I love potatoes! I don’t think there is a single way you could serve me a potato that wouldn’t eat it: baked potatoes, boiled potatoes, fried potatoes, mashed potatoes, roasted potatoes, french fried potatoes, Potatoes Au Gratin, potato casserole… I could go on for days and I give a BIG FAT YES to it all of these fantastic potato dishes. At the top of my list are big fluffy steakhouse baked potatoes, the ultimate comfort food!
If you have ever ordered a baked potato from a steakhouse, you may have noticed that steakhouse baked potatoes have salted crispy, golden skin with a light and fluffy inside. When you slit them open, they are steaming and ready to melt butter, cheese and receive any topping your heart desires. Steakhouse baked potatoes are probably the most perfect potatoes you will eat, so I set out to learn how to make those delicious steakhouse baked potatoes at home and today I want to share my experience with you.
How to make perfect baked potatoes at home:
#1 The Potato:
Russet potatoes have a high starch content and will offer the best light and mealy texture. The skins are nice and thick, which makes them easy to crisp up in the oven, which makes russet potatoes the perfect baking potato. They are also usually the cheapest potato at the grocery store. Most of the time they are fairly large in size, which makes baked potatoes a great side dish when entertaining.
Learn more about the types of potatoes by clicking HERE.
Wash the potatoes with a small vegetable brush and dry with a paper towel. Remove the eyes and trim away blemishes with a paring knife, if needed.
Now here’s what makes the difference in the texture of your potato… Raise your hand if you wrap baking potatoes in aluminum foil to bake?
If you said yes, you are not alone. I did it that way for years, but I never got the texture of the steakhouse baked potato, no matter what I did. The truth is you won’t. Wrapping potatoes before baking will give you a soft steamed skin.
There are some that say wrapping baked potatoes aluminum foil makes them cook faster, but that isn’t true. The aluminum foil conducts heat and traps it inside with the potato, which helps keep the potato hotter longer after they come out of the oven.
To get a crispy skin on your baked potatoes, they need to be exposed to the heat. Coat the potatoes with a generous bath of olive oil or your oil of choice, then rub them down with salt. The oil helps the salt stick to the skin. The salt also helps to crisp the skin giving the potatoes wonderful flavor and makes it especially appealing to potato skin eaters – which I am not, are you?
Next, pierce the skin with a fork at least 6 to 8 times around the potato. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP! The reason you pierce holes in the potatoes is to allow the steam to escape and prevents them from exploding.
#3 Baking the Potatoes:
My mama can get a baked potato done at 350 degrees in 1 hour. I thought her method was the golden standard for baking potatoes. But, I’ll be honest, I have never been able to get a potato done in an hour at 350 degrees F. I have even checked my oven’s thermostat and the temperature is right on target. So, how could she cook a baked potato so quickly at such a low temperature? I figured it out on Mother’s Day weekend when David and I cooked her a steak dinner when I realized how small my mother’s wall oven was. When I was preparing these steakhouse potatoes for supper, her oven cooked the potatoes about 20 minutes faster than I would have in my own oven. The size of the oven must make a difference.
To bake the potatoes, place the potatoes directly on the rack with a small sheet pan under the potatoes. The sheet pan will catch any water that may run out of the potatoes. I like to bake potatoes at 400 degrees F for 60 to 75 minutes. Russet potatoes become tender and are usually ready to eat in about an hour.
The size of the potato makes a difference in cooking time. To test for doneness, I pierce the potato with a toothpick. If there is any resistance, I leave the potato in the oven a little longer. I will check with the toothpick every ten minutes until the toothpick goes in without resistance.
#4 Baked Potato Toppings
Remember the order in which you top your potatoes makes a difference. It’s important to get the butter, salt, and pepper as close to the flesh as possible so that it will melt and run down inside the potatoes. Believe me, it’s not a good thing to bite down into a chunk of unmelted butter. Follow the butter, salt, and pepper with cheese and other toppings of your choice.
When it comes to baked potatoes, I have learned that your baked potatoes don’t have to be boring. Baked potatoes are so versatile and they don’t have to be a just a side dish either. Transform baked potatoes into a star meal! Our favorite way to eat them is to top the potatoes with butter, salt and fresh cracked pepper, extra-sharp cheddar cheese, sour cream, olives, sliced deli turkey and/or ham, bacon, chives or scallions, and parsley.
You can put just about anything on your spuds, the topping choices are endless!
My favorite baked potato topping is olives! Believe it or not, olives pair wonderfully with potatoes. Try it!
What is your favorite baked potato topping? Comment below!
Steakhouse Baked Potatoes
- 2 Large Russet baking potatoes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Wash the potatoes with a small vegetable brush and dry with a paper towel. Remove the eyes and trim away blemishes with a paring knife, if needed.
- Pierce the skin with a fork at least 6 to 8 times around the potato. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP! This allows the steam to escape and prevents them from exploding.
- Coat the potatoes generously with oil, then rub with the salt.
- Place the potatoes directly on the rack with a small sheet pan under the potatoes. Bake the potatoes at 400 degrees F for 60 to 75 minutes. Test for doneness, by piercing the potato with a toothpick. If there is any resistance, leave the potato in the oven for ten more minutes and recheck with the toothpick. Repeat the process as necessary until the toothpick goes in without resistance.
- Serve the potatoes with the toppings or your choice.