There are times in life when only a baked potato will do the job. You can do all sorts of fancy things with them, but I’m an old-fashioned kind of gal, and I like mine with salt, pepper and proper butter.

When I was younger, there was a fad for those metal prongs upon which you impaled your chosen spud, and which was supposed to cook the inside of the potato more quickly. They never worked for me, so here’s my tried and tested method for perfect baked potatoes – soft and fluffy on the inside, and crunchy and salty on the outside. what you do with them after that is up to you, but I’ve put a few suggestions in the notes section at the bottom.



  • a baking tray, or two. Large enough to hold all your potatoes, and giving them plenty of room
  • A fork
  • A sharp knife


  • Potatoes! – I think Rooster or Maris Piper varieties are good as bakers
  • Maldon salt
  • Sunflower or Rapeseed Oil


  • Heat the oven to 200 degrees.
  • Wash and thoroughly dry your chosen spuds ( I don’t usually pick enormous ones, I prefer medium size, but it’s a personal thing – it’s important though that they are all a similar size)
  • Carefully prick each potato all over with the fork


  • Pour a little oil into the palm of your hand, and treating each potato as if it were a bar of soap, and using both hands, coat each one with the oil in turn. I usually get 3-4 potatoes coated from just one palm-full of oil


  • Continue until all your potatoes are coated and shiny, and put each one onto the baking tray as you go..

See how lovely and shiny they become!

  • Make sure that the potatoes are well separated from each other.
  • Sprinkle liberally with the Maldon salt, and then place the baking tray in the oven.

Oven ready!

  • Close the door and leave them there for about 50 minutes, when you can test them using a sharp knife. If it goes in easily, they’re done; if you think they could do with a little more time, give them another 10-15 minutes.
  • The skins should be crinkly and crisp.
  • Before you remove them from the oven, arm yourself with a tea towel (they’re going to be hot!) and the sharp knife.
  • As soon as you take the potatoes from the oven, hold each potato in turn firmly with the tea towel, immediately cut a deep cross into each one, then squeeze the flesh upwards – this allows any steam to escape, and stops the potatoes from becoming soggy as they cool.

Ready to come out of the oven..



Cut the cross, then squeeze..

  • Add a dollop of butter, and serve as soon as possible.


  • For parties and gatherings such as barbeques or Halloween events, I tend to cook the potatoes earlier in the day, cut them in half, and using a spoon, empty out all the flesh from the skins into a bowl. (keeping the skins intact – you’re going to need them later). Season the potatoes well, add an egg, some butter, some broken up crispy bacon, and some grated cheese, and mix it all well together. Then I refill the skins and top them off with a little more cheese. At this stage you can let them cool down for reheating, or stick them straight back into the oven for 10 minutes if you’re eating them straight away. If I’m keeping them for later (it’s so good to have these done and ready to re-heat on the night), I arrange them back on the baking tray and chill them. 30 minutes or so (always depending on size) will reheat these perfectly when you’re ready to serve.
  • I love a baked potato, or two, with any kind of grilled or even roasted meat.



I started writing down recipes in an old copybook when I was about 16. With 6 children at home, my Mother was always glad of a hand in the kitchen, and really allowed us to experiment - as long as we washed up afterwards, and left the kitchen immaculate! Having a tidy kitchen has followed me through my life, as has the habit of writing down my favourite recipes; except that these days I write them for my website, and add photographs when I can. The website really started when it occurred to me that my daughter might like to have these recipes when I've forgotten them. In my early days of cooking for family and friends, I used to phone my Mum all the time to ask her for the recipe for some of our favourite family dinners. She rarely had a recipe to hand - I think, like me, she made a lot of it up as she went along.. So welcome to Eating for Ireland - these are the recipes that my friends and family having been eating these past 40 years.. yes, I truly am ancient! They are tried and tested, and have worked for me for all that time - I have updated them as new ingredients became available - I really hope you'll find something that you can make into a family favourite of your own. You don't have to tell anyone where you found these great new dishes that you're serving up - it can be our little secret, but I'd really love it if you could give me a sneaky 'follow' on Facebook and Instagram.. So off you go - have a good rummage around, you're bound to find something new! My sincere thanks to all of you who have found a recipe that you liked and dropped me a line to tell me - I really do love to hear from you! Happy Cooking! Becks xx

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