How to Make Baked Potatoes 5 Ways

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Learn how to make baked potatoes in the oven, microwave, crock pot, Instant Pot, or air fryer. Here are instructions for all 5 methods!

Text that says "5 ways to make baked potatoes" on a photo of a fluffy spud

Many people associate potatoes with things like French fries and chips. And lately, they’ve gotten a bad name for being high in carbohydrates. The truth is, these complex carbohydrates are good for us, and spuds are full of them!

In addition to that, potatoes are nutrient dense (especially the skin!). The flesh is a good source of potassium and vitamins B6 and C. Plus, the skin is full of fiber!

And, baked potatoes are naturally gluten free! Serve them as a side dish with a grilled flat iron steak or slow cooker turkey tenderloin.

Or skip the bread and stuff them with sloppy joes or buffalo chicken.

What is the best potato for baking?

The high-starch content of russet potatoes makes them the perfect choice for baking. Starch provides structure to create fluffiness. Also, russets have a mildly sweet flavor.

How to make baked potatoes

  1. Prepare the potatoes for baking.

Use a vegetable brush and cool water to wash them. Remove any blemishes with a paring knife, then use paper toweling to pat them dry.

  1. Bake potatoes using the cooking method of your choosing.
  1. Slice and serve with potato toppings.

Use a knife to slice the potato lengthwise down the middle. Using your hands to hold both ends of the potato, press inward toward the center to open and fluff the insides.

Making a Baked Potato in the Oven

Oven baked potatoes are a favorite of many people. Using this method creates a potato with crispy skin and a fluffy center.

  • Should I cook a baked potato in foil?

If you want crispy potato skins, then no. Cooking a baked potato in foil creates steam, which softens the skin.

  • How long does it take to cook baked potatoes in the oven?

The cook time will vary, depending on the oven temperature, size of the potato, and the baked potato recipe being used.

Generally, you’ll want to add 10 minutes to the cook time for every 25 degrees you lower the oven temperature.

On average, baking at 375°F will take 65 minutes.

How to make baked potatoes in the oven

  1. Preheat your oven to 425°F. 
  2. Use your clean hands to rub olive oil and kosher salt evenly over the surface of the potatoes.
  3. Using a fork or the tip of a sharp knife, pierce the skin in several different places of the potato. This allows steam to escape so the skin doesn’t burst during cooking.
  4. Place the potatoes on the center rack of the oven and bake for 40-50 minutes.

How to Make a Baked Potato in the Microwave

This method is best for when you want a quick baked potato. The skins won’t become crispy but the flavor is the same. Plus, it takes a fraction of the time!

To make a microwave baked potato:

  1. Pierce the skin like in the oven method.
  2. Place the potato on a microwave safe plate and cook on high for 5 minutes.
  3. Turn the potato over and cook for another 3-5 minutes, or until soft when poked with a fork. Depending on the potato’s size, it may take up to 15 minutes total.

Baking Potatoes in a Crock Pot

Slow cooker baked potatoes are a great option when you don’t have a lot of hands-on time or you just want dinner to be ready when you get home.

  1. Rub the potatoes with oil and salt, then pierce all over with a fork. Wrapping each one in foil might make them cook a little faster, but it’s not necessary.
  2. Place the potatoes into the slow cooker. It’s fine to stack them slightly, but avoid creating two full layers.
  3. Cook on High for 3-4 hours or Low for 6-8 hours. Overall time will depend on the size of your potatoes.
  4. Once they’re done, remove from the slow cooker, or keep on warm setting until ready to serve.

To create crispy skin on crock pot baked potatoes, place them under a broiler or on the grill for a few minutes.

Baked Potatoes in the Instant Pot

Instant Pot baked potatoes is another quick baked potato method. Plus, they’ll be fluffier than if you use a microwave.

  1. Add 1 cup of cold water to the inner pot and place the wire trivet inside.
  2. Pierce the potatoes with a fork and set on top of the trivet. Cook up to 8 at a time, or up to 6 if they’re extra large.
  3. Seal the Instant Pot and manually set to high pressure cooking. Use 12 minutes for small potatoes, 14 minutes for medium, and 18 minutes for extra large.
  4. After cooking, perform a Natural Pressure Release. The pin near the vent valve will drop when it’s safe to open the lid and remove the potatoes.

If pressure cooker baked potatoes aren’t fully cooked, just place them back in the Instant Pot and cook for a few more minutes.

Air Fried Baked Potatoes

Use one of the newest methods of cooking to make a baked potato in an air fryer. This method is similar to using an oven cooking, but more energy efficient and perfect for smaller batches. Plus, the kitchen stays cooler.

  1. Preheat the air fryer to 400°F.
  2. Coat potatoes with oil and salt, then pierce the skin to allow steam to escape. 
  3. Place in the air fryer and cook for 40-50 minutes, or until tender.

Depending on the size of your air fryer, you can make up to four air fry baked potatoes at a time. To prevent soggy skin, avoid over filling the basket.

Make it a meal

Steak supper

Chicken dinner

Meatloaf meal

Seafood feast

Baked Potato Recipes

Now that you know how to make baked potatoes, choose your favorite method to make one of these recipes:

Broccoli Cheddar Baked Potatoes
Everyone loves a classic baked potato, but they are even better stuffed with broccoli and cheese, then topped with more melted cheddar cheese.
Check out this recipe
Broccoli Cheddar Baked Potatoes
Shepherd’s Pie Loaded Baked Potatoes
A fun and easy twist on a classic recipe with a simple beef and vegetable filling for stuffed baked potatoes.
Check out this recipe
Shepherds Pie Loaded Baked Potatoes with a side salad
Tuna Cheddar Stuffed Potatoes
Whip up these 5-Ingredient Tuna Cheddar Stuffed Potatoes in less than 30 minutes when you need a quick, easy meal that the kids will love!
Check out this recipe
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How to Make Baked Potatoes 5 Ways

Learn how to make baked potatoes in the oven, microwave, crock pot, Instant Pot, or air fryer. Here are instructions for all 5 methods!
Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 1 hr
Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 4 large russet potatoes

Instructions

Making baked potatoes

  • Use a vegetable brush and cool water to wash them. Remove any blemishes with a paring knife, then use paper toweling to pat them dry.
  • Bake potatoes using the cooking method of your choosing.
  • Use a knife to slice the potato lengthwise down the middle. Using your hands to hold both ends of the potato, press inward toward the center to open and fluff the insides.

Baked potatoes in the oven

  • Preheat your oven to 425°F.
  • Use your clean hands to rub olive oil and kosher salt evenly over the surface of the potatoes.
  • Using a fork or the tip of a sharp knife, pierce the skin in several different places of the potato. This allows steam to escape so the skin doesn’t burst during cooking.
  • Place the potatoes on the center rack of the oven and bake for 40-50 minutes.

Baked potatoes in the microwave

  • Pierce the skin like in the oven method.
  • Place the potato on a microwave safe plate and cook on high for 5 minutes.
  • Turn the potato over and cook for another 3-5 minutes, or until soft when poked with a fork. Depending on the potato’s size, it may take up to 15 minutes total.

Baked potatoes in a slow cooker

  • Rub the potatoes with oil and salt, then pierce all over with a fork. Wrapping each one in foil might make them cook a little faster, but it’s not necessary.
  • Place the potatoes into the slow cooker. It’s fine to stack them slightly, but avoid creating two full layers.
  • Cook on High for 3-4 hours or Low for 6-8 hours. Overall time will depend on the size of your potatoes.
  • Once they’re done, remove from the slow cooker, or keep on warm setting until ready to serve.
  • To create crispy skin on crock pot baked potatoes, place them under a broiler or on the grill for a few minutes.

Baked potatoes in the Instant Pot

  • Add 1 cup of cold water to the inner pot and place the wire trivet inside.
  • Pierce the potatoes with a fork and set on top of the trivet. Cook up to 8 at a time, or up to 6 if they’re extra large.
  • Seal the Instant Pot and manually set to high pressure cooking. Use 12 minutes for small potatoes, 14 minutes for medium, and 18 minutes for extra large.
  • After cooking, perform a Natural Pressure Release. The pin near the vent valve will drop when it’s safe to open the lid and remove the potatoes.
  • If pressure cooker baked potatoes aren’t fully cooked, just place them back in the Instant Pot and cook for a few more minutes.

Baked potatoes in the air fryer

  • Preheat the air fryer to 400°F.
  • Coat potatoes with oil and salt, then pierce the skin to allow steam to escape.
  • Place in the air fryer and cook for 40-50 minutes, or until tender.
Nutrition Facts
How to Make Baked Potatoes 5 Ways
Amount Per Serving (1 potato)
Calories 168 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Saturated Fat 1g5%
Sodium 11mg0%
Potassium 888mg25%
Carbohydrates 38g13%
Fiber 3g12%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 5g10%
Vitamin C 12mg15%
Calcium 28mg3%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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