10 Ways To Bake Potatoes Faster (Start With Nailing It!)

Who wouldn’t love a baked potato? Whit crispy skin and creamy, fluffy texture, these baked spuds are a healthy, cheap, and delicious meal for any time of the day and can be eaten with so many different fillings and toppings. 

There is only one problem; this starchy and dense vegetable takes notoriously long to cook. 

baking potatoes in the oven for a long time

Potatoes take between 60 to 80 minutes to bake in the regular convection oven, depending on the size and variety of potatoes. Potatoes need to be baked long enough to cook thoroughly and become soft and fluffy inside, but not too long to make them dry, tough, or even burnt. 

In this post, I will cover some tips and tricks on how to bake potatoes faster so that you can have a quick and easy meal without waiting for hours. 

1. Use Spud Spikes Or Baking Nails

These stainless steel, food-grade potato nails are great for speeding up the baking time, plus they don’t leave any marks on your spuds. These can also be used for cooking sausages and brats.

Spud Spikes 6-Inch Potato Baking Nails Food Grade Stainless Steel, Set of 4

Poking holes in your potato with a fork before baking won’t necessarily make it bake faster, but it does serve an essential purpose. 

Piercing a potato skin (about 5-10 times) provides an escape outlet for the steam inside a potato while it bakes. The steam buildup could cause the potato to explode without piercing the skin, especially when baked at high temperatures. 

Aluminum Baked Potato Nails Baking Cooking Spud Nail Set of 6 - Tools & Gadgets by Kitchen Tools

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However, to speed up the baking process, inserting a meta nail or skewer through a potato helps shorten the baking time because metal is an excellent conductor of heat radiating it to the center of the potato.

Top Tip: Bake up to 4 spuds in the oven simultaneously with a potato cooking rack that helps you cook them evenly and also speeds up the baking process. 

4 Pronged Potato Baking Stand

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2. Use An Air Fryer

Air fryers utilize rapid air technology, which helps them heat up much more quickly than a regular oven. Using an air fryer to make baked potatoes is a great way to cook the spuds fast, making their skin extra crispy while soft and fluffy inside. 

baking potato in an air fryer

Using an air fryer is also more energy-efficient; you can avoid heating up your big oven; with an air fryer, you can start cooking immediately instead.

The only downside when using this appliance is that the air fryer baskets are quite small and can only hold no more than 3-4 medium size potatoes at one time.

In the video below, check out my air fryer baked potato experiment and my result.

Here is how to do it:

  1. Rub each potato with avocado oil or olive oil and sea salt.
  2. Bake at 400°F (204°C) for 30-40 minutes, then carefully remove from the baskets since they will be hot! 
  3. Cut open; add your toppings of choice like sour cream and chives or butter, and serve immediately. 

Top Tip: To make the crispy potato skins extra flavourful, add flavorings like smoked paprika, dried onion, black pepper, parsley, rosemary, or thyme after rubbing the oil. 

Also Check Out: How To Make Air Fryer Sweet Potato Fries (Loads of Flavor & Crispiness)

3. Microwave Potato Before Baking

quick baked potato microwave and oven

Microwaving the potato before putting it in the oven is a great way to speed up the baking process. With this method, you are cutting the baking time in half, if not even more. 

Here is how to do it:

  1. Rinse and give them a quick scrub with a vegetable brush.
  2. Pre-cook the potato in the microwave for 4-6 minutes, at the high setting. Add an extra minute or two for each additional potato.  
  3. Poke it with the fork to test if the potato is almost cooked.
  4. Rub with olive oil, sprinkle on some sea salt or Kosher salt, and put the potato in the oven.
  5. Since the spud is mostly cooked already, bake at 400°F (204°C) for 10-30 minutes, depending on how crispy you want the skin.
  6. Remove from the oven. Cut it open, add a dollop of butter or serve with your favorite topping.

Top Tip: The best type of spud to make a baked potato is a Russet potato, Yellow Finn or Maris Piper. Russet potatoes are larger and have higher starch content, giving you a softer and fluffier texture.

Read Also: How Long Does It Take To Cook A Sweet Potato? (From Baking to Microwaving)

4. Wrap Your Potatoes In Foil

wrapping potatoes in foil before baking

Wrapping your potatoes in kitchen foil allows you to safely increase the baking temperature and helps to hold in moisture and steam, resulting in a faster baking time.

To ensure that the potato cooks evenly, turn it over midway through the baking to prevent browning of the bottom that touches the oven rack or baking tray.

Here is how to do it:

  1. Rub each potato with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
  2. Wrap the potatoes individually in aluminum foil, ensuring it is well wrapped.
  3. Bake in the oven at 450°F (232°C) for 30-40 minutes. 
  4. Remove from the oven and carefully unwrap as steam will escape at high temperatures.
  5. Prick the potato with a sharp knife or fork to check if it is cooked thoroughly inside as well. If still a bit hard, bake it a little longer.
  6. Add any toppings you want and enjoy!

Top Tip: For crispier skin, remove foil halfway during the baking process and continue baking uncovered until done. For softer skin, keep the potatoes covered with foil throughout the baking process.

5. Use An Instant Pot Or Pressure Cooker

instant pot baked potato

In less than 30 minutes, you can have perfectly cooked potatoes that are tender inside. I know, it is not really baking per se, but this method will produce a spud perfect for a jacket potato just without a crispy skin. 

Pressure cookers are designed to cook food faster than a standard pot because it is tightly sealed, and steam is trapped under pressure, which allows cooking at higher than normal temperature, significantly speeding up the cooking process.

Baking a potato in an Instant Pot is easy. 

  1. First, wash the potatoes thoroughly and then prick them with a fork several times before placing them on the trivet that came with your Instant Pot. 
  2. Next, place half a cup of water into your Instant Pot and close the lid. 
  3. Set to cook time for 15 minutes at high pressure, then let natural release for another 15 minutes after cooking has finished. 
  4. The potatoes will be done when they are soft to the touch.
  5. Cut open; add any toppings you enjoy with potatoes and dig in immediately!

Top Tip: Avoid over-cooking potatoes in the pressure cooker, or they can turn into a mashed potato consistency quite fast. If you like your potatoes with a little bit of a ‘bite’ to them, cook for only 12 minutes at high pressure.

6. Parboil Potatoes With Bicarbonate Of Soda

boiling baking potatoes with bicarbonate of soda

If you want to have the fluffy and soft baked potato with the crispiest skin you have ever had without having to wait too long, then parboiling (partially boiling) with bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) is the way to go. 

Bicarbonate of soda helps break down the starch in the potato and draws them to the surface, giving you excellent crispiness and browning that you can’t really get with any other method on this list.

Here is how to do it:

  1. Wash the potatoes thoroughly and leave them on the side for a moment.
  2. Fill a large pot halfway with water and bring it to a boil.
  3. Add two tablespoons of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda.
  4. Carefully add potatoes to the water. 
  5. Turn the temperature to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes or until a knife or fork meets little resistance when poking the potato.
  6. Once cooked enough, drain the potatoes and let them rest in the pot for one minute till excess moisture has evaporated. 
  7. Rub the potatoes with some olive oil and salt.
  8. Put the potatoes on a baking sheet and place them in the oven. 
  9. Bake for 20-30 minutes at 420°F (215°C) until the potatoes are golden brown and crisp.
  10. Serve them as a side dish, or fill them with your favorite toppings. 

Top Tip: For the best result, buy firm potatoes without any green or soft spots, discolorations, or bruises.

7. Bury The Potatoes In Hot Coals

campfire baked potatoes

If you are out camping and want to have some delicious baked potatoes, then there is no need to worry. You can cook them in hot coals! In fact, it’s one of the most delicious ways to enjoy potatoes. You will get a delightful, slightly smoked, baked potato.

Here is how to do it:

  1. Using a fork, poke each potato for few times.
  2. Smear each potato with some oil or butter and salt and pepper. 
  3. Double wrap the spuds in aluminum foil. 
  4. Bury the potatoes inside the hot coals and leave them there for 30 to 40 minutes, repositioning them every 10 minutes.
  5. Once done, carefully unwrap the campfire potatoes, cut them open, and add some butter. 

If you don’t have any aluminum foil, then you can put the potatoes in the hot coals without anything at all. However, in this case, the skins will be heavily charred outside, and only the insides will be edible. 

Top Tip: Make a DIY mini-oven to cook your potato. Place the potato inside an empty tin can. Cover the opening of the can with foil and place the can inside the hot coals or close to the hot campfire.

8. Increase Oven Temperature

baking potato at high temperature in the oven

This solution is kind of a no-brainer. If you are in a hurry and want your potatoes to be baked faster, consider increasing the oven temperature. 

The only downside with this method is that the skin of the spud could get far too hot and burn while the center of the potato is still hard and uncooked. So try using smaller spuds and be extra vigilant with this method.

Here is how to do it:

  1. Preheat your oven to 450°F 232°C instead of the usual recommended 400°F (204°C). 
  2. Place a wire cooling rack on top of your baking sheet for more even baking. 
  3. Poke the potatoes with a fork as usual. 
  4. Bake for 20 minutes until the skin is wrinkly and dry. 
  5. Remove them from the oven and brush the potato with oil or melted clarified butter (to prevent smoking at high temperatures). Sprinkle the potato with some Sea salt or Kosher salt. 
  6. Place the potato back in the oven, the other side up this time for even baking on both sides.
  7. Bake for another 15-20 minutes till the insides are nice and soft. 
  8. Remove the potato from the oven and serve. 

Top Tip: To make sure your potato is perfectly cooked, use the long probe food thermometer. The spud is fully cooked when the thermometer shows 210°F (98°C) in the middle of the potato.

9. Cut Potato In Half And Bake

cutting potato in half before baking

Yet another quite obvious solution, which can also be combined with any of the other cooking methods above to speed up the process even more. 

Cutting your potatoes in half lengthwise is another great way to save time when getting ready for dinner. This is because a larger surface of the potato will be exposed to the heat of your oven, and it will take less time for the heat to reach the center.

Here is how to do it:

  1. Cut your potato in half; coat with olive oil or butter and spices of choice (salt, pepper, and garlic powder work well).
  2. Place on a baking tray cut side up so that the steam can escape during cooking. 
  3. Roast at 400°F (204°C) until done, which should take about 25-35 minutes, depending on the size of the potato pieces. 
  4. Let cool for a few minutes, then add any additional toppings you want before eating.

Top Tip: Try using small potatoes instead of larger ones if you want them cooked even faster! 

10. Bake On A BBQ Grill

baked potato on a charcoal grill

Baked potatoes on the BBQ grill are fast, easy, and absolutely perfect side dish for your grilled rib-eye steak. 

Not only is this cooking method slightly faster than a conventional oven but, it adds a nice smoky flavor, which enhances the overall taste of baked potatoes.

Here is how to do it: 

  1. Use small potatoes for a faster result.
  2. Wash, dry, and pierce the potatoes using a fork. 
  3. Rub melted butter or soft bacon grease on each potato.
  4. Rub with some salt.
  5. Place the potatoes on ​the hot BBQ grill and cook for 30-40 minutes.
  6. Turn them over every 5 minutes.
  7. Use them as a side dish or top as desired before serving!

You can also combine the foil method or microwave or parboil method above with this cooking method. 

Top Tip: Use long metal skewers for your potatoes. Barbecue skewers make them easy to rotate on the grill and also help them cook a lot faster inside; remember the nail method above.

Final Thoughts

The perfect baked potato has a crispy skin and fluffy interior. It can be served with various toppings, fillings, or condiments such as sour cream, gravy, cheese, baked beans, or even corned beef

These baked spuds can also be eaten without additional toppings or condiments because they have a rich and hearty flavor, and their skin is crispy and full of flavor.

However, many people avoid baking them simply because of how long it takes to bake them. Fortunately, as you can see, there are many ways how to bake potatoes faster!

Final Tip: If you bake a lot of potatoes at the same time, choose the ones of similar shape and size so that they will bake evenly and get done all at once.

Read Also: What Does Sweet Potato Taste Like? (8 Varieties From Taste To Texture)