The Baked Potato (Alton Brown Style)

Oh look, another Alton Brown recipe.

This one is so simple, it hardly deserves a recipe. Except that this really is “The” Baked Potato recipe. It shouldn’t have been anything special, but the texture inside the potatoes was perfect, and they had a great crunchy skin that made you want to eat every bite–like a restaurant potato. If you’re looking for a basic baked potato recipe, I don’t think you’ll ever need a different one.

baked potato

Alton Brown’s Baked Potatoes


  • 1 large russet potato (If it looks like Mr. Potato Head, you’ve got the right one.)
  • Olive oil, to coat
  • Kosher salt


Heat oven to 350 degrees and position racks in top and bottom thirds. Wash potato (or potatoes) thoroughly with a stiff brush and cold running water. Dry, then using a standard fork poke 8 to 12 deep holes all over the spud so that moisture can escape during cooking. Place in a bowl and coat lightly with oil. Sprinkle with kosher salt and place potato directly on rack in middle of oven. Place a baking sheet on the lower rack to catch any drippings.

Bake 1 hour or until skin feels crisp but flesh beneath feels soft. Serve by creating a dotted line from end to end with your fork, then crack the spud open by squeezing the ends towards one another. It will pop right open. But watch out, there will be some steam.

If you’re cooking more than 4 potatoes, you’ll need to extend the cooking time by up to 15 minutes.

Note: Next time, I think I’d use one of my more special salts–the Maldon crunchy sea salt, or the Himilayan Pink Sea Salt that I have. I think this is one of those things where you’d really have a chance to taste the difference in the salt. Sorry about the low quality picture, but you know what a baked potato looks like anyway. This one doesn’t look like anything special, it’s just an easy, serviceable method with solid results. My one disappointment is that this recipe didn’t show up in the new Good Eats: The Early Years cookbook, despite being featured in the second episode. Alton makes baked potatoes, mashed potatoes, and a potato gratin, and only the mashed potatoes (plus a potato pancake recipe that wasn’t on the episode) made it into the book. I thought they were all supposed to be there, so I’m going to have to do a bit more investigating.

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4 Responses to “The Baked Potato (Alton Brown Style)”

  1. Sarah

    Kyle & I never really made baked potatoes until we made Alton Brown baked potatoes. Now they’re a fairly regular dish in our house and are one of the few things I like to cook.

  2. Sarah

    Also the gratin that’s in the potato episode is definitely good eats, but I’m going to have to invest in a slicer before I make it again. Slicing the potatoes with a vegetable peeler took forever.

  3. Ysobel

    My friend and I made an awesome steak dinner last night, and I proposed we use this recipe for the potatoes. He didn’t think we had an hour… But in the end, we totally could have because getting the grill fired up and the steaks done took longer than he expected. I was pissed, but next time for sure I’m trying them… Looks amazing.

  4. Mom

    ysobel………..a HIM friend………….hmmmmm

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