Perfect Baked Potatoes (Without Foil!)

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Potatoes are a staple ingredient in many recipes and while they’re usually baked in aluminum foil, you do have other options. If you’re all out and need to know how to bake a potato without foil, you’re in luck. There are several simple and delicious ways to do it and I’m going to show you how. So, let’s get baking!

baked potato with sour cream, cheese, bacon, and chives

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Do Baked Potatoes Need to be Cooked in Foil?

Not only do baked potatoes not need to be wrapped in foil while they’re being baked, but they are actually much better if you skip the foil.

Do you know the perfect baked potato you get at your favorite steakhouse? They have crispy skin on the outside and so soft and fluffy on the inside.

Those potatoes are not cooked in foil. In fact, the best way to cook a potato is just by placing it on a baking sheet or directly on the oven rack. We’ll get more into the detailed instructions below!

What Kind of Potatoes Make the Best Baked Potatoes?

Russet potatoes are the best type of potato to use for baking. They’re usually large and their insides get a fluffy texture when they’re baked.

You can use any kind of potatoes you have or like. If you follow my easy baked potato recipe for success, you’ll have the best results no matter what kind you use. 

How to Bake a Potato Without Foil

Baking a potato without foil can be easily done in the oven. Here’s what you will need to make oven-baked potatoes and the step-by-step baking process: 

  1. Prep the potatoes: Wash and scrub the potatoes with cold water, then poke holes in the potatoes with a fork to allow steam to escape while baking so the potatoes don’t break as they’re baking.
  2. Olive oil or butter:  Use about a teaspoon of oil/butter and rub it all over the potatoes, making sure to cover all sides. 
  3. Sea Salt: Add a pinch of sea salt for taste. This is optional, but helps make the best potatoes! 
  4. Baking sheet or oven safe dish: Place the potatoes on the baking sheet/dish with parchment paper (optional). For even crispier skin, you can place the potatoes directly in the oven rack. 
  5. Oven preheated to 400 degrees: Bake potatoes in the oven for about 40-50 minutes, depending on the size of the potato until the potato is soft on the inside and the potato skin is crispy.
  6. Optional: Add your favorite toppings such as butter, black pepper, cheddar cheese, or sour cream after the potato is finished baking Once the potato is finished baking to your desired degree, let it cool and enjoy your perfectly baked potato!

Tips for Baking Potatoes

  • Potato size will determine the cooking time. Try to start with even, medium-sized potatoes if you’re cooking more than one at a time. When using large potatoes, if you want to, you can cut them into halves or quarters. This ensures all parts of the potato cook evenly. If you’re using small potatoes, you’ll be able to cook more in less time. 
  • Use sweet potatoes instead if you prefer, following the same instructions.
  • Use an instant-read thermometer to make sure the potatoes are cooked all the way through. When done, potatoes reach an internal temperature of 208-211˚F. Use oven mitts to squeeze the potatoes and see if they feel like they have fluffy insides. 
  • Use a rimmed baking sheet so your potatoes don’t roll off of the pan. 

Baked Potato Toppings Ideas

Looking for ideas for what to serve with your easy no-foil baked potatoes? We have tons of fun an unique ideas for you:

  • Traditional: sour cream, shredded cheese, crumbled bacon, chopped chives or green onion
  • Taco twist: taco meat, shredded mexican cheese, salsa, chopped lettuce, diced jalapeños
  • Chili-cheese: Chili, shredded cheese, sour cream, chopped green onion
  • Tex-Mex: black beans, corn, guacamole, chopped cilantro, pico de gallo
  • Veggie: roasted bell peppers and onions, sour cream, sprinkle with ranch dressing
  • BBQ: top with pulled pork and your favorite barbecue sauce
  • Greek: tzatziki, chopped black olives, feta cheese

Foil-wrapped potatoes are great, but you can still make a really good baked potato without foil! This easy method for success will never fail you! 

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baked potato with sour cream, bacon, cheese, and chives

Perfect Baked Potatoes (Without Foil!)

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  • Author: Melissa Riker
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 1 baked potato 1x


Learn how to make perfect baked potatoes without foil with this simple, no-fail baked potato recipe!


  • large russet potato
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil or butter
  • pinch sea salt (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper for easy cleanup if desired. (see note)
  2. Wash and scrub the potatoes with cold water, then poke holes in the potatoes with a fork to allow steam to escape while baking so the potatoes don’t break as they’re baking.
  3. Use about a teaspoon of oil/butter and rub it all over the potatoes, making sure to cover all sides. Add a pinch of sea salt for taste (optional).
  4. Bake for 40-50 minutes depending on the size of the potato. The internal temperature should reach 205-210 degrees when fully cooked.
  5. Top with your favorite toppings and enjoy!


For crispier potatoes you can bake them directly on the oven rack.

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Category: side
  • Method: baking
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 152
  • Sugar: 0.9 g
  • Sodium: 589.4 mg
  • Fat: 4 g
  • Carbohydrates: 27.1 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Protein: 3.3 g
  • Cholesterol: 10.2 mg

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