Baked Potatoes: Oven, Air Fryer, Microwave

I love a perfect baked potato. It’s such a comforting side dish, and if you top it with something like chili or eggplant Parm then it can be a main course, too.

I thought it could be helpful to share how to make a baked potato in the oven, in the air fryer, or in the microwave. There are some pros and cons to each, which I will also share.

Jump to Recipe

Here’s what I would consider the pros and cons of each of these cooking methods:

Baked Potato in the Oven:

This is the most common, classic way to bake a potato. The skin can be crispy, the inside of the potato will be perfectly cooked through, and it will make your kitchen smell lovely.

The only con is that this method takes the longest, and if it’s a warm weather time of the year, you may not want to crank your oven on for long periods.

Baked Potato in the Air Fryer:

This method is similar to the oven in that the skin can be crispy and the potato can be cooked perfectly. This method also takes less time, and probably less energy since you are using a small appliance rather than the oven.

Possible cons would be if you don’t own an air fryer, or if you want to cook something else (a main dish) to go with this in the air fryer, then you may have to work in batches, which is not ideal.

Baked Potato in the Microwave:

This method is the fastest by a lot! If you need a baked potato done super quickly, then cooking it in the microwave is the way to go.

The cons are that the skin will not be crispy (but if you don’t eat the skin maybe this doesn’t matter for you?), and there can be some unevenness in the cooked potato since microwaves don’t always heat things evenly.

But it still works pretty well, and if you are somewhere that doesn’t have an oven or air fryer (studio apartment, dorm, break room) this may be a useful method.

Before baking, rinse off and scrub the potatoes well. Even if you don’t plan to eat the skin, getting the potato clean is important for any of these cooking methods.

Should potatoes be baked in foil?

No. If you want your baked potato to have crispy skin and you’re using the oven or air fryer, do not use foil. If you are cooking your potato in the microwave, definitely don’t use foil!

How to Bake a Potato in the Oven:

  • Wash the potato and pat dry.
  • Using a fork, poke 5+ shallow holes all over the potato.
  • Brush the outside with a little oil and/or butter. Season with salt.
  • Bake at 400°F for 45 minutes, flipping halfway through.
  • Check by piercing with the sharp knife. If the knife easily slides in, the potato is done.

See the recipe card below for more specifics, as well as additional tips and notes for each of these methods.

How to Bake a Potato in the Air Fryer:

  • Wash the potato and pat dry.
  • Using a fork, poke 5+ shallow holes all over the potato.
  • Brush the outside with a little oil and/or butter. Season with salt.
  • Air fry at 400°F for 30 minutes, flipping once in the middle of the bake time.
  • Check by piercing with the sharp knife. If the knife easily slides in, the potato is done.

More Air Fryer Recipes you might enjoy:

How to Bake a Potato in the Microwave:

  • Wash the potato and pat dry.
  • Using a fork, poke 5+ shallow holes all over the potato.
  • Microwave on high for 3-4 minutes, flip, and then microwave for another 3-4 minutes.

What to serve with baked potatoes:

What’s your favorite method for baked potatoes? -Emma

Print Pin
5 from 2 votes

Baked Potatoes- Oven, Air Fryer, Microwave

three methods for a perfect baked potato
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword air fryer, baked potatoes, potato
Prep Time 2 minutes
Servings 2 potatoes
Calories 297kcal
Author Emma Chapman

Ingredients

  • 2 russet potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter melted
  • 1 teaspoon flaky sea salt

Instructions

Oven Method

  • Wash and pat dry the potatoes.
  • Using a fork, poke 5+ shallow holes all over the potato, piercing the skin.
  • Combine the oil and melted butter.
  • Brush the outside of the potatoes with this mixture. Then, sprinkle on the salt.
  • Place the potatoes on a baking sheet lined with a metal cooling rack. This allows the heat to travel all around the potato so all sides get crispy.
  • Bake at 450°F for 20 minutes.
  • Flip the potatoes over and continue baking another 25 minutes.
  • Check the potatoes by piercing with a sharp knife. If the knife easily goes into the potato, they are done.

Air Fryer Method:

  • Wash and pat dry the potatoes.
  • Using a fork, poke 5+ shallow holes all over the potato, piercing the skin.
  • Combine the oil and melted butter.
  • Brush the outside of the potatoes with this mixture. Then, sprinkle on the salt.
  • Place the potatoes in the air fryer basket.
  • Air fry at 400°F for 15 minutes.
  • Pause, flip the potatoes, then continue to air fry for another 15 minutes.
  • Check the potatoes by piercing with a sharp knife. If the knife easily goes into the potato, they are done.

Microwave Method:

  • Wash and pat dry the potatoes.
  • Using a fork, poke 5+ shallow holes all over the potato, piercing the skin.
  • Place the potatoes on a microwave safe plate.
  • Microwave on high for 3-4 minutes.
  • Flip the potatoes over, then continue to microwave for 3-4 minutes.
  • Check the potatoes by piercing with a sharp knife. If the knife easily goes into the potato, they are done.

Notes

Once the potatoes are done, you can cut them horizontally down the center and press the two sides toward one another to open them (like a mouth). I wear oven mitts to do this since the potatoes are hot. 
Garnish your baked potato with any toppings you like: shredded cheese, sour cream, butter, salt and pepper, green onions, etc. 

Nutrition

Calories: 297kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 1182mg | Potassium: 899mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 15IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 37mg | Iron: 2mg
  • 5 stars
    Baked potatoes are so classic! It’s been too long since I made them thanks for posting! They can also be made in a crockpot. Definitely takes the longest but if you think ahead you can have a batch baked potatoes waiting for you at the end of the day.

    • 5 stars
      Yes, the crock pot would be another method for sure. Also I’m sure you can make them in an instant pot, although I don’t currently own one.

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.