Banging Jacket Potatoes

One of the best and easiest meals to make is the humble baked potato. It’s the perfect student meal and an easy meal to make, even if it can take a long time. Whether done quickly in the microwave, or taking your time with an oven, this simple meal will always fill you up.

“Jacket” Potatoes

The quickest way to make jacket potatoes is to use a microwave. It can be done in around 20 minutes, and still tastes delicious.


  • 1 Potato (that’s it!)


  1. Clean the Potato
    Just rinse it under the tap and get rid of any excess dirt. You don’t want to eat that stuff.
  2. Stab the Potato
    When you cook a potato the water inside it will expand. If the resulting steam has nowhere to go then the potato might explode. If you would rather not clean up that mess then make sure you stab it a few times before you heat it up.
  3. Stick it in the Microwave
    You should be able to cook it in around 15-20 minutes. Turn the potato upside down after around 8 minutes so it cooks evenly. You can test if it’s done by pressing on the top of the potato (use a utensil – it will be hot!). If it has a springy feel then it is cooked through and ready to eat!

Cut it open and add some butter and it’s ready to eat. You can also add any topping you like – some favourites are cheese and onion, tuna, and/or baked beans.

Half-Baked Jacket Potatoes

If you don’t want to wait that long, there is an alternative method. By starting with the microwave and finishing in the oven, we can cook it faster and still get a crispy skin. It’s not as good as a fully baked potato, but it’s a good compromise.


  • 1 Potato


  1. Preheat the Oven
    For this we want to use 200°C (or 400°F).
  2. Clean and Stab the Potato
    Always clean and stab, no matter what.
  3. Stick it in the Microwave
    We only need to cook it for 5 minutes. No need to turn it over – just let it cook.
  4. Finish it in the Oven
    After around 35-40 minutes in the oven you should now have a decent baked potato. Be sure to turn the potato after around 15-20 minutes.

Baked Jacket Potatoes

Of course, the problem with the above method is that jacket potatoes are supposed to be baked. As in oven baked. While it’s quick and easy to make, it’s lacking the crispy skin that makes a true baked potato. Good things come to those who wait, and it’s work waiting for a real baked potato.


  • 1 Potato
  • Oil
  • Salt


  1. Preheat the Oven
    Before you do anything, turn on the oven and set it to 200°C (or 400°F). You want the oven to be hot before you put something in to cook it.
  2. Clean and Stab the Potato
    Same as before. You want a clean, non-explodey potato.
  3. Cover it in Oil and Salt
    Using a brush cover the potato in oil, then sprinkle salt on both sides. This will help distribute the heat in the oven, draw out the flavour, and gives it an extra-crispy skin.
  4. Stick it in the Oven
    After the oven is preheated, you should have a baked potato after around 1 hour to 1 hour 20 minutes. Same as in the microwave, turn the potato after 30-40 minutes to ensure it is cooked evenly.

Once it is cooked you can serve it the same as the microwave potatoes. If you want an even crispier skin, you can preheat the oven to 180°C (or 350°F) and cook the potato for around 2 hours and 20 minutes.

Where’s the Foil?

Some people like to wrap potatoes in foil before they put them in the oven. This isn’t actually necessary. The potato will still cook the same. So save your foil and just stick the potato on a shelf.

Wrapping a potato in foil is useful if you are having a barbecue, or want to cook potatoes in a campfire. The foil will protect the potato from smoke and ash, and when finished can be unwrapped for a quick and filling meal.

Oh, and just in case you might be one of today’s Lucky 10,000:

DO NOT put foil in a microwave.

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