Should Baked Potatoes be Wrapped in Foil (All You Need to Know)

Should Baked Potatoes be Wrapped in Foil

Chances are good, your parents or grandparents probably prepared baked potatoes wrapped in tinfoil in the past, but now it seems many people are starting to stray away from this process.

So, should baked potatoes be wrapped in foil? While you can bake potatoes wrapped in tinfoil, most people don’t, mainly because doing so will cause the skin to become soft and soggy instead of crisp. 

Just because this isn’t an ideal way to cook them in the oven doesn’t mean you can’t utilize tin foil in other ways to bake a potato, thinking outside the box. 

Should Baked Potatoes be Wrapped in Foil?

Contrary to popular belief, you should not wrap your baked potatoes in tin foil if you want soft-cooked potatoes on the inside with a nice crispy skin on the outside. 

When you wrap your potatoes in tin foil, uncooked, the tin foil acts as a layer of protection, capturing the moisture of the potatoes inside the foil, creating steam, and ultimately steaming the potatoes.

This makes the insides fluffy and the outside soggy and soft. 

If you like soggy potato skins, then go for it. However, if that’s not your thing, stay away from tin foil while baking your potatoes. 

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Does Wrapping Potatoes in Tin Foil Cook them Faster?

One reason many people like to bake their potatoes in tin foil is because of the popular belief it can help reduce the cooking time required.

You have probably seen restaurants do this at some point, as this is the common practice inside kitchens that cater to large numbers of customers on a daily basis.

While it is true that tin foil will keep your potatoes warmer longer, it won’t help them cook that much faster.

While in the oven, the inside of the tin foil is going to stay at the temperature of the oven, so while cooking, you won’t get a baked potato any sooner than you would without the foil.

So Why Do Restaurants Do This Then?

As mentioned above, restaurants will wrap their baked potatoes in tin foil, especially if they are in the habit of serving up tons of potatoes during the dinner rush. 

Wrapping potatoes in tin foil allows restaurants to bake a large quantity of these side dish favorites at one time and keeps them warm for quite some time, ready to go upon order.

When Should You Wrap Baked Potatoes in Foil?

Just because most people these days suggest not to cook your potatoes in tin foil doesn’t mean you absolutely can not.

There is nothing wrong with cooking a potato this way. 

Aside from the simple baked potato, there are a few situations where plopping your potatoes in a sheet of tin foil will be extremely helpful.

Twice-baked potatoes

Many people will wrap their potatoes in tin foil after it has baked for the first time and stuff them with cheese, bacon bits, etc.

This can help quickly heat up and meld the ingredients inside, and the skin is already crispy from its initial time in the oven.

On The Grill

If you are adding baked potatoes to the menu at your next BBQ, you may consider wrapping them in tin foil while they cook. 

Cooking up baked potatoes on the grill is best when each potato is sealed inside without any skin showings. Most people will add a little salt and pepper to the skin before closing it up. 

The reason it is suggested to use tin foil in this scenario is because of the way in which the grill cooks your food.

Without the potatoes sitting inside an oven with a controlled temperature, utilizing the “steam” effect will ensure your potatoes don’t take all night to cook.

While Camping

Now, this may seem a little rustic or even over the top for some, but did you know you can cook a mean baked potato right in your campfire? Yes, you hear that right, in the campfire. 

You may be used to marshmallows, hotdogs, and maybe even some sausage, but many haven’t heard that you can cook baked potatoes while camping out too. 

Like corn on the cob, vegetables, and many other items, You can utilize the coals made by your campfire to cook your potatoes to perfection by wrapping them up inside tinfoil tightly, then burying them underneath the hot embers allowing them to cook slowly while you stay nice and warm.

What is the Best Way to Cook a Baked Potatoe?

The best way to bake a potato is simply by placing it inside the oven on a baking sheet. The amount of time it takes to cook your potato depends on the size of the vegetable and how high your oven temperature is set.

For a medium-sized potato at 400°F, you should allow for about an hour of cooking time.

For a larger potato at the same temp, you will want to add an extra ten minutes; subtract 10 for a small potato. 

Should You Bake Chopped Potatoes in Tin Foil?

If you are cooking cut-up potato chunks, you have already removed the skin, which means placing them inside tinfoil isn’t going to affect the way it cooks very much.

Actually, cooking potato bites like this is a great way to keep things clean and allows you to add other ingredients such as oils and spices to marinate in your food while it cooks.

What Other Ways Can You Bake a Potato?

We already mentioned baking your potatoes in a conventional oven, on the grill, and around a bonfire; however, that’s not the end of options.

If you are looking for other ways to bake potatoes, here are a few that you should consider giving a try.

  • Microwave: Never wrap a potato in tin foil if you plan on cooking it in the microwave oven; this is a disaster and danger waiting to happen. 
  • Slow Cooker: You can place baked potatoes into a slow cooker. This is especially useful if you like to prepare dinner in the morning before you head off for work. 
  • Air Fryer: What can’t you put in the air fryer? Tossing a potato in an air fryer, with or without tin foil, is a fantastic way to get a delicious meal in a short period of time. 

No matter which option you choose, you can have a tasty side dish at any meal since baked potatoes are very versatile and delicious. 

Remember to Pierce Your Potato

Whether you are cooking it in the oven, wrapped in tinfoil, or baking in the sun (although we don’t recommend the last option) always puncture a few holes in each potato you bake, not only does this aid in the baking process but it prevents them from exploding.

Although this doesn’t happen often, it has happened in the past. 

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Summing Things Up

Although cooking your baked potatoes in tinfoil seems to be a thing of the past, it can still be done today if you don’t mind a soft and chewy skin.

It is also useful for those days when you feel like cooking outdoors and want to keep your potatoes warm, thoroughly cooked, and safe from dirt and debris. 



Lindsey graduated with an MBA in 2009. Since then, Lindsey has worked in the retail and consumer service industry as a manager, advisor, and marketer. Lindsey is also the head writer and Co-founder of Lindsey is based in Morgantown, West Virginia.

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