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The Best Baked Potato? Try Our English Jacket Potatoes!

The Best Baked Potato?  Try Our English Jacket Potatoes!

Astonishingly, Baked Potatoes are trending in the heat of Summer.

Almost every day, I check to see what’s hot on Chewing The Fat.  This week, I discovered that the most popular recipe on the entire site was “The Perfect Baked Potato”. With 4160 pageviews just last week, it beat all comers. I was astonished.  People cranking up their ovens to 450 degrees in the middle of a heatwave? I wondered if the Australian (#4) and South African (#9) subscribers were craving the comfort of a great baked potato in the dead of their winters.  But the numbers didn’t add up. The majority had to be coming from the US and Canada. When I thought about it, a great baked potato served with any grilled meat is a great side dish.  Were all those summer grillers using baked potatoes on the side?  Sounds plausible. In fact, it sounded great. So guess who cooked one using today’s recipe? And guess what?  This may just be my favorite way to cook them ever.

Crazy Crispy crunchy on the outside, fluffy as all get out on the inside, it was so good!

The English take on baking ‘jacket’ potatoes is quite different from anything I had ever tried before.  Instead of stabbing the potato all over this technique cuts a cross in the potato before it goes into the oven. The oven temperature is slightly lower at 400 degrees and the cooking is considerably longer—two hours!  I confess to guilt over the energy required to heat a conventional oven that high for that long.  Upon checking, it turns out a Toaster Oven uses about 1/3 to ½ the energy of an electric oven. Ours fit six Russet potatoes easily so I used that. And it’s basically a set it and forget method as long you remember to start the potatoes two hours in advance of serving.

How did the English become so expert with a South American import?

Who knew the Potato Flower was so beautiful…Marie Antoinette did!

The potato was domesticated in Peru and Bolivia since at least 5000 BC. From there it spread all over the world.  It made its way to Europe arriving in Spain around 1570 and in the British Isles between 1588 and 1593. The Brits have been cooking potatoes for a very long time. Meanwhile, the French were besotted with the potato. In the 1700s, King Louis XVI promoted the new crop and Marie Antoinette, his queen, even wore a headdress of potato flowers to a fancy dress ball. And why not? As the writer of the 1785 edition of Bon Jardinier opined “There is no vegetable about which so much has been written and so much enthusiasm has been shown … The poor should be quite content with this foodstuff.” And content they were: potatoes had a low rate of spoilage, their size easily satisfied hunger and they were cheap. By the mid-19th Century, they were a major staple, especially in the British Isles. There you will find them just about everywhere from “Fish and Chips” to the most glorious baked potato I have ever tasted. Here is the recipe and below it, the recipe that attracted those 4160 pageviews last week. Plus a couple of other great potato recipes.

English Jacket Potatoes...the Best Baked Potato Ever!

July 13, 2020
: However many you like...one per person
: 5 min
: If you can use a paring knife you can make these.

The crispiest, crunchiest outside with the fluffiest of interiors, these potatoes are incredibly good.


  • Russet Baking Potatoes
  • Coarse Sea Salt
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • Chives for garnish
  • Lots of Salted Butter to taste or Sour Cream or any topping you please
  • Step 1 Slice a cross shape about 1/4-inch thick into each potato. This helps them release some steam, makes the interior more fluffy, and also makes them easier to slice into when they’re piping hot.
  • Step 2 Bake at 400°F for two hours. The potatoes won’t burn at this temperature and the long bake means the skin will be so crisp that it’s practically cracker-like.
  • Step 3 After the two hours are up, remove the potatoes and carefully cut deeper into the slices you made initially. Then put the potatoes back in the oven for 10 more minutes. This helps to dry out the flesh further and makes it extra fluffy.

The Perfect Baked Potato from America’s Test Kitchen

Upstate Scalloped Potatoes

Thanksgiving 101: Gratin of Sweet Potatoes and Leeks

5 thoughts on “The Best Baked Potato? Try Our English Jacket Potatoes!”

  • I saw this article and recipe for these wonderful potatoes. I read a line about the crispiest salted skins. no where did it say how to put the salt on the skins. I did a search and got this and I see in the ingredients it mentions seal salt.

    It does not mention putting it on the outside of the skill. I would think that you would have to oil the outside of the siin for the salt to stick.

    Would cooking for almost two hours burn the salt???

    Or, dies one just use it to salt and pepper the inside of the potatoes???

    Thanks, so much for your help with this.

    Roy M. Van Voorhees


    • Dear Roy,
      I am so sorry not to have replied quicker. For some reason, this didn’t drop into my Gmail account. I just went to the recipe. I cannot find a reference to sea salt except for its use along with pepper when you push open the potato. There is no instruction to coat the skin with anything at all. I would highly recommend using a toaster oven for this recipe. To crank up a full-sized oven for 2 hours strikes me as a colossal waste of energy. The toaster oven works just fine. Do try these. The number of ‘hits’ is now in excess of 8,000. My best to you and thanks for writing. Monte

    • Unfortunately, our Recipe plug in is preformatted and doesn’t allow the inclusion of photo steps. Many of our older recipes included them. Now you can find many of our recipes on Pinterest where we have multiple photos illustrating the steps.

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