The Secret to Getting Perfectly Fluffy Baked Potatoes Every Time
Good things come to those who wait—and the same is true for your baked potatoes.
Pictured recipe: Greek Salad Baked Potatoes
I consider myself to be an eternal optimist, but I'm having to try a little bit harder while we're in the midst of a global health crisis. However, I recently discovered one plus-side to being stuck at home all day—getting to enjoy the world's best baked potato.
Typically, I will only settle for a 20-minute dinner on weekdays after a long day in the office and then teaching a barre class. However, with all this new found time at home, I'm finally taking advantage of being able to start dinner at 3 p.m. if I feel like it. This led me to finally try English jacket potatoes—and boy, are they worth the wait.
Our friends across the pond discovered the secret to perfectly fluffy baked potatoes long ago, and it's as simple as increasing the bake time and lowering the heat. This also gives your baked potato a delicate, crispy skin.
I am a die-hard fan of potato skins and always eat the entire baked potato. Those of you who only eat the inside just might have your world changed forever with this simple trick. Time to bake like the British!
Related: Are Potatoes Healthy?
How to Make Perfect Baked Potatoes Every Time
The perfect English jacket potato requires you to bake for at least an hour and 15 minutes (Joanna Goddard, author of Cup of Jo, recommends upwards of two hours), so you'll want to adjust your prep time accordingly if you normally bake your potatoes for 45 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 400° and wash, dry and prick the skin of your potatoes with a fork like normal. Goddard says her British aunt who gave her this recipe checks her potatoes occasionally while baking to make sure she catches them when they feel crunchy on the outside. Once they achieve that outer crunch, make a few more slits in the potatoes, then pop them back in the oven to finish cooking. Trust me on this one—the longer you wait, the better they are!
Now, if you're a baked potato purist, just top that bad boy with some butter, salt and pepper and call it a day. However, I'm all about turning my potato into a well-rounded meal, and we have some incredibly delicious ways to do so.
Some of our favorite ways to spruce up your baked potatoes is by turning them into our Spanakopita Loaded Potatoes or Stuffed Potatoes with Salsa and Beans. Check out How to Turn a Simple Baked Potato into a Healthy & Delicious Dinner for more inspiration, and find all of our baked potato recipes here.
What About Sweet Potatoes?
Yep, sweet potatoes can get the royal treatment, too! One of our editors says she loves to cook her sweet potatoes for at least an hour (again, longer is better) and then let them sit in the oven as it cools down for about 10 minutes to let the potatoes caramelize in their skins. Yum!
Our Chicken Curry Stuffed Sweet Potatoes are an easy way to turn this into a nourishing main dish. Check out Your Go-To Guide for How to Cook Sweet Potatoes Perfectly for more.