The Ultimate Guide to Toaster Oven Baked Potatoes

Your ultimate guide for making crispy skinned and super fluffy toaster oven baked potatoes. Enjoy one tonight!

Grid of potatoes: raw, cooking on a rack, fluffed, and topped.

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Nothing beats the comforting feeling you get from digging into an overstuffed warm and fluffy baked potato.

Whether it’s the middle of a summer heat wave or the dead of winter a wholesome classic baked potato can always be on the menu thanks to your toaster oven. 

 

Everything You Need To Know

Below you’ll find all the information you need to cook the best tasting toaster oven baked potatoes including:

  • Step-by-step photo directions
  • A method for cooking them faster (30 minutes!)
  • Convection Toaster Oven time and temperature changes
  • How to store and reheat leftovers
  • Lots of mouthwatering topping ideas and combos

Special Tools

Baking potatoes directly on your toaster oven’s rack will allow the heat to move more evenly around the potatoes.

But if you’re lightly oiling your potatoes for a crispy skin you will get oil in the bottom of your toaster oven.

For easier cleanup, we like using a baking sheet + rack combo.

Toaster Oven Baking Set with small rack and pan

The Chicago Metallic Set (affiliate) has a rack and pan that will fit in most small and medium-sized toaster ovens and can accommodate two large potatoes.

It’s also awesome for cooking sticky toaster oven baked sweet potatoes.

If you have a larger toaster oven or countertop oven like our Breville Smart Oven Pro (BOV845BSS) you can use a rimmed 1/4 sheet pan (affiliate) with a small oven-safe baking rack (affiliate) that is rated up to at least 450 degrees.

Quarter Sheet Pan with Rack

This combo fits 4 large or 6 small to medium potatoes.

Only You Can Prevent Toaster Oven Fires

You’re a smart cookie who’d never put foil in the bottom of your toaster oven.  Placing anything near the heating elements in a toaster oven can cause a fire.

But, if a fire ever does start, turn off your toaster oven and keep the door closed until the fire has burned out.

And always call 911 if you think it’s necessary.

Step-By-Step Photo Directions for Toaster Oven Baked Potatoes

Remove your toaster oven’s cooking rack or grab a baking sheet and place a cooling rack inside of it if available.

Preheat the toaster oven to 400º F. Wash, scrub and dry 4 medium sized Russet potatoes.

Raw russet potatoes on a cutting board.

Using a small steak knife or fork, carefully stab each potato 2 times on each side.

You are only trying to pierce the potatoes centers not have the knife/fork go through to the other side.  If the steam can’t release the potato could explode in your oven.

Why No Foil?

Ditch the foil unless you want to steam not bake your potatoes. Steaming will mean no crispy skin.

{Related: 4 Surprising Things I’ll Never Use In Our Toaster Oven}

Oil-rubbed potatoes on a cooking rack.

Rub each potato with a thin coating of olive oil (about 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon) and place them on the toaster oven baking rack or cookie sheet you prepared earlier.

Return potato topped rack to the preheated toaster oven and bake potatoes at 400º F for 45 minutes to an 1 hour or more for larger potatoes.

{Related: What Are The Best Toaster Oven Pans?}

Potatoes baking on a rack inside of a toaster oven.

Depending on their size your potatoes may take more or less time. Start checking for doneness around 40 minutes for smaller potatoes.

How To Know When Your Baked Potato Is Ready

The potatoes will feel tender when squeezed, a knife or fork will go in easily and the skin will be lightly browned and crispy to the touch.

Remove the cookie sheet or use tongs to remove the individual potatoes.

When we’re cooking directly on our toaster oven’s rack I find it’s easier to carefully remove the whole rack instead.

Golden baked potatoes on a cooking rack.

Time To Fluff

Woo-Hoo you’re almost done…the last step is to fluff those taters!

Getting the steam out of your just baked potatoes is crucial to keep them from getting soggy.

Simply slice each potato open lengthwise and fluff the flesh or try the methods below.

Zig-Zag Method

Use a steak knife to cut a zig-zag pattern across the length of the potato. Put your thumbs on each end of the potato and press towards the center.
Potato sliced open with a zig-zag pattern.

The potato will pop open (watch out for steam) and you can fluff the interior with a fork.

Baked potato opened and fluffed with a fork.

“Thwack” Method

A thwacked potato looks rustic and it’s super fun.

Surprisingly, we learned this play-with-your-food idea from Martha Stewart.

Hold the potato lengthwise in your hand and with medium force thwack it once or twice against the counter or a cutting board. This fluffs up the potato flesh and cracks them open.

Baked potato cracked open on a cutting board.

Want to Cook Them Faster?

By using your microwave you can cut the cook time in half.

  • Start by preheating your toaster oven to 450 F and skip the oil for now.
  • Wash, dry and stab your raw potatoes.
  • Then microwave them for 5 to 10 minutes flipping halfway through the cook time.
  • Allow potatoes to cool for a few minutes and then lightly rub with oil.
  • Bake potatoes directly on the toaster oven rack or rack/pan combo for 20 to 30 minutes until they are knife tender and have a crispy golden skin.

Want to Cook  Them Faster Without Using The Microwave?

Check out this post for Quick Baked Potatoes! With one simple change, you can bake potatoes that are fluffy and ready for topping in just 30 to 35 minutes without having to use your microwave.

How to Bake Potatoes With A Convection Toaster Oven

Follow the steps above but reduce the temperature to 375F and begin checking on your potatoes about 20 minutes earlier than you normally do.  Flipping them halfway through the cook time led to the even browning of the skin, but it’s not essential for a tasty baked potato.

Golden baked potatoes on a rack inside a cooking pan.

Like with a conventional toaster oven, you are looking for the baked potatoes to be crispy outside, knife/fork tender and give when you squeeze them in the middle.

It took us about 40 minutes for 3-4lb potatoes and about 50 minutes for 4-5 lb potatoes. Larger potatoes may take an hour or more depending on their size.

You can speed up the cook time a little by increasing the temperature to 400F with the convection but watch out for over-browning of the skin. Also, if you find your potatoes have a dense/hard layer under the skin they are getting overcooked and you’ll want to go with the lower temperature next time.

Overhead view of baked potatoes opened, fluffed, and topped with chives.

Make It A Meal

Classic restaurant style with butter, sour cream and chives is always a winner. But maybe you’re craving something a little different and more substantial?

If that’s the case, whip up a batch of cheesy creamy Southwestern Twice Baked Potatoes.

Or grab your favorite toppings and turn your baked spuds into a satisfying meal.  Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Veggie Pizza: Marinara Sauce, Mozzarella, Black Olives, Bell Peppers, Mushrooms
  • Buffalo Chickpea: Shredded Kale, Chickpeas, Celery, Buffalo Sauce, Crumbled Blue Cheese
  • Veggie Nachos: Shredded Cheese, Fresh Spinach, Peppers, Black Beans, Salsa, Avocado
  • Mediterranean: Hummus, Tomatoes, Parsley, Kalamata Olives, Feta, Lemon Wedges, Za’atar

Baked potato topped with black beans and salsa.

Don’t forget about your leftovers!

Extra roasted veggies make great baked potato toppers, especially Jalapeño Roasted Cauliflower, Roasted Zucchini and Tomatoes, Balsamic Asparagus, and even Brussels Sprouts.

Storing & Reheating

Refrigerate leftover baked potatoes within two hours of baking in a covered glass container. They should stay good for up to 3 or 4 days.

Reheating In Your Toaster Oven

Place the whole potato directly on the rack in a preheated 350 F toaster oven and cook for 20 to 25 minutes until warmed through.

Reheating In Your Microwave

Slice the baked potato in half and place on a microwave-safe plate. Microwave for 3 to 4 minutes until warmed through.

For a premium experience, place a lightly moistened paper towel over the potato halves before microwaving.

Why Foil Can Make You Sick

According to the FDA refrigerating baked potatoes in foil creates a dangerous environment that can cause botulism.

Since baking in foil leads to soggy skins anyway it’s probably best to keep foil away from your toaster oven baked potatoes entirely.

Now What?

Well you know a basic recipe, have seen step-by-step directions, can bake your potatoes quicker, have a bunch of toppings ideas swirling in your head and you know the best ways to store and reheat your extras.

Now all that’s left is to Go Forth and Bake…Potatoes!

Baked potato topped with black beans and salsa.

How To: Toaster Oven Baked Potatoes

Yield: 2
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

Cook crispy skinned and super fluffy baked potatoes using your toaster oven!

Ingredients

  • 2 medium Russet potatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon olive oil, (or oil of your choosing)

Instructions

  1. Remove baking rack and preheat toaster oven to 400 degrees F. Wash, scrub and dry 2 medium-sized Russet potatoes.
  2. Using a fork or small steak knife carefully pierce each potato 2 or 3 times on each side. 
  3. Rub potatoes with a thin coating of olive oil (about a 1/4 teaspoon) and place potatoes on toaster oven baking rack.
  4. Return potato topped rack to the preheated toaster oven and bake potatoes for 45 minutes or until potatoes feel tender and soft when pierced with a fork and their skins are lightly browned and crispy to the touch.
  5. Cut a zig-zag pattern across the length of the potato. Put your thumbs on each end of the potato and press towards the center. The potato will pop open (watch out for steam) and you can fluff the interior with a fork.
  6. Serve with salt, pepper and your favorite toppings.

Notes

Depending on their size your potatoes may take less or more time to fully cook. Start checking around 35 to 40 minutes for smaller potatoes.

Convection Toaster Oven Temperature & Cook Time

Preheat your convection toaster oven to 375 F and proceed with the steps above. Begin checking for doneness early.

35-40 minutes for 3-4lb potatoes 

45-50 minutes for 4-5 lb potatoes

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1 Baked Potato
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 107Total Fat: 1.2gSaturated Fat: 0.2gSodium: 14mgCarbohydrates: 21.4gFiber: 2.3gSugar: 1.1gProtein: 3g

14 Comments

    1. Hi Saul,

      The main recipe is using the BAKE setting. It sounds like you have a toaster oven that labels their convection setting as TURBO. So if you want to use the convection directions in the notes section, I’d but the dial on the TURBO setting.

  1. Came out great. Microwaved for 5 minutes (turning each minute). Then cool down, and drizzled olive oil, into the toaster oven for 25 min..

  2. I love this! Thank you so much. Such an easy way to cook baked potatoes with minimal mess.

  3. I purchased a toaster oven liner which make clean-up a breeze. As it is easily pulled out and cleaned, the heating elements are not a hindrance to a clean oven floor.

  4. You don’t mention letting them sit after baking and before cutting. If we’re not sure they’re soft enough, would letting them sit keep them cooking?

    1. Hi Mary!

      We try to cut into them right away. I usually wear my oven gloves to handle the hot potatoes but you can use a kitchen towel to protect your fingers.

      If you’re not sure the potatoes are soft enough, I’d cook them longer over leaving them to sit after cooking. The cooked potatoes have steam trapped inside. To get a fluffy texture you want to open them up and let the steam out otherwise it can make the potatoes soggy.

      That said, don’t stress too much about it – a few extra minutes won’t make or break your baked potatoes 🙂

  5. Thanks for this recipe, just what I was looking for. I like to use the toaster oven instead of the regular oven so I’m glad I found your site.

    1. Great question Meghan! It’s really up to you and your preference. I usually open and fluff all of our potatoes and just pack up the leftovers. If I’m purposefully cooking extras for later I don’t open them unless I’m want to stuff each one with cheese and veggies before storing. Open or closed, they still taste yummy.

    2. The only problem with not opening them before storing – and this may not be a problem for some, but I don’t care for it – is that a potato not cut open immediately after cooking continues to steam, causing that thick membrane to form between the flesh of the potato and the skin. This happens if a potato is microwaved, too, but in that case I think it’s because of the way it’s heated and the “gummy” texture caused by it being heated too rapidly. This article in Cook’s Illustrated has become my potato-baking bible, and I’ve modified it for my toaster oven, which I use for everything I possibly can: https://www.cooksillustrated.com/recipes/8654-best-baked-potatoes

  6. Nothing beats a good baked potato! So simple and completely satisfying all the time, everytime I make some, I keep wondering why am I actually not making them more regularly.

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