How To Bake Potatoes,
Yams, and Sweet Potatoes

Learn how to bake potatoes, sweet potatoes, and yams. We'll show you everything from start to finish, including flavoring ideas for making yummy UNrecipes.

And who doesn't LOVE a piping hot baked potato covered with all the fixins'? A comfort food, for sures. When you need something that can just cook in the background while you take care of other things, this is the way to go.

A couple of interesting factoids you might like to know. As mentioned in our Potato Cooking Guide, if you go to your local grocery store here in the U.S. and you see a "yam" on the shelf? That is, in all actuality, a sweet potato. True yams are huuuuuuuge and are found in countries such as Africa or Latin America.

So why do we call some sweet potatoes "yams"? Who knows! But it's good for YOU to know that most yams are usually very moist when cooked up, and most sweet potatoes are more on the dry side (like a russet potato). So keep this in mind when creating your dish.

Another interesting tidbit is that baking these root veggies causes them to rise on the glycemic index. So those who have blood sugar concerns might consider a different cooking method, such as boiling.

  1. First, preheat your oven to 400 degrees F;

  2. Scrub your potatoes with a scrub brush. We have one that looks like a little tiny potato. Cute! :)

  3. Next, use a fork to poke holes all over your scrubbed potatoes. The first few times you do this, be careful you don't stab yourself. (NO I didn't stab myself with a fork! Okay, yes I did.)

  4. The reason you're poking holes all over is to simply allow some of the built-up steam to escape from the inside of the potato as it cooks. If you don't poke holes, your potato could explode when you reach in to pull it out of the oven. (NO I never had a potato explode on me! Okay, yes I did.)

  5. Place directly on the middle oven rack. Cook for about one hour, more or less, depending on their size. I put a large piece of aluminum foil on the lower rack to catch any drippings (many times the juices can seep out of the fork holes and make a mess all over your oven).

  6. Your veggies are ready when they "give" when squeezed. Another signal they're almost done is when you can smell their aroma wafting through your home -- this telltale sign is almost always accurate.

Enjoy your baked sweet potatoes/potatoes/yams, skins and all, for a nutritious boost. Or scoop out the flesh. It's all good!

When you're ready to add seasonings? Turn to our Potato Flavor Matches to create your very own original dish.

If You Like Potatoes Try...

Photo of beets
Photo of carrots
Photo of a turnip

Back to the top - How To Bake Potatoes, Yams, and Sweet Potatoes