A quicker method for baking potatoes that are crispy, fluffy, and perfect for loading up with your favorite baked potato toppings.
There’s really nothing better than a freshly baked potato right? From the crispy skin to the fluffy flesh, it’s just so darn comforting.
But man if it doesn’t take FOREVER to bake a potato.
Sure, you can shortcut it with the microwave but they’re just not the same. The potato skins end up papery and dry while the flesh gets gluey and dense.
After discovering a method for cooking quick baked sweet potatoes, we couldn’t wait to try it with regular baked potatoes too.
The ingredients are the same as our classic toaster oven baked potato recipe. Just potatoes, oil, and salt. From russets to reds, you can use any potato variety you like. Yukon gold potatoes are my personal favorite for this method.
Smaller spuds will take about 25 to 30 minutes while larger ones (like the steakhouse-style 13 oz potato pictured above) will run you 35 to 40 minutes.
Step By Step Instructions
Start by adjusting the cooking rack in your toaster oven, traditional oven or, countertop oven to the lowest position and preheat to 400°F. If you’re using a toaster oven or countertop oven make sure it’s on the “Bake” setting.
Next, stab the potatoes with a fork 2 or 3 times on each side and then slice them in half lengthwise.
Grab a baking pan that’s sized to fit the oven you’re using. We usually bake potatoes in our Breville Smart Oven Pro (BOV845BSS) with our trusty quarter sheet pan.
Lightly oil your pan or line it with a silicone baking mat. Then place the potato halves on the pan with the flesh facing up.
Drizzle the potatoes with the oil and use your hands to coat both sides. Season the flesh with salt and pepper.
Next, flip the potatoes over so the flesh is facing the pan. At this point, we like to sprinkle the skins with a little salt. It gives them a yummy french fry taste. Now you’re ready to bake!
Bake the potatoes at 400°F until they are fork-tender and the skins are golden. This will take about 25 to 40 minutes depending on the size of your potatoes.
Most weeks we buy our potatoes in those convenient 5 lb sacks. Sack potatoes are generally small to medium-sized – about 5 to 7 ounces. They take 25 to 30 minutes to bake up.
A beastly 13 oz potato I tried was fork-tender at about 35 minutes but I let it bake for an additional 5 minutes just to be sure.
Once your potato halves are ready, cool them slightly and then use a spatula to release them from the pan if needed.
At first, we were fluffing our spuds old-school style:
- Use a steak knife to cut a line across the top of the potato. For the smaller ones watch how deep you slice, it’s easy to cut all the way to the bottom.
- Place your fingers at each end of the potato and press the ends towards each other.
- The potato will pop open and you can fluff the flesh with a fork.
BUT…while making a batch made with no oil I had a total duh moment.
With the smaller baked potatoes, it’s way easier to slice a small strip of skin off the top of the potato and then fluff it.
This way you don’t accidentally cut through to the bottom. Which is something we did more than a few times with the other method.
Plus, it gives you more surface area for holding toppings. And let’s be honest, more toppings is never a bad thing!
Faster Baked Potatoes vs. Traditional Baked Potatoes
After making these quick baked potatoes a bunch we’ve noticed a few things:
- The skin is crisp and way better than the microwave but it’s not near as crispy as the skin on a traditional baked potato.
- You still have to fluff the potatoes after cooking to let the moisture out or they will become dense.
- The halves are great for scooping out and making potato skins!
More Tasty Potato Recipes
- Addictive Roasted Sweet Potato Rounds
- Toaster Oven Rosemary Potatoes
- Air Fryer Potato Skins
- Toaster Oven Potatoes Au Gratin For Two
- How To Bake Sweet Potatoes In A Toaster Oven
- All of Our Baked Potato Recipes
- 2 medium Russet Potatoes (about 6 ounces each), washed and dried
- 1/4 teaspoon olive oil, plus more for the pan
1. Adjust the cooking rack in your toaster oven (or oven) to the lowest position and preheat to 400°F on the “Bake” setting.
2. Brush a sheet pan with oil or line with a silicone baking mat.
3. Stab the potatoes with a fork 2 or 3 times on each side. Then slice them in half lengthwise.
4. Place the potatoes on the prepared pan and drizzle with oil. Use your hands to rub both sides of the potatoes well with the oil. Season the flesh with salt and pepper.
5. Arrange the potatoes halves with the flesh facing the pan. Sprinkle the skins with salt if desired.
6. Bake until the potatoes are tender and the skins are dry and golden, about 25 to 40 minutes depending on the size of your potatoes.
7. Cool the potatoes slightly, then use a spatula to transfer to a plate. Slice a thin strip off the top of each potato and fluff the flesh with a fork.
8. Season, add your favorite toppings and enjoy!
Cooking With Convection: Keep the temperature at 400°F and begin checking for doneness after 20 minutes, adding more time as needed. All of the convection batches we’ve baked have taken the same amount of time as the batches cooked with convectional heat. The only difference was the convection ones had crispier skins.
Oil-Free: Omit the oil and line your pan with a silicone baking mat. The flesh facing the baking mat may stick a little. If that happens, leave the potatoes to cool for 5 minutes, then peel them off with your hands.
Leftovers: Promptly refrigerate any extra cooked potatoes in a covered container and store up to 3 days.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 2 Serving Size: 2 Baked Potato Halves
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 139Total Fat: 0.7gSaturated Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 9mgmgCarbohydrates: 30.7gFiber: 2.2gSugar: 1.1gProtein: 3.6g