How Long To Bake A Potato At 400?

Baking a potato at 400 degrees Fahrenheit is a great way to ensure a fully cooked and flavorful potato. But how long exactly should you bake a potato at 400 degrees?

Baking a potato at 400 degrees Fahrenheit is a simple and delicious way to cook a meal. Depending on the size of the potato, baking times will vary. Generally, you will want to bake medium-sized potatoes for 45-60 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. 

You may need to bake larger potatoes for up to 80 minutes. To determine doneness, you can use a fork to pierce the potato. If the potato is tender and easily pierced, it is done. To ensure even cooking, you can use a baking sheet and turn the potato halfway through the baking time. For even crispier skin, you can lightly oil the potato and sprinkle it with sea salt before cooking. 

Baking potatoes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit is an easy way to create a delicious and hearty side dish. To achieve optimal results, here are the recommended baking times: 

  • Small potatoes (about 4 ounces) should bake for around 20 minutes. 
  • Medium potatoes (6 to 8 ounces) should be baked for 45 to 60 minutes. 
  • Large potatoes (over 8 ounces) should bake for 60 to 80 minutes. 

It is important to remember to pierce the potatoes with a fork before baking to allow steam to escape and ensure even cooking. After the time has elapsed, test the potatoes with a fork to make sure they are soft and cooked through. If they need more time, increase the baking time. 


Why Should You Bake Potatoes At 400 Degrees Fahrenheit?

Baking potatoes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit is an excellent way to get a perfectly cooked and fluffy inside, with a crispy and golden-brown outer skin. Baking potatoes at this temperature ensures that the potato will cook evenly and efficiently without burning or undercooking.

The high temperature of 400 degrees Fahrenheit also helps to create a crunchy and flavorful outer skin, which is especially desirable if you make dishes such as potato wedges or baked potatoes with toppings.

Baking potatoes at this temperature can also help to reduce cooking time, as the higher temperature helps to cook the potatoes faster and better. Also, baking potatoes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit offers the benefit of not adding additional oil or fat to the potatoes to prevent sticking, which is sometimes necessary when cooked at lower temperatures.

Additionally, the high heat of this temperature allows the potatoes’ natural sugars to caramelize, resulting in a flavorful, crispy outer layer. Ultimately, baking potatoes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit is a great way to get a perfectly cooked and flavourful potato.

Step-By-Step Guide On How To Bake Potatoes At 400 Degrees Fahrenheit 

A delicious and straightforward side dish, baked potatoes are simple to prepare and require minimal ingredients. The following is a step-by-step guide to baking potatoes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. 


  • Potatoes 
  • Two tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt, plus for seasoning
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 bunch Chives 
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 slices bacon, cooked crispy and crumbled

Step 1: Preparing 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, prepare the potatoes and other essential ingredients like olive oil, kosher salt, butter, and sour cream.

Ensure that you choose firm potatoes that are not showing signs of spoilage. Also, use potatoes of the same size so that they’ll get done at the same time.

Step 2: Rubbing 

Using a table knife, make an incision on the potatoes in three or four places. This is to help them escape moisture when baking. Prepare a mixture using Olive oil and salt in a small bowl; use the olive oil mixture to rub the potatoes.

Rubbing the olive oil mixture on the potatoes will prevent them potatoes from sticking to the baking sheet while baking.

Step 3: Baking And Serving 

Put the potatoes and place them in the 400 degrees Fahrenheit preheated oven. Please note that the size of the potatoes will determine how long you’ll let them bake. If it’s a small potato, leave it for 20 minutes.

It’ll take 45 to 60 minutes if it’s a medium-sized potato. On the other hand, large potatoes will bake for 60 to 80 minutes.

To check if they are done, use a fork to press it, and if it’s soft and fluffy on the inside and crunchy on the outside, it’s done. 

Factors To Consider Before Using An Oven To Bake At 400 Degrees Fahrenheit 

Before using an oven for baking at 400 degrees Fahrenheit, it is important to consider a few key factors. 

First, make sure the oven is preheated and ready to use. Preheating is essential to get an even cook, especially when baking. 

Secondly, determine the appropriate baking time. Depending on the recipe, the time may vary. Overcooking is common, so checking the dish a few minutes before the recommended baking time is important. 

Thirdly, pay attention to the size of the dish. The cooking time may be longer if using a larger dish than the recipe calls for. 

Additionally, keep an eye on the dish while cooking, as oven temperatures can vary. Baking times can differ from recipe to recipe and oven to oven, so keep an eye on the item made to avoid burning or undercooking. 

Should You Cover Potatoes With Foil Before Baking Them At 400 Degrees?

Yes, it’s essential to cover potatoes with foil, especially at that temperature. Using foil on potatoes when baking helps to create a softer, steamed texture on the inside while simultaneously allowing the skin to become crispy and golden. 

Additionally, wrapping potatoes in foil before baking can help reduce the time they need to spend in the oven, allowing them to cook faster. Before covering potatoes with foil, it is best to wash and dry them thoroughly before poking a few small holes in the foil. This will help to ensure that the steam will be able to escape while the potatoes are baking and will also help to prevent them from becoming soggy. 

How To Tell When Potatoes Are Cooked?

How Long To Bake A Potato At 400?

Potatoes’ cooking time depends on the size and the recipe. A smaller potato will cook faster than a large potato.

To tell when potatoes are cooked, you should insert a fork into the potato. The potato is done if the fork slides into the potato easily without resistance. You can also press down on the potato with the fork to determine if the potato is soft. If the potato is still firm, it may need more cooking time. 

Alternatively, you can check the color of the potato. It is cooked if the potato is golden or light brown. Additionally, if steam is rising from the potato, it is a sign that the potato is cooked. Lastly, you can also check for an aroma coming from the oven.

Also, you can use a food thermometer to check whether the potato is done. To do this, insert the thermometer in the potato and leave it for approximately 15 seconds; if the internal temperature of the potato reaches 210 degrees Fahrenheit, then the potato is done. 

Can I Bake Potatoes At A Lower Temperature?

Yes, it’s possible to bake potatoes at a lower temperature. However, baking potatoes at a lower temperature will require a longer cooking time to ensure the potatoes are cooked through. Generally, potatoes can be baked at 300 – 350°F for 50 – 70 minutes, depending on their size.

Can I Use An Air Fryer To Bake Potatoes? 

Yes, you can use an air fryer for baking potatoes. Air fryers are a great option for many people looking to cook healthier meals without losing the potatoes’ unique taste. Air fryers use hot air for cooking food quickly without needing oil, making them a healthier alternative to traditional oven baking.

To bake potatoes in an air fryer, preheat the air fryer for about 3 minutes. Place the potatoes directly on the air fryer basket, and set the temperature to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. 


Potatoes are incredibly versatile and can be used in various recipes and preparations. Baking potatoes is one of the most common and popular cooking methods. 

Knowing how long to bake a potato at 400°F is essential to get the perfect texture and flavor. 

About The Author

Hi There, I'm Lisa Anderson. I'm a 30-year-old with a passion for cooking, art, and dogs (not always in that order). With a background in both cooking and writing, ShiftyChevre is a collection of my experiences with food, recipes, lifestyle, and other kitchen-related topics.

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