Baked Potatoes

Baked Potatoes
Crispy Baked Potatoes Header

To get the Best Baked Potatoes with Crispy Skin, there are a few tricks. From first starting the Potatoes in a Salt Water Bath, Brushing them with the Bacon Fat halfway through cooking, hitting the right internal temperature and immediately venting the steam to keep the Skin Crispy as long as possible. Plus a few other ways to get really Crispy Baked Potato Skins.

After that you can really prepare these a bunch of different ways and top them off with a wide assortment of Toppings. This recipe is a Baked Potato seasoned with Salt & Pepper and some Butter Popcorn seasoning with some Butter. Topped with shredded Cheddar Cheese, Sour Cream, Bacon Bits, Green Onions & Chives. The Sour Cream I placed into a Squeeze bottle to drizzle over the Baked Potato. Another really good one is Steamed Broccoli & Cheese Whiz Sauce.

What Potatoes to use for Baked Potatoes

The higher the starch content and lower moisture the fluffier the Potatoes and a good crisping of the Skin. So good old Russet Potatoes are the preferred Potatoes for Baked Potatoes.

Scrub the Potatoes well and pierce both end with a fork 3 times on each side. Ensure that all the Potatoes you are baking are about the same size so that they cook up evenly throughout at the same rate.

Best Size for Baked Potatoes

A good size is at about 1/2 a lb or 227 g, anywhere from 7-10 oz or 196 g – 280 g. This is perfect for a side dish. Larger Potatoes can be used for a complete meal in themselves. Topped off with a variety of Toppings and Proteins for Lunch or Supper. These will take a bit longer to bake until softened.

Water Bathed Baked Potatoes

Giving the Potatoes a Salt Water Bath will season the outside of the Potatoes with Salt as the water evaporates. They don’t even have to stay in there long, just long enough to preheat the oven to 450 F.

Double or Triple the Salt Water depending on how many Baked Potatoes or the size of the Baked Potatoes. Flip the Potatoes around so all of it gets coated in the Salt Water.

Salt Water Bath for Baked Potatoes

Salt Water Bath

Combine 2 Cups of Water with 1 Tbl of Sea Salt. Pierce both ends of the Potatoes with a fork 3 times. Place the Potatoes in to soak while the oven is preheated to 450 F.

How to Bake Potatoes

Once the Potatoes have taken their Salt Water bath, transfer them to a rack placed on top of a baking sheet for full air circulation around the Potatoes. No need to brush with Oil just yet. Instead these Baked Potatoes will be brushed with Bacon Fat halfway through cooking, when the Skins are dry for a better Crisping of the Skin.

  1. Bake Medium sized Potatoes at 450 F for about 50 minutes – 1 hour depending on size. Placed on a rack on top of a baking sheet for full air circulation. Bake until softened or an internal temperature of about 210 F.
  2. Halfway through brush the Potatoes with Fat. Flip them over and brush them again with fat. Coating the entire Potato and then back into the oven.
  3. As soon as they come out of the oven, immediately slice in half or slice the top off to vent the steam and Fluff the Potatoes with Butter & Seasoning.

Baked Potato Internal Temperature

It’s perfectly fine to check for doneness with a fork. Checking to see if the Potatoes are softened. However to be more precise use an oven safe thermometer and bake until an ideal internal temperature of 210 F.

When testing at home I found that a 227g Potato Baked at 450 F for 30 minutes will hit an internal temp of about 170 F. Brushed with Bacon Fat and baked until an internal temp of 210 F took a total of 52 minutes.

About 50 minutes for slightly smaller and up to an hour for a bit larger Potatoes.

Venting Baked Potatoes

Venting the Steam from Baked Potatoes as soon as they come out of the oven is extremely important. It releases the Steam that would otherwise work against creating a Fluffy Mash and Crispy Skin. The more Steam you can cause to be released from the Hot Potatoes the Fluffier the Potatoes will be and the longer the Skins will stay Crispy.

Baked Potatoes Top exposed to cool down

Venting Baked Potatoes

Once cooked, immediately slice the top section off to vent the steam.

Optionally slice almost in half and fluff or entirely in half and fluff to present two half baked Potatoes.

Either way it’s important to open the Potatoes up as soon as they come out of the oven to release the steam.

Aluminum Wrapped Potatoes

Don’t use foil to wrap Potatoes. This not only steams the Potatoes and softens the skin. But if left aside to cool down while still wrapped is a breeding ground for botulism. Due to no oxygen getting to the surface of the Potatoes. This risk increases the longer they sit.

Crispy Baked Potato Skin

Don’t brush the Potatoes with Fat yet before they even hit the oven. Save that for when the Potatoes are almost cooked in order to allow the Skin to dry out and then Crisp after the Fat has been applied. Brush the entire Potato about halfway through cooking. Bacon Fat, Duck Fat, Butter, Extra Virgin Olive Oil can all be used to brush the Potatoes.

Twice Baked Potatoes

To take this further to get an even more Crispy Skin. Scoop out the inside and brush the Skins with Fat again to place back into the oven until the mash is ready. Prepare the Mashed Potatoes by adding in whatever you like. Then remove the Skins from the oven and fill the Baked Potatoes up, top and serve right away. This second cook with just the Skins will further evaporate more water and create a Crispier Skin.

Deep Fried Baked Potatoes

For the Ultimate Crispy Skin Baked Potato, scoop out the mash and deep fry the Skins at 350 F – 375 F until Crispy. Make the Mashed Potatoes up with whatever ingredients you want in it and fill the Fried Potato Skins back up. Top with additional ingredients and serve right away.

How to prepare Baked Potatoes

There are two main ways to prepare Baked Potatoes, Fork Fluffed & Mashed Baked Potatoes. In both cases you want to slice the top off or otherwise open them up as soon as they come out of the oven to release the steam. Which will preserve the Crispy Skin for much longer and create a wonderful Mash.

Fork Fluffed Baked Potatoes

Fork Fluffed is where the Potato is cut open and the insides mashed right there inside the Potato with a fork. Along with some Butter & Seasoning.

Slice off the top of the Potatoes and fluff the insides. This method is good where only Sauces and Toppings are going on the Baked Potatoes. Since this Baked Potato already stacks high.

Slice the Potato in Half almost all the way through and squeeze the Potato ends together to open it up with an oven mitt or towel, Fluff with a Fork. This method is perhaps the best as it allows much more steam to escape and is really good for filling the Potatoes up with all kinds of ingredients including Proteins & Vegetables. Since there is more surface area to place these ingredients on, without stacking it too high.

Baked Potato Sliced Halfway through and squeezed

Fork Fluffed Potato

Sliced across the length, end to end and squeeze together to open the Potato up. Fluff with a Fork. Add Butter and Salt & Pepper Blend with a bit of Butter Popcorn Seasoning.

Yep! That Butter Popcorn is going to add a unique Buttery Richness which is just really good in Mashed Potatoes.

Mashed Baked Potatoes

Mashed Baked Potatoes is where the inside of the Potatoes is scooped out and ran through a ricer or mashed with other ingredients added to place back into the Baked Potato Skins.

Slice the top off of the Potatoes and scoop out the inside to place into a bowl to mash or run through a ricer. Add Butter, Cream, Herbs & Spices or whatever else you may want and fill the Potato Skins back up. Then top with your favorite toppings.

With this method you can brush the skins again with Fat and place back into the oven until the mash is ready. Then remove them from the oven, fill and top with various items to serve right away. You can also deep fry the Skins for the Ultimate Crispy Baked Potato.

Baked Potato Seasoning

There is all kinds of things you can add to the Mashed Potatoes. Add in Salt & Pepper to season along with some Butter. Use some Butter Popcorn Seasoning to boost those Butter Flavors. You could also use Sour Cream & Onion Popcorn Seasoning.

Additional Herbs & Spices can go in like Fresh Parsley, Dill Weed, Paprika, Onion Powder or Garlic Powder.

Salt & Pepper Blend

Salt & Pepper Blend Ingredients

  • 1 Tbl Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp White Pepper
Buttered Salt Popcorn Seasoning

Butter Popcorn Seasoning

Add some of this along with the Salt & Pepper Blend to boost the Butter Flavors.

Baked Potato Ideas

Broccoli Cheese Baked Potato

Broccoli Cheese Baked Potato

Baked Potato Seasoned with Salt & Pepper Blend and some Butter Popcorn Seasoning with lots of Butter. Steamed Broccoli seasoned with Salt & Pepper on top with Cheese Whiz Sauce ladled over.

Sour Cream and Onion with Chives Baked Potatoes

Sour Cream Baked Potato

Baked Potatoes Seasoned with Sour Cream and Onion Popcorn Seasoning and Butter. Topped with Sour Cream & Chives.

Baked Potato Pin

Baked Potatoes

Salt Water Bathed Baked Potatoes brushed with Bacon Fat to Crisp up the Skin halfway through. Tops sliced off to vent the steam and create a Fluffy Fork Mash. Topped off with shredded Cheese, Sour Cream, Bacon Bits with Green Onions & Chives.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time52 minutes
Servings: 2 Baked Potatoes

Equipment

  • 1 Baking Sheet & Rack
  • 1 Oven Mitts for handling the Hot Potatoes
  • 1 Pan to fry the Bacon
  • 1 Large Bowl for the Salt Water Bath
  • 1 Small Bowl for the Salt & Pepper Blend

Ingredients

  • 2 Medium Russet Potatoes - about 227 g each
  • 2 Strips Bacon - chopped
  • As Needed Bacon Fat - from cooking the Bacon
  • 1-2 Tbl Butter - per Potato
  • To Taste Butter Popcorn Seasoning
  • As Desired Shredded Cheese
  • As Desired Sour Cream - place into a squeeze bottle or just a dollop
  • As Desired Chives
  • As Desired Green Onions

Salt Water Bath

  • 2 C Water
  • 1 Tbl Sea Salt

Salt & Pepper Blend

  • 1 Tbl Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp White Pepper

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 450 F. Scrub the Potatoes well and pierce both ends with a fork 3 times. Place the Potatoes into the Salt Water Bath to fully coat. Leave them in there until the oven is preheated.
    In a small bowl, combine the Salt & Pepper Blend and set aside until needed.
  • Transfer the Potatoes to a baking sheet with a rack to lift the Potatoes up and allow full air circulation around the Potatoes.
    Place into the oven to bake for about 52 minutes or until soft when pierced with a fork or an internal temperature of 210 F.
    With 227g Potatoes it will take 52 minutes to reach 210 F. Slightly smaller about 50 minutes, a little bit bigger up to 1 hour. For better accuracy bake until an internal temp of 210 F.
  • While the Potatoes Bake, chop the Bacon into small pieces and cook in a skillet over medium heat until crisp. Strain out the Bacon to top the Potatoes later and save the Bacon grease to brush the Potatoes.
  • Halfway through or at about 30 minutes, brush the Potatoes with Bacon Grease, flip them over and brush again with Bacon Grease, coating the entire Potato. Place them back into the oven to finish cooking.
  • Remove from the oven and immediately slice off about 1/2" off the top, or slice the length and squeeze the Potato end together with an oven mitt on.
    Fluff the insides with Butter, Butter Popcorn Seasoning, Salt & Pepper Blend to taste.
    Top with shredded Cheese, Sour Cream, Bacon Bits, Green Onions & Chives and serve right away.

Notes

 
The Baked Potatoes can also be sliced in half to make Baked Potato Halves. 
Either Butter Popcorn Seasoning or Sour Cream & Onions Popcorn Seasoning works really well to flavor the Mashed Potatoes. 
 

Twice Baked Potatoes

Scoop out the inside mash and brush the skins with fat again to place back into the oven while you prepare the mashed Potatoes. Remove the Skins from the oven and fill. Top off with your favorite toppings. 
 

Fried Baked Potatoes

Prepare the same way as the Twice Baked Potatoes but Deep Fry the Potato Skins at 350 F – 375 F until really Crispy before refilling with the seasoned mashed Potatoes. 
 
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Canadian
Keywords: Baked Potato, Baked Potatoes, Crispy Baked Potatoes, Oven Baked Potato, Water Bathed Baked Potatoes
Author: JAH
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