All About Baked Potatoes

Baked potatoes are a common American side dish.  I know as a child in the 70s & 80s, we had baked potatoes at least once a week. Typically as a side dish with steak.  It was always a big deal to go to a restaurant that offered baked potatoes as a side dish and you got to pick from a bunch of choices as toppings. That is when you knew it was a special occasion.  I always wanted it loaded – butter, sour cream, bacon bits, cheese, and chives!

I still love a really good baked potato and all it has to offer nowadays. They sure have come a long way and are a lot more gourmet these days when it comes to topping choices and side dish offerings.  If you are like me and love a good baked potato keep reading to learn more about them and many recipes to try out.

I will review the following in this article:

  • All the Ways to Bake Potatoes
  • Common Potato FAQs
    • General Potato FAQs
    • Potato Baking FAQs
    • Nutritional Facts for Russet (baked) Potatoes
  • Best Toppings and Recipes for Baked Potatoes
  • How to Oven Bake the Best Potato 

 

All About Baked Potatoes stack of russet potatoes

 

 

All the Ways to Bake Potatoes

There are many ways to bake potatoes nowadays and it isn’t just about popping them in the oven.   You can use all the following kitchen gadgets and outdoor cooking equipment.  Check out all of these ways to bake a potato and how to long to cook them:

Air-Fryer Baked Potatoes
Air Fryer Baked Potatoes turn out so light and fluffy inside and perfectly crispy on the outside, you will never want to make a baked potato any other way again!
Check out this recipe
3 potatoes in an air fryer
Perfect Instant Pot Baked Potatoes
Learn how to make PERFECT fluffy Instant Pot Baked Potatoes! You will love how easy it is to make potatoes in your Instant Pot in just a few mins
Check out this recipe
2 potatoes in the instant pot
Easy Baked Potatoes and Onion in Foil
These 3 Ingredient Onion Baked Potatoes in Foil are easy to make and unbelievably delicious! Adding the onion/butter mixture between the slices and baking in aluminum foil locks in the rich flavor, adding real pizzazz to your potatoes!
Check out this recipe
Baked potatoes and onion in foil
Slow Cooker Baked Potatoes
Easy way to make baked potatoes in the slow cooker and without heating your kitchen.
Check out this recipe
potatoes wrapped in foil and in the crock pot
Baked Potatoes on the Grill
Baked potatoes on the grill are one of the best methods to cook baked potatoes. They’re perfectly seasoned, and turn out perfectly soft and tender, so fluffy with a deliciously crisp skin.
Check out this recipe
split baked potatoes topped with butter and chives

 

My favorite two ways are in the Instant Pot or in the oven.  I like to rub olive oil all over the skin of a clean russet potato. Then I salt it generously and prick it with a fork a few times before baking it in the oven. Below is a quick recipe card for this simple but perfect process for the best restaurant-style baked potato. The skin comes out crispy and the inside is fluffy.

 

potato being drizzled with olive oil
drizzle olive oil over a clean potato

 

Common Potato FAQs

 

General Potato FAQs

  • Do potatoes have gluten?
    • Potatoes do not have gluten. Potatoes are gluten-free.
  • Do potatoes have eyes?
    • Yes, but not in the “I can see you” sense.  The eyes of a potato are where the growing parts from the tubers.
  • What to do with sprouted potatoes?
    • The sprouts on a potato (the eyes) are safe. They start to grow and are root-like, they start to accumulate higher levels of glycoalkaloids.  These glycoalkaloids are toxic in high levels and should not be eaten.  They should be thrown out and not be eaten, especially if you are pregnant.
  • How many calories in a baked potato?
    • A medium potato has about 160 calories. For a very large potato, like those at Costco, they can be up to 350 calories each.  Size does matter for potato calorie calculations so keep that in mind.
  • Are baked potatoes healthy/good for you?
    • A baked potato can be a healthy option when not loaded down with a ton of toppings that bring the calorie, carb, and fat count too high. For those on a diabetic, keto, or low-carb diet, baked potatoes are not recommended. For those on a low-fat or low-cholesterol diet having a baked potato topped with healthy ingredients, steamed vegetables, or Greek yogurt, is a good side-dish or entree.
  • How long do potatoes keep in the refrigerator?
    • Potatoes are best kept in a cool dry place, like a pantry or cupboard. But if don’t have enough space or live in a humid environment they can be kept in the refrigerator too.  They will last up to 3 months in the fridge if stored properly and stay dry.
  • How long do potatoes last in the pantry?
    • Potatoes kept cool and dry in a pantry or cupboard are good for about 3-4 weeks.

Potato Baking FAQs

  • How long to bake russet potatoes?
    • There are a variety of cooking temperatures and times. See below for a long list of cooking temps/times and information about the size of your potato to estimate your cooking time.
  • What temperature do you bake potatoes at and for how long?
    • There are a variety of cooking temperatures and times. See below for a long list of cooking temps/times and information about the size of your potato to estimate your cooking time.
  • How long are cooked potatoes good for or last in the fridge?
    • Already baked potatoes can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
  • Can baked potatoes be frozen?
    • Yes. To freeze properly, place them apart on a flat surface or baking sheet in the freezer so that each one freezes individually. Freeze for about an hour.  Next place each in an air-tight container or Ziplock bag.  You can also wrap in plastic wrap or foil tightly. It is best to freeze whole baked potatoes that have not been cut and have definitely not been dressed with any toppings  To defrost, remove the number of potatoes you want from the freezer and place in the fridge for 24-48 hours, depends on the size of the potato.

Nutritional Facts for Russet (baked) Potatoes

  • Do potatoes have carbs, fiber, iron, vitamin c, calcium, potassium, or protein?
One medium-sized baked potato contains:  (based on 2000 calorie/day diet)
  • Calories: 160
  • Fat: < 1 gram.
  • Carbohydrates: 37 grams
  • Dietary fiber: 4 grams
  • Protein: 4 grams
  • Potassium: 25% daily recommended allowance
  • Iron:  10% daily recommended allowance
  • Vitamin C:  27% daily recommended allowance
  • Vitamin B-6: 25% daily recommended allowance
  • Magnesium: 12% daily recommended allowance
  • Calcium: 2% daily recommended allowance

 

All About Baked Potatoes many russets

 

Best Toppings and Recipes for Baked Potatoes

We love setting up a baked potato bar. I bring out a ton of fun ingredients and everyone makes their own fully loaded baked potato.  Here is a list of the best toppings that range from simple to gourmet to make your favorite baked potato:

  • Butter or margarine
  • Sour Cream or Greek yogurt
  • Chives or green onions
  • Shredded cheese or cheese sauce
  • Bacon or pulled pork
  • Chili with meat or vegetarian
  • Steamed, roasted, or sauteed vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, etc)
  • Caramelized onions or mushrooms
  • Salsa, tomatoes, or hot sauce
  • Dressings like Ranch, Thousand Island, Blue Cheese, etc

 

If you like to meal plan and make extra baked potatoes for days ahead, there are many great ways to enjoy leftover baked potatoes that are not strictly just topped or enjoyed plain. Here are several recipes using baked potatoes that I suggest trying out. There is something here for everyone whether you are gluten-free, vegetarian, or love it all. Everything you need to know about what to do with freshly baked or leftover potatoes. Check out these recipes:

Sloppy Joe Air Fryer Stuffed Potatoes
Here’s an easy no-ketchup sloppy-joe stuffed potatoes recipe. We think it's the best lip-smacking stuffed air-fryer potatoes -- and you'll never miss the buns in this gluten-free meal.
Check out this recipe
Sloppy joe meat over baked potatoes
Birria Baked Potato
Don’t let a single bit of birria go to waste. Use up your leftovers to make this birria baked potato loaded with cheese, white onion, and cilantro. Naturally gluten-free and dairy-free adaptable.
Check out this recipe
Potato topped with birria sour cream and cilantro
Jambalaya Stuffed Baked Potatoes
These fun Jambalaya Stuffed Baked Potatoes make a delicious fun dinner! Full of flavor, these hearty baked potatoes are so easy to make.
Check out this recipe
jambalaya on top of a baked potato
Taco Stuffed Baked Potatoes
Change up Taco Tuesday with Taco Stuffed Potatoes, a twist on the traditional taco. Tender fluffy potatoes are topped with a saucy ground beef mixture, your favorite taco toppings, and a surprise crunch of corn chips!
Check out this recipe
Taco stuffed potatoes
Aloo Gobi Baked Potatoes
A wonderful vegetarian stuffed baked potato.
Check out this recipe
potato topped with aloo gobi and sauce

 

How to Oven Bake the Best Potato

Baking potatoes at 400°F for 50-60 minutes in the oven is my usual method. Keep in mind that cooking times will vary depending on the size of the potatoes.  The best way to test for doneness is by sticking them with a fork to make sure they’re soft.  When a potato is done the skin will be crispy and it will have a soft fluffy interior. 

You can bake them at a different temperature for different times such as the choices below:

  • Bake potatoes at 350° for 75-90 minutes
  • Bake potatoes at 375° for 60-70 minutes
  • Bake potatoes at 400° for 50-6o minutes
  • Bake potatoes at 425° for 40-50 minutes
  • Bake potatoes at 450° for 30-40 minutes

** for baking a very large potato, like those sold at Costco, consider adding at least 50% more time. So for a big russet potato, bake at 400° for about 90 minutes.

 

PIN FOR SAFEKEEPING & SHARING!

 

All About Baked Potatoes PIN
All About Baked Potatoes PIN

 

Product Recommendations for this Recipe:

The Short Order Cook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.  As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.  If you click on a link and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission on the sale at no additional cost to you. This helps with the costs of running the blog. Thank you! 

 

All About Baked Potatoes featured

The Best Baked Potato

Angela
The perfect oven-baked potato that comes out fluffy on the inside and crispy on the outside every time.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 5 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • 4 medium-sized russet baking potatoes
  • olive oil
  • salt

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 400°
  • Clean each potato thoroughly and poke each with a fork at least once on each side.
  • Drizzle olive oil over the potatoes. Then brush or rub it all over the skin of each potato. Next, generously salt the exterior.
  • Position your oven rack in the middle of the oven. Place the potatoes directly on the rack of your oven. On the rack below the potatoes place a sheet pan, as a measure to ensure any potato moisture or oil drips don't drip onto the bottom of your oven.
  • Bake for 50-60 minutes. Your potato size will depend on how long it takes. Poke each potato with a fork or sharp-tipped knife to check for doneness. If it inserts easily, they are ready.
  • Remove from oven and let cool a few minutes before cutting into them.
  • I like to cut an "X" across the top of my potatoes. I then gently squeeze from the pointed ends inwards to smoosh up the middle part. This both spreads the skin more open to expose the inner flesh and also fluffs up the insides. Top with your favorite toppings - see great ideas and a list above. ENJOY!
  • Storing leftovers is easy. See above for information on how to store in the fridge or freezer.
Keyword baked, easy, gluten-free, grain-free, side dish, vegetable

 

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