The Best Temperature To Bake Potatoes And How Long

Temperature To Bake Potatoes

Having struggles getting your potatoes done can be annoying. There’s nothing as good as knowing the right temperature and time that’s just perfect, so you don’t have to go back and forth.

Who doesn’t like baked potatoes that are crispy outside and succulent inside? We can tell you do and that’s why you’re here.

The purpose of this article is to enlighten you on the best baking time and temperature for your potatoes and also importantly, to tell you the right potato to choose for baking.

What Potatoes Are Best To Be Baked?

Many people don’t know, but the reality is: Not every potato is good for baking. The level of starch your potato has and the texture of its skin are two things to look out for. There’s a type of heat your oven produces, and so the type of potato you choose must be able to cooperate with this heat.

Air Fryer Crispy Potatoes
Image: Vikalinka

The oven produces dry heat.

Redskin potatoes are low-starch potatoes with plenty of water, so they’re best to be boiled. What they need is damp heat and not the dry heat from your oven. When you bake them, you’ll discover they‘re still dense when you bring them out.

Russet potatoes have a high starch and work best for dry heat. The skins are thick and get crisp easily and nicely. This is the type of potatoes we suggest you look out for.

What’s The Size Of Your Potatoes: Big or Small?

In addition to the type of potato you choose to bake, the size also matters. The bigger your potatoes, the longer the time it takes to cook. This is because it takes more time for the heat to get deep inside the potato.

The size of russet potatoes is just perfect for your meal. The giant ones can usually weigh about one pound.

What Temperature Bakes Your Potatoes Best?

Potatoes bake best at moderate temperature; when the temperature is not too hot and not too cold.

There are different temperature levels suggested by different writers, ranging from 400°F to 450°F (some moderately suggest 425°F).

According to Idaho Potatoes Commission, 450 degrees F is too high to bake your potatoes. We understand you want the oven to be very hot so you can achieve crispiness on the outside, but you don’t want it to be too wrinkled too.

So what temperature is best to bake potatoes? The answer is 400°F is just enough.

Temperature To Bake Potatoes

How Long Should You Leave Your Potatoes To Bake?

Irrespective of the size of your potatoes, 45mins to 1hr is averagely a good time to get your potatoes done. 

Here’s how it works:

  • For your first round of baking, allow your potatoes to bake for 25 minutes. Bring them out when their skin has started to wrinkle and you can feel some dryness too.
  • Place them on a baking sheet covered with foil to do the buttering process. Brush the potato with melted butter. Ensure that the butter is well applied to every part of your potatoes, then sprinkle some salt on the potatoes.
  •  Put the potatoes in the oven for the second time, but this time, place them on the opposite side so the cooking can be thorough. This time, allow it to bake for about 25 minutes too.

This way, your potatoes have cooked for 50 minutes, and you can be sure they are done.

In cases where your potatoes are really big, increase both rounds of baking to 30 minutes each and they’d be done in an hour.

Tip: Idaho Potatoes Commission suggests that you shouldn’t allow your potatoes to cook for an hour and thirty minutes as they would be too cooked! The inside will be very dry too.

Meanwhile, you need to know that your baking time depends on your oven temperature. At different temperatures, potatoes take different lengths of time. In case you have other things you want to bake in the oven and you need to set the temperature to fit all that’s in the oven, see this chart below to guide you:

Baking TemperatureLength Of TimeInternal Temperature Of Potato
325°FAbout 80 to 90 minutes210°F
350°FAbout 70 to 80 minutes210°F
375°FAbout 60 to 70 minutes210°F
400°FAbout 50 to 60 minutes210°F
425°FAbout 40 to 50 minutes210°F

You will discover that at any temperature, you should remove the potatoes from the oven once the internal temperature reaches 210 degrees F. This is how to achieve a perfectly baked potato; gold-skinned, crispy, fluffy, and yummy.

What If You’re Not Using An Oven?

Peradventure you want to fix dinner as fast as you can or you have something else cooking inside and there’s no more space, you can use your microwave, an instant pot, or convection oven. However, the baking time and temperature when you use these are not the same as when you use a regular oven.

What time and temperature should you work with?

When Using A Microwave     

Microwave Temperature: When you’re baking in a microwave, putting your microwave on full power by using the start button is just perfect.

Microwave Baking Time: When you’re baking your potatoes in a microwave, 10 minutes is enough. Turn it to the opposite side halfway through the time. That means it takes 5 minutes each for the first and second rounds of baking.

If your potato is small-sized, reduce each baking time by two minutes. Your potato will be ready in 6 to 8 minutes.

Temperature To Bake Potatoes

Note: There’s usually a difference between microwaved potatoes and oven-baked potatoes. Unlike oven-baked potatoes, potatoes baked in the microwave have lightly crispy skin.

When Using An Instant Pot

If you’re using an instant pot, your potatoes would be well-baked in 12 to 15 minutes under high temperatures.

When Using A Convection Oven

The difference when you’re using a regular oven and a convection oven is that you should bake at a lower temperature but for a longer time, You can bake your potatoes in the oven at 325°F for about 85 minutes.

Ensure your temperature doesn’t go beyond 375°F and a baking time of 60 minutes. Use the chart above for guidance.

How To Know When Your Potatoes Are Done

Here are a few things you can do to really verify if your potatoes are done.

  • The Fork Test: When you put your fork into the potato, it must be able to enter freely without any resistance.
  • The Temperature Test: As mentioned earlier, when you set a thermometer inside one of your potatoes and it reads 210°F, your potatoes are done.
  • The Squeeze Test: Your potatoes must succumb as squeeze them gently. They must yield to the movement of your hands as you work through them.

Final Thoughts

Always choose the baking time according to the oven temperature. The two have two be in agreement; the higher the oven temperature, the shorter the baking time.

Don’t forget to consider the size of your potatoes before choosing a baking time and temperature. Poke holes in your potatoes before baking. Potatoes are made up of 80% water, so you need to allow the moisture to escape as it cooks.

We suggest you use Kosher salt because it contributes to the crispiness of your potatoes’ skin. Use melted butter instead of oil as it gives your potatoes that extra golden skin you’d like and spices the flavor too.

To enjoy your potatoes after they’ve baked perfectly, slice them up with a knife, squeeze gently, use a fork to stir the insides, add freshly ground black pepper, seasoning, vegetables, and other toppings you want, and yay! You can now enjoy the yummy goodness.

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