This Is the Secret to Better Baked Potatoes

Learn the secrets to making a perfect British-style jacket potato. Once you try this fluffy baked potato, there's no going back!

It wasn’t until my husband and I moved in together that I realized I’d been making baked potatoes wrong my entire life. My versions were OK but hardly inspired enthusiasm at the dinner table. Thankfully, as a Scotsman, he knows a thing or two about making jacket potatoes, the epitome of the perfect fluffy baked potato. Over in the UK, they’ve elevated it to an art. Once you adopt the Brits’ tricks, you’ll never make a baked potato any other way.

What Is a Jacket Potato?

Jacket potatoes are the British sibling to our classic American baked potato. However, a few slight tweaks to the recipe yield drastically different results. The jacket potato boasts crispy skin with phenomenally fluffy insides, the likes of which I’ve seldom encountered in the States.

Russet potatoes are a great go-to. Here in the UK, we tend to use a variety called King Edward. Either way, their size and flavor are ideal for baking. Learn more about different types of potatoes.

How Do the British Make a Fluffy Baked Potato?

It’s absurdly easy! To achieve that flawless, ultra-fluffy inside, slice a cross-shape into your potatoes, about ¼ inch thick. This lets the steam escape, which helps create that soft cloud-like interior. If you want extra, extra crispy skin, take a pastry brush dipped in extra virgin olive oil, give the outer shells a quick once over, then liberally season with salt and pepper.

Bake the potatoes at 400° F for about 1 ½ to 2 hours, depending on your oven.

Then, take the potatoes out and slice deeper into the existing cuts. Pop the spuds back in the oven for another 10 minutes. The last step is to plate your jacket potato and crown it with a pat of butter. (Pick up some Kerrygold. You’ll thank me later.)

Now that you know the essentials, you can try different toppings on your jacket potato. Check out these killer baked potato recipes for inspiration:

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Camille Berry
Part of the third generation in a family of restaurateurs, Camille was born with a passion for cooking and food. She embarked on a career in hospitality where she excelled as a sommelier and wine director. This hospitality experience has given her a wealth of first-hand knowledge about how to pair all manner of drinks with food—plus some serious kitchen skills. These days, she's hung up her wine key in favor of a pen and covers all aspects of food and drink.