Ask Dr. Potato

How to Make the Perfect Baked Potato


Is it OK to bake my Idaho® potatoes in foil?


No.  If the best way to bake a potato so it has a crispy outer skin and a fluffy interior is to place a potato directly on the oven rack, then using foil is a compromise that yields a steamed potato and a wet outer skin.  Don’t do it!

While I recommend serving a baked Idaho® potato to the customer within 15 minutes from the time it is baked, wrapping a baked potato in foil after it has been baked will allow you to hold it for up to 45 minutes.  The best method for holding a baked potato is in a warming drawer. The second best is a heat-proof cabinet, where foil wrapped potatoes can be held for 45 minutes, but with an interior temperature loss of about 20°F.  Least effective is the use of heat lamps.

The Ultimate Baked Potato

For the best-tasting baked potatoes, start with Idaho® potatoes.  The Idaho® potato has a high solids content so that during baking, the starch grains swell and separate, resulting in a characteristically light, fluffy texture.  A potato with smaller grains, such as a round red or white will stay firm and waxy and is more watery.

Always wash potatoes before baking, being careful not to break the skin.  Then, pierce the skin with a fork to prevent the potato from bursting in the oven.  Again, we recommend that you NEVER bake an Idaho® potato in foil.

Idaho® potatoes should be baked in a 375°F convection oven for 50-55 minutes, or a 425°F conventional oven for 55-60 minutes.  An Idaho® potato is perfectly baked when it reaches an internal temp of 210 degrees F.