered when I stayed there a few years ago - use a microwave and an oven!   This allows you to cut down on the time it takes to cook while still having the traditional baked potato flavor.

Nice & Easy Baked Potato

Lovely fluffy potato on the inside and a slightly crispy potato skin covering it - a delicious base to a meal.

Prep time 1 min  -  Total time 35 min
Ingredients for 1 serving

Preheat Oven

Preheat oven to a moderate temperature - 350 F, 180 C or Gas Mark 4.

Prepare Potato

Scrub the potato to get rid of all the dirt, use a paper kitchen towel to remove excess water from the skin and then use a fork to really stab that potato a few times - great for relieving frustrations at someone!

Microwave the Potato

Pop the potato onto a plate and place in the microwave on full power for 5 minutes.

Wrap & Bake the Potato

Wrap the potato in foil before placing in the oven for 30 minutes or until soft.

Recipe  5.0/5 Stars (1 Votes)

What Toppings To Use On Your Delicious Baked Potato

Jacket Potato Topping Ideas

Now you've cooked your baked potato you have to decide how to serve it and there are lots of different ways to do this.   If you're having a jacket potato on the side you could simply add butter, maybe some grated cheese or sour cream and that would be great.

If you're planning on making your jacket potato the main part of your meal well the world is your oyster as far as what to serve with it as I've yet to find something that doesn't go well with potato!   There are so many great ideas for potato toppings that I've actually devoted an entire webpage to them -

Baked potatoes are a delicious base for a meal, all you have to decide is what to add to them. I've compiled a list of delicious baked potato topping ideas for your reference.
Updated: 03/26/2012, lou16
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WriterArtist on 06/25/2013

Yummy, love these delicious bakes potatoes.

bhthanks on 04/16/2012

Thank you for sharing ways to make baked potatoes. I think it's best to call it baked potatoes, because people might not know why it's called jacket. It is baked. This is great info for a newbie learning how to bake potatoes. I rated your recipes five stars, and plan to vote for it in the wiz-contest.

Marie on 03/28/2012

We call them Jacket Potatoes and you can't beat cooking them in a traditional way to ensure you get really yummy skins too. I had one yesterday filled with prawns mmmm.

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