How to Make English Jacket Potatoes

When we were visiting our family in England last week, we ate our weight in jacket potatoes. They’re different from the baked potatoes we make because they have super crispy skin and a fluffy melty inside. SO AMAZINGLY GOOD.

They’re all over the place in England. Every pub and restaurant we went to devoted a section of the menu to them, along with a choice of toppings: grated cheddar, baked beans, tuna, cole slaw or plain with butter, salt and pepper.

My aunt Janey often made them for our dinners in Cornwall—as a side to roast chicken or sausages—and we all loved them so much, so she agreed to share the basic recipe…

“Preheat oven to 200C/400F. Cut a cross on the potatoes. Put the potatoes at the top of the oven—straight on the rack, not a baking tray. Cook 1-2 hours (usually closer to 2). When they feel crunchy on the outside, pull the rack out, cut the potatoes open again to release the steam, then put them back into the oven. The major important thing is NOT to turn the oven down as they go soggy and lose their crunch. After ten minutes, serve immediately with shedloads of butter, salt and pepper. Perfect.”

Have you ever had these? Do you have them all the time? Is this a no-brainer to you? They’re really different from the ones we make in the microwave! Any other toppings you love?

P.S. Crunchy roast potatoes aren’t half bad either:)

(Photos by Yossy Arefi for Cup of Jo)

  1. Alison Streight says...

    My British mother always made them in a similar way. Just pricked them with a fork, put them on the rack and baked them at 350F until crispy on the outside. I do mine the same way. Yummy and dead easy! Never cover with aluminum foil, it ruins them.

  2. Traditional Northwest European mainland way (North of France,Belgium,Netherlands)..
    put the potatoes on a low salt in the oven and bake until done.
    Serve with fresh good butter and sea salt.

    This is also a good basis for solid mash with white delicate flatfish such as sole or whiting or … You can mix in a little sour cream and fresh green herbs … chives, parsley, spring onion.
    No fear to season well with salt and pepper and a little nutmeg.

  3. John Sellers says...

    To those knocking micro-wave. I have to say knowledge is power, so here is some useful information.

    Nutrition is lost with long cooking times. The reason microwaves save nutrition is that the food is not exposed to high heat for a long time and so the nutrition is not chemically broken down and destroyed.

    For example, broccoli can be cooked from 1 to 3 minutes in a microwave, depending on the microwave, and they will come out a beautiful green with over 90% of their nutrition preserved.

    The opposite is true for foods that can not be eaten raw in which case nutrition is released as the food is broken down by heat and made more digestible.

    Thus it is likely that potatoes need to be cooked until they are fully developed and then after that one should not cook more once the nutrition is fully released.

    That means the most likely way to get the best is to keep cooking as long as the potatoes continue to get softer, and once through that process, get them out of the oven as soon as possible.

    This is true whether cooking in a microwave or oven. However, since a microwave cooks faster, their will inherently be more nutrition when done because the total exposure to heat is less because the time is shorter.

    We know from the receipt a good way to cook potatoes in an oven, but we don’t know how to cook them in the microwave. But don’t fool yourself. If you use a microwave, the trick is to experiment to find the best way. I would start by imitating the Jacket oven method adjusted for microwave.

    I am betting with some experimenting one can find a way to make good microwave potatoes. My microwave seems to do OK as it has a potato mode. But I suspect I can make better baked potatoes in the microwave by adding the jacket potato method to the mix.

  4. Wuzzy says...

    Nothing weird happens from microwave cooking. Microwave cooking only “excites” the water molecules in the food to move very fast causing them to heat by rubbing against each other to “cook” whatever food you’re cooking. That’s why plastic and paper don’t burn (no moisture) except when the food gets so hot it melts the plastic.

  5. Michael J Murphy says...

    Rub the outside with canola not olive oil and kosher salt….I think this is a wonderful way to cook potatoes….the outside was crispy and the inside was more like mashed potatoes in its creamyness……the flavour is a bit more homey but my Brit friends say it is huge!!! This is a wonderful way to feature huge baked potaotes especially if you have a special stuffing or such to add…i know it sounds wacky but baked beans are good,a tuna salad, a pimiento spreak you made is deluxe…and its hard to beat butter/sour cream/chives trinity!!!!!

  6. Craig says...

    Can’t wait to try this recipe, thank you for the new technique. Living here in Boise Idaho, we have quite the variety of potatoes. Commercial standards (Russet, Yukon Gold, etc…), but the smaller farmers here have 30-40 uniquely different ones, including blue and purple varieties (can’t remember specific names). Will try and locate jacket potatoes or similar at an upcoming farmers market trip. Thank you!

    Side note: saw an earlier comment/question on poking technique. I’ve always held a fork firmly like an ice pick, with the tines sticking out from my grip by 1/2 inch or so, then just hold the potato while putting holes in one side, then rotating.

    • Lindsey says...

      Jacket potatoes is just the British way of saying baked potatoes. You can use any variety you like

  7. Linda says...

    After reading about these delicious potatoes yesterday – I was barbecuing chicken and those potatoes were still on my mind so I chose the largest red potatoes available put them in the microwave with a large cross cut in the tops, when softened I pushed on their sides with a potholder to open the crosses then took them outside and placed them towards the rear of the grill and turned up the heat to 400 degrees and left them for about 15 minutes, (check every once in awhile) when the bottoms were well done, close to black I took them out and slathered them with butter, salt and pepper. My housemate loved it, so did I. The BBQ dried out the moisture from the microwave and they were fluffy and delish. Thank you for this.

  8. brendan says...

    what kind of heathen microwaves a potato?

    • Linda says...

      A hungry one…try it sometime.

    • Bobby Rovegno says...

      What kind of heathen microwaves anything? It ruins breads, that includes pizza destroys most of the nutritional value of the food you’re microwaving Ever wonder why the rise of obesity corresponds with the introduction of the microwave? If you eat foods that lack nutrients the body will crave more until it gets what it needs.

    • Wuzzy says...

      Microwave potatoes are great but you have to learn how to do it. There are different ways to do it! Hmmm another recipe article coming up!

    • Aletheia says...


      Correlation does not equal causation. The rise of obesity coincides with a LOT of different factors (including the rising popularity of processed foods, the rise of using high fructose corn syrup in almost everything in stores, a downward trend in people of all ages being less active, etc.), so blaming microwaves is pointless, especially because science does not back up your claims.

  9. Cheryl says...

    Do you coat them in anything, i.e. olive oil and salt? Do you wrap them in foil?

    • Bill W. says...

      You can rub them with oil and sprinkle with salt. Poke holes in the tops. Don’t wrap in foil…you’ll have soggy skins, not crispy ones.

    • J Allen says...

      No, don’t wrap in foil. That steams them.

  10. Elizabeth says...

    I’ve seen several postings of this recipe lately – some refer to ‘perfect saltiness’ of the skin. But no direction as to how to salt the potato.
    Any help with that? Do we wash the potato, then salt before putting them in the oven?

    P.S.: As a Mainer, I grew up eating potatoes every day. Baked were just like this – until the advent of the microwave and then things went down the potato hole. So I should know the answer to my salt question but I haven’t baked potatoes in a long time…

  11. Mary says...

    The end result reminds me of my mom’s baked potatoes, before microwave ovens existed – thick, crunchy, toasty-tasting skin, fluffy and moist inside. If you are one who leaves that crunchy skin behind instead of eating it, what a sacrilege!

  12. Linda prince says...

    When do you rub the salt on the skin?

  13. Gracey Hitchcock says...

    This is exactly how I make them except I oil the skin and dust with coarse salt; bake them into crunchy deliciousness.

  14. How about brushing them with a little oil before baking them?

  15. Shirl Johnson says...

    This sounds delicious. I do have a question though… After the 2-hour cooking time how do you reheat these and get the same crunchy buttery flavor?

    • Bob says...

      I would heat the oven to the same temperature (400 F) and pop them in until hot. They are already cooked so, maybe 20 min?

    • P. Hogan says...

      Shirl Johnson Jr? Shirl did you use to work at Transcon Lines?

  16. Mark Bohannon says...

    Just made two of these for myself using large Russet potatoes. I followed the directions to the letter and they came out perfect and delicious. I used the 2 hour cook time. I would love to try another variety of potato the next time I make them. Thanks for the post, Cup Of Joe!
    I served mine with lots of butter, pepper, a little sharp cheddar cheese, and sprinkled some packaged seasoning made for roasted potatoes. Wouldn’t change a thing in the ingredients except next time I’m making more than only 2.

  17. HC says...

    What is the most popular variety of potato that they cook in the UK? In the US it is usually Russets which are disgusting. The method of cooking won’t help much if you have a crappy potato.

    • Sadnerd says...

      Usually Maris Piper are best. And better still later in the season too…

    • Mary says...

      Use Yukon gold much more tasty, fluffy they are best for baked.

  18. Alex says...

    A Super-Soup secret I learned by accident is these crispy potatoes make a potato soup the bomb! It makes an ultra-delicious, toothsome note to any soup, actually.

    I discovered by mistake, having a few leftover, crispy potatoes. The next day I coarsely diced and added them skin and all, (because it’s impossible to separate the skin from the potato flesh), to my Grams traditional potato-green bean soup recipe. The outcome was incredible! So much so, that when I make crispy style potatoes, I always make a double batch for potato soup the next day.

    • Linda says...

      Will you post your Grams recipe for Traditional Potato-Green bean soup please?

    • Kate says...

      I would luv it too!

  19. Judy Rogers says...

    My mother Norwegian, my father English, fixed potatoes the same way. The best! My nutritionist in nursing school said the more color in a vegetable the more vitamins. Keep eating those skins.

    • Alan Miller says...

      That “more color”aadage doesn’t really apply to potatoes, or at least the color should NOT be green. The same light conditions that turn them green result in a chemical compound that makes them bitter and in larger amounts can make you ill, though most modern varieties produce less of that.

    • Bobby Rovegno says...

      Alan Miller, actually it does. All of the colored varieties of potatoes, orange, yellow, blue, purple etc have more nutritional value the the white ones do.

  20. I forgot to poke mine one day and about an hour in it sounded like a bomb went off in my oven. Shedloads of white popcorn like stuff all over the inside of the oven. I just left it that way for another 10 minutes and they crisped up and could be cleaned off without smearing. It was pretty funny actually. Made for a great cooking story!

  21. Sara says...

    The burbank is an excellent American Potato variety. If you can find it. Not that all potatoes aren’t, historically, american…

    • Charles Robertson says...

      Sara, a short history of the potato – it was cultivated by the early Native Americans in Peru long before Columbus. They still cultivate 50?+ varieties.

    • Mary says...

      And the great potato famine?

  22. Sounds good to me just add some sour cream chives etc.

  23. Liz Wallis says...

    This is how I grew up eating potatoes, though we didn’t put them back in the oven a second time. But they were indeed crispy on the outside and wonderfully flavorful. We would cut them in half, scoop out the insides to mash on our plates, and then add butter, salt and pepper to the empty skins and eat those with our fingers. I don’t recall that we ever added cheese or other fillings, but those would certainly have been good too.

    • barb says...

      Some of my siblings didn’t like the skins so I got extra!

    • Bobbie Clark says...

      That was my experience as a child also. Yum! My favorite part was eating the skins!

  24. stone dave says...

    sound almost perfect…i’d only add chives

  25. Peggy Cartwright says...

    One of my mother’s degrees was in Home Economics from Michigan State, before WWI, but she always said she learned all about real cooking from her Scottish mother and English mother-in-law… and jacket potatoes were what we ate at dinner at least once a week. I read the Guardian recipe one of you put in ‘comments’ and her’s was the same. She put in well aged white Cheddar she ordered from a farm in New England… to die for. I think I will now go to the Internet and find some of that Cheddar and hope they will ship it out to me in San Francisco while I hunt for the right potatoes. (I love and support the Guardian monetarily whenever I can.)

    • Linda says...

      Cabot Cheese is very well known in New England for their excellent cheddar cheese. Here is their shop.
      Cabot Village Store
      Address: 3109 Main St, Cabot, VT 05647
      Hours: Open ⋅ Closes 8PM
      Phone: (802) 563-2438

  26. Sara says...

    My family rubs the skin with olive oil and salt and pounds a huge nail thru the middle, lengthwise. Then bake at 400 until they give when pinched. I think the nail serves to let the steam out as they cook, and transfers the heat into the center to speed things up a bit. Microwaved potatoes are just pointless! I shall try the second cut and return to oven for 10 minutes.

    We had a restaurant and did bakers for the steak platters. They were all cooked for about 45 minutes and then pulled until needed. Re baked for another 20 minutes, about the time from when an order is placed and the main is fired. Leftovers were potato salad at lunch service the next day.

    • Bob says...

      Holy Schmoly….just reminded me that the aluminum nails that we had in the drawer were for potatoes.

  27. DaveK says...

    This is just how I grew up loving baked potatos (here in the good old US of A). Crunchy skins, fluffy interior, seasoned with salt, pepper, and generous amounts of butter. We always saved the skins for last, adding more salt, pepper, and butter, then eating them like a tiny little piece of pocket bread.

    My favorite were my grandmother’s, which were baked in a wood-fired stove.

  28. J.M. Wornum says...

    My daughter lived in England for many years, and she said it is the variety of potato that makes the difference. She said they use Marist Piper potatoes, and I can’t find them here in the US.

  29. EvelynU says...

    If you turn the oven on to pre-heat, then pierce and microwave the potatoes for 15-20 minutes or so, then pop them in the oven, you can get the same effect in a quarter the time.

  30. Alan Miller says...

    Perhaps I’m simply a philistine, but particularly during the summer there are very few things for which I’m going to run the oven at 400F for 2 hours. Perhaps an outdoor gas grill, but not an oven in a main part of the house.

    • Tatiana says...

      You could always use a small toaster oven that can maintain a temperature of 400 degrees. I have a good quality Cuisinart one that I use in the summer for everything from quiche to baking bread, and it is much better than using the big oven. Much more energy efficient, and it doesn’t heat up the house.

  31. Lisa says...

    How big are these potatoes that you cook for 2 hours?

  32. Jan Tjernlund says...

    I love baked potatoes -and grew up and still live in Michigan. Russett potatoes are best. I always baked them at 400 for an hour and 1/2 or 2 hours. Sadly, so many family diners and bar restaurants in Michigan, wrap potatoes in foil and put them in the oven. They do not roast, they steam and the potato is not fluffy and often -an unappetizing yellow/brown color. The skin is not crisp. I recently purchased an air fryer-live alone and don’t want to use oven for a small meal. I oil the potato with olive oil (or other oil), use course flake sea salt and sprinkle liberally. Then, pop in air fryer at 400 for 40 minutes. Result: beautiful deep brown crusty skin, and fluffy inside potato. I top with Irish butter and salt and pepper. Whole milk yogurt with chives when I want to feel healthy.

    • K. L. says...

      Do you poke holes or do anything else to release the steam?

  33. Caarole Billings Lohmann says...

    Sorry to hear that you grew up with microwave backed potatoes. I, on the other hand, did not. My mother baked them in the oven and they were always crisp and delicious. Glad to hear that you are eating them now the way they should be baked.

    • Christine says...

      When i grew up there was no such thing as a microwave, and i suppose growing up in New York made us a bit closer to British style. We drank tea with milk and baked potatoes were cooked in the oven, though we did not oil or salt. However that sounds so good almost like a soft salted pretzel. I cant wait to try it

  34. julie says...

    Going to give this a try. The traditional restaurant style I use is -scrub,poke holes, rub with crisco, (shortening)roll in sea salt then place on baking sheet *400 for 1 hr. turning the potatoes half way thru. They turn out amazing crisp on outside and fluffy on inside.

  35. Peter Wood says...

    Just curious, if every pub and restaurant has them on the menu, are they following this same method for making jacket potatoes? If so, do they just bake them continuously in cycles so that there are always some ready when guests want to order them? Or do the guests actually wait two hours for their potatoes?

    • Delyra says...

      My guess is it’s the same as in US restaurants that do not use a microwave. They are either nearly cooked and don’t take much time to finish or they make them relatively continuously and leftovers used for another dish the next day. Almost all establishments have a decent idea of what the overall load will be for popular items, based on time of year and day of week.

    • Don’t be silly, Peter. Of course they’re made throughout the day, at a rate of whatever the typical demand is for that day, keeping them warm, then popping them back in the oven, as needed, for a crispy sensation. They’re like Fries at McDonald’s: sometimes you wait a bit, sometimes you hit the jackpot and they’re ready to go!

  36. Linc Sample says...

    This is how I learned to bake potatoes 50 years ago. We didn’t cut a cross in it just punctured it in a couple places but otherwise it’s the same thing. Being the product of frugal Mainers with a Scottish background probably helps.

    • nikki says...

      yep that is how I make my potatoes…I live in Vermont and just puncture the potatoes and put them in 400 oven right on the rack….no pan. I have a liner on the bottom of my oven in case something spills, but so far no issues with potatoes. Cook 1 hour. Maybe that is how the New Englanders learned how to do it right….from the UK who came over?

  37. Colet says...

    Use your airfryer, 45 min or more on 2 big ones.
    Wash and wipe them.
    Wipe with coconut oil all over.
    Cover with salt not fine ones but coarse…enjoy

  38. Terri Fenn says...

    In my opinion Maris Piper potatoes are the best for jackets

    • Anon Ymous says...

      You have hit in on the head !! The type of potatoes you bake, nuke or oven broil makes ALL the difference. I have tried for quite a while to buy Russets (what Mom used) and can’t but them for money or love. The thin skinned Bakers sold in Grocery stores fail to crisp up, leaving U sad.

  39. I had English grandparents and I never Microwave a potato. Cut, rub with cooking oil, place on rack in a hot oven and roast for 1-1.5 hours. When you squeeze them and the’re soft and crunch there done. I will try the extra cut and bake for 10 minutes to see if it makes a difference. Microwave? POO!!!.

  40. Leslie says...

    Many years ago while attending a party on a private yacht slipped in Marina Del Rey, a chef shared a steak house to fir baking potatoes. Later I incorporated it for the opening of Yacht season for our yacht club. We took 5 gallon buckets of heavily salted water and added scrubbed baking potatoes that had been pricked with fork half dozen times then capped off water in buckets with huge scoops of ice and let sit in th he walkin frig. Let sit for 8-10 hrs then dump off ice cold water and dry well. Let them air dry for an hour while you are busy doing other tasks. Have your oven heated to 450 degrees and put in potatoes that have been rubbed with roasted garlic olive oil. Bake at 450 for 45 mins then turn down to 400 and bake another 45 mins. The salt water soak pulls the starches from the potatoes and many times the water will be cloudy white from the starch. By removing the starch your potatoes will he very fluffy. When I do this fir just my husband and myself I use a large pitcher and sit it on cabinet over night or early am for next afternoon baking. So good!

    • tj says...

      Thank you for sharing this! I do have to ask, just to do potatoes for your husband and you, how much water and how much salt do you use to soak the potatoes? Thank you!

    • R. Up says...

      Wow this sounds delicious! Will definitely consider serving this as a side when roasting and eating your yacht club. Thanks, Leslie!

    • Bev says...

      What kind of potatoes?

    • Ann says...

      Does soaking out the starch result in a lower carb load? (Please, God!).

  41. Lynn says...

    My husband likes his filled with hot curry or chilli con carne and topped with cheese.

  42. Andy says...

    Twice baked jacket potatoes are even better. Cool potatoes as per Jo’s recipe. At the end of cooking cut potatoe in half and scoop out fluffy potatoe into a bowl. Add a good amount of grated cheese and some butter. Mix well then spoon mixture back into the skins. Then sprinkle a little grated cheese on top. Then return the potatoes to the oven and cook until cheese turns brown. Take out and serve with a side of your choice

  43. Allen says...

    We like 2 percent creamed cottage on them. Adds loads of protein and calcium and tastes great without loads of fat.

  44. JoAnne says...

    How are English baked beans different from our American beans?

    • Sue Guttmann says...

      English baked beans come in a tomato-based sauce and are not as sweet as US baked beans.

    • Brenda Elkins says...

      English baked beans differ from American baked beans quite considerably. The tomato sauce is thinner and quite delicious. The beans are cooked in a way they remain whole and are not broken down as this thickens the sauce and makes it gritty. Try Heinz or Batchelors baked beans from the U.K. Available at Walmart, grocery stores with a British section and specialty British stores.

    • LT says...

      The have a distinguidhed sounding accent.

    • sally says...

      In England we have them in a sweet tomato sauce.

      We eat them with breakfast or on roast or baked potatoes. Actually with about anything. They are a kitchen staple here

  45. Teresa Ghassemi says...

    I rub my Idaho potatoes edith olive oil and sea salt, poke them, then cook them at 425° for an hour or more. My skins come out crispy, and I love mixing in the basic butter, salt and pepper, or sometimes cheddar, sour cream and chives, occasionally bacon. I am so open to trying this recipe to make them even better!

  46. Rehana P Becker says...

    What kind of potatoes do you use? In the US, we have Idaho baking potatoes. Is that the type you use? Do you use Yukon gold, ever?

    • Stephen L says...

      While it is a matter of choice, my observation that Yukon Gold’s skin is too thin. My preference is Russet potatoes!

    • robert says...

      i only use gold potatoes

    • Linda says...

      I’ve used Red skinned potatoes with great results.

  47. I’ve been making them that way for years but I do add a little salt to the outside on the potato skin before I cook them.

  48. Joan says...

    I like them with butter, salt, pepper, feta cheese, and sliced green onion. Never heard of “jacket potatoes” until today. Googled it and came upon this recipe. Pretty much a basic baked potato variation. Microwaved potatoes are sorely lacking as far as I’m concerned.

    • Bruce Beezley says...

      I do them like that in the microwave. Potatoes cook from inside out. The steam from inside makes the skin wet. After washing skin leave wet or rub with oil, the salt and pepper heavily. The salt and pepper absorbs water vapor and leaves skin crispy. Enjoy.

  49. Jill says...

    4.5 years later, this is still my go to baked potato recipe. Thanks for the post :)

  50. Mary says...

    Made these today- Thank you and your aunt! delicious:)

  51. Katie B says...

    Hi @cupofjo and all – for us visual people, any chance we could get the answer on what the cross looks like – size/ depth? Thank you!

    • Fiona says...

      Just enough to cut through the skin

    • Jsemh says...


  52. We lived in the UK for two years when we were first married ate jacket potatoes all. the. time. I have always baked potatoes straight on the rack bc I love the crispy skin, but never realized that that was the British way! Our fav toppings are baked beans and super sharp cheddar. But another kind of interesting one is to roast a head of garlic with the potatoes and serve alongside the potato with lots of peppery olive oil, s+p. No butter necessary!

  53. Canadianna says...

    yikes, microwave? Definitely just put the potatoes in and don’t think about them for about 1h45 mins. I live in Toronto and we have these often for dinner – hot out of the oven: sprinkle freshly shredded Cheddar, add a dollop of sour cream and sprinkle snipped chives on top. Add crudites, a hardboiled egg, or edamame to the side of the plate …and you’ve got my children’s favourite dinner.

    • A says...

      Make sure potatoes are organic.

  54. Lora says...

    This is how I grew up eating baked potatoes and how I still make them today. And we always eat the jackets, too, once all the fluffy part has been eaten. Add extra butter, some salt, and pick them up with your hands. Microwave potatoes are completely wrong IMO and I’ve never made them in my own home.

    • Bruce Beezley says...

      I do them like that in the microwave. Potatoes cook from inside out. The steam from inside makes the skin wet. After washing skin leave wet or rub with oil, the salt and pepper heavily. The salt and pepper absorbs water vapor and leaves skin crispy. Enjoy.

  55. Ellen Barks says...

    I grew up eating baked jacketed potatoes…thought everyone did! Of course my mother was a Brit and my father was a scot so I guess that was why it was a staple…brought my children on them also. Nothing better!

  56. Yummy…Yummy
    Finally, i find this receipe! I do love potatoes

    thanks Joanna!

  57. Dee says...

    When I was in London I ate many a jacket potato. My dad took this awesome picture of me with a jacket potato that was nearly the size of my head, and me looking at it with pretend horror (but really it was the MOST delicious).

  58. I’ve never had such perfectly baked potatoes. It’s definitely worth of tasting.

  59. I always microwave the potatoes, until soft. then I bake them in the oven for 15-20 minutes, to crisp the skins. They taste good and don’t take as long to cook.

  60. These look so incredible and simple…I’m making them now! Happy Nesting.

  61. Its bizarre to see a recipe for this. I thought everyone knew how to make them, i now know. I stab them a few times put a little oil on and lots of salt before baking them.
    As for a filling, homemade coleslaw with plain tuna. Or on a cold night, chilli, sour cream and a sprinkle of cheese. So good.

  62. I just tried making these yesterday, after finding this recipe on your blog and they worked out really well. Crispy outside, fluffy inside plus the butter and salt! Delicious! Thanks for sharing. Bee

  63. One of my favorite memories is of visiting my dear friend when she was going for her doctorate at Oxford… We would go to a local caf for tea and jacket potatoes… Branston pickle and cheddar for me, tuna and sweet corn for her. YUM.

  64. i think this is a British caf classic! …not just England but all over the UK. espescally nice wrapped in foil and slung into the bonfire pit…yum!

  65. Love it! I was in England and Wales last fall visiting family….and 7 weeks pregnant. This and cheese sandwiches were the only thing I could stomach! This post reminded me of how sick I was during that trip! Lol

  66. I would not have gotten through my year in London with out them – a pint and a jacket potato!!! YUM!! xo

  67. These look fantastic!

  68. Mmmm, I LOVE jacket potatoes! They certainly are a staple here in England (whatever some other commenters may have said!) and they are on lots of pub menus. As some others have mentioned salt the outside too – rosemary salt, even better, lashings and lashings of butter and/or melted cheese, one of the best meals ever! Francesca

  69. I lived in London when I was pregnant with my first daughter. Everyone at my office laughed at me because I’d go to the potato cart in the high street and get a beans and cheese jacket potato for lunch every single day. It was so tasty and hearty and filling on a cold day. Best 1 pound 75p I could spend!

  70. I never had jacket potatoes, but I studied in Edinburgh for a semester and I’m pretty sure I would’ve starved if not for beans on toast. Imagine my disappointment to discover upon my return to the States that the ‘baked beans’ in the UK are nowhere to be found in the US!
    It’s been almost 8 years and still I get cravings sometimes!! I’ve tried looking for recipes online, but couldn’t find a thing :(

  71. My potato consumption sky rocketed when I moved to London. My English hubby ate them so much for school lunches and dinner at home that he is ‘over them’, which I just can’t believe. Long live the potato!

  72. Love jacket potatoes! I just prick my ones with a fork a few times, rub with sea salt and stick in the oven for a little bit over an hour. Sometimes we make them when we have friends over and then serve many bowls of toppings:baked beans, fried onions, crispy bacon, grated cheddar,dried peppers,sour cream, rocket and of course lots of butter!

  73. When I lived in England we made tuna, sweet corn, mayo jacket potatoes with cheese on top. It was delicious especially served with Jalapeno tartar sauce! Best thing ever!

  74. As an Aussie this is funny to me too! I will always remember my Mum fussing about what to cook for dinner when she was cooking for Grandfather (my Dad’s father) and he said “Put the potatoes on then decide what’s for dinner”. You can tell he was from good Irish stock! My Dad always washed the potatoes then covered them in salt and straight into the oven. Super crispy, salty goodness! And yep I read ‘shedload’ as ‘sh*tload’ as that’s the Aussie colloquialism!

  75. I haven’t seen Janey in years now but rememeber her being such a lovely woman :)

    You can put *anything* on a proper jacket potato. Bolognese, chilli, butter. My father rubs most jacket spuds with olive oil and salt before putting them in the oven. We also cook them in tin foil for the first half.

  76. This post made me smile – being English I found it funny that you managed to glorify the humble jacket potato!

    It doesn’t matter what potato you use but the result will vary. Generally speaking, you will end up with either a ‘waxy’ or ‘fluffy’ jacket. I much prefer waxy but it’s all a matter of taste – worth experimenting.

    Microwaved potatoes are pretty foul. HOWEVER, one good trick to reduce cooking time is to microwave a potato for about five mins, then put in oven. Don’t have to wait two hours then.

    Also, I read that the secret to a perfect potato was not to prick it before cooking, but when ready – or near ready – poke a very large hole in the skin very quickly. Apparently the steam exiting quickly makes the texture nice.

    Anyway, I’m going to stop talking about jacket potatoes now…

  77. I don’t really see how this counts as a recipe? = take potato, put in oven, eat. We have them all the time in winter, but really, this is not cooking. This is basic potato goodness in mouth yum time.

  78. I always ate a jacket potato at University (I studied in London) filled with baked beans and cheese. So yum!

    {Teffy’s Perks} X

  79. I love how some people in the comments call them “JPs” – so cute! I want to make these part of our dinner repertoire. First, a quick (possibly dumb) question which others have asked: how deep and big is the cross you cut on the potato? I’ve never seen this before! Also, what was the best topping you had?!

  80. These potatoes look so yummy! I am from the Eastern Europe where potatoes are also must-have on the table. I often cook baked potatoes but they come out rather soft than crunchy. Anyways, thanks for the recipe – I will definitely try it one day.

  81. These potatoes look so yummy! I am from the Eastern Europe where potatoes are also must-have on the table. I often cook baked potatoes but they come out rather soft than crunchy. Anyways, thanks for the recipe – I will definitely try it one day.

  82. These potatoes look so yummy! I am from the Eastern Europe where potatoes are also must-have on the table. I often cook baked potatoes but they come out rather soft than crunchy. Anyways, thanks for the recipe – I will definitely try it one day.

  83. I studied abroad in London, and one of my favorite meals to get was a jacket potato with beans and cheddar. It made me so happy when I found heinz beans here in the US! I haven’t had one in years though- I think it’s time to bring it back!

  84. I had a six month internship in London a few years ago and I lived off of jacket potatoes! So so good.

  85. We have these all the time, except we wrap them in foil before putting them in the oven. Means the jackets get cooked, but not too overdone. They’re also great to bash in the oven in the morning and leave on all day on a low heat to slow cook them into a lovely mash-in-a-jacket.

  86. I had a Spanish language teacher who said it took her a while to get used to the Brits occupation with jacket potatoes as in Spain they feed them to the pigs! Glad you’re back – I live in Somerset and it was weird missing the posts while at the same time knowing you were down the road! x

  87. Haha, I thought it said a “shitload of butter.” Since they basically mean the same thing, I’m still pretty excited.

  88. You made my day, Joanna! I LOVE potatoes (and all things related to Mother England:), so I cannot wait to try these!! Thank you xo

  89. That’s so funny, my gran lives in Cornwall and makes it too!


  90. Do you think this could work for sweet potatoes?

  91. Is it a deep cross or a shallow cross? Does that even matter? Is this a dumb question? :)

  92. I lived in London during college and my coworkers would eat these with the tuna, beans and slaw and it always grossed me out. I’m not a potato person anyways, but the toppings – no way.

  93. When I lived in Edinburgh years ago, I was basically a regular at the Baked Potato Shop there. While the simple ones are quite delicious, I had fun trying the crazier toppings too, maybe because the whole thing was such a novelty to me as an American!

    My favorite, seriously, was the delicious pasta salad-topped jacket potato. What can I say, I like carbs. :)

    • acorn says...

      what!? Im an American and potatoes with ALL kinds of toppings are nomal here! where do you live?

  94. As a Northern English girl I have grown up on JP’s as a cheap and cheerful staple, we do them slightly different but there are no hard and fast rules, my Nana used to cook them all day in the bottom of the oven when she was having a baking day, wrap in tinfoil and put in the embers of a camp fire the list goes on… My favourite is heat the oven up to 240c rinse the spud/s and pat dry, don’t cut or puncture the skin, pop in hot oven on wired rack on a high shelf for 20mins don’t open the door just turn the heat down to 200c and bake for 1-2hours depending on the size of spuds and number in the oven.
    Split and serve with your favourite topping.
    We also make stuffed JP’s. Follow as above whilst spuds are cooking boil some smoked haddock in water or milk whatever is your preference, when fish is cooked flake into a large bowl with a big dollop of mustard, a generous handful of grated cheese and a glug of salad cream. Cut the JP’s in half and scoop out the filling and mix this with the cheese etc. When mixed re-fill the half skins with the mix and pop back in the oven for 10-15mins. Eat on their own or serve as a side. Scrummy.

  95. I’ve lived in the UK my whole life, in Scotland and England, and these are very common (especially filled for lunch) all over the UK. You can get filled jackets as a main in most pubs, and simple buttered jackets as a side in most restaurants. Try them filled with prawn Marie Rose – tangy, creamy, and a lovely mix of hot and cold :)

  96. I’ve only been to England once… for a 24 hour layover in London and I had a “jacket potato” while there. It was the best baked potato I’ve ever had in my life! I’ll have to see if I can replicate it here.

  97. Another English girl vouching for the humble JP here! Best made in an Aga. Would advise taking them out a few minutes early, adding a bit of cheese in the middle, pushing them back together (hot – mind fingers) and then back in for the last few minutes. Delish.

  98. we love with bacon, sauted mushrooms and onions, sourcream and butter/garlic butter. YUM!!

    • Barbara says...

      OH monapeacecabona, that sounds so good it could literally stop traffic!

  99. Baked potatoes have always been my comfort food, even if I only have time to nuke them in a microwave. I accept potatoes in all forms. :)

  100. marcello, thanks for your comment! we visited friends in durham up north, and then flew down for a week in cornwall, and then drove over to west sussex to stay with friends for a night before we flew out of heathrow, and we saw jacket potatoes in all three places. so maybe they’re more common in pubs/restaurants outside london? now i’d love to do a driving tour and find out :)

  101. Top tip from an English girl: prickly the potatoes with a fork and then microwave for 5-7 minutes. Then put them in the hot oven for about an hour (depending on qty and size). For some reason, this makes them super fluffy inside and crunchy outside :-)

  102. No, I have not had this, but it looks delectable. However I do eat a baked potato of some variety every night for supper. And this would be another variety.

  103. I am an English gal too so yeah! this is a common lunch for me. My favourite topping is strong cheddar & baked beans :) so comforting

  104. Love jacket potatoes. I cook my baked potatoes with a metal skewer going through them – you can get 4 on a kebab type skewer, cooks ’em quicker – also a bit of oil and salt on the skins after you’ve done them in the microwave – crisps the skins quickly.

  105. Fab! Love the simplicity! Thanks!

  106. My boyfriend thinks I’m a nut for loving plain potatoes so much but they’re SO good. And comforting! He says I have the taste buds of a 90 year old. I’m gonna try this out! :)

    Dakota Barber

    • acorn says...

      I love your post! :) Its comical and cute.

  107. Definitely an English staple. Rubbing salt on the skins helps to dehydrate and crisp them, and adds flavour!

    When I was wee, my ma used to scoop out the middle, mix it with cheese & chives, and then pop them under the grill. Delicious!

    It’s so interested to hear your take on our Englishnesses. I can’t wait to read more about your travels.

  108. By England do you mean Cornwall? I live in London and have family in Sussex, and contrary to a commenter below I hardly ever see jacket potatoes on any menu. They are indeed British, but not quite as prevalent as being “all over” here. Perhaps more so as a familiar guest at a family dinner table.

  109. I’m making these tonight. We normally make baked potatoes almost like this – since we both like them overbaked. I used to make baked potatoes in the microwave…when I was married to my first husband. Current husband is a good cook…no microwave potatoes now! I also used to always use Idaho or Russet potatoes for baking…but now we use either white or Yukon Gold. I like them better – the flesh isn’t as dry.

  110. I had no idea what you were going to say, and find it hilarious as they are such a staple food in my house that is never considered this a recipe! So much better than the microwaved version though (although two hours is a long time to wait for a potato!)

    Kat x

  111. I definitely need to start working “shedloads” into my vocabulary. It will certainly be a change for the better from my current “s”-loads word. :)

  112. This post is funny to me, as I am from the UK and LOVE jacket potatoes! I also love shed loads of butter, tuna and mayo, or chilli, ALWAYS with loads of grated cheddar cheese!
    However when i am being healthy, lately i am, i use coconut oil as a replacement, it really works. I also substitute cheese for nutritional yeast. Its so yum, and super healthy!
    So glad you love them Jo! x

  113. These look so delicious! i think I will buy some potatoes on the way home and make them for dinner! It’s perfect for me because potatoes are my favorite food, and it can be vegan friendly for my partner!

  114. How big of a cross do you cut, and where at on the potato? These look tremendous!

  115. One of my favorite comfort foods! I miss being able to have them anytime, I wish more restaurants in the states served them. My favorite is with beans, cheese and a little HP sauce :)

  116. Yum!

    You can pop them in the microwave and then crisp them up in the oven afterwards if you’re short on time

  117. Baked potatoes like this are really popular in Australia – except that we fill them up with coleslaw, sourcream, cheese… All sorts of stuff. They’re a popular takeout meal and most shopping centre food courts have a baked potato shop.

    I live in California now and I miss my baked potatoes. I’ve thought about making them at home but never knew how to get the skins like that. Now that I know the trick I’m going to have to give it a try :)

  118. My host mom made these last year when I was in England but I didn’t ask for the recipe. These couldn’t come at the more opportune moment – I just bought potatoes.

    Do you have any experience with sticky toffee pudding? I don’t know how traditionally English it is, but if you have any tips or a favorite recipe, I would be over the moon.

  119. We do these all the time but you can do them in the microwave then put them in the oven and it works just as good (as per my husband’s 95-year-old English granny)
    So basically you put the potatoes in the microwave for about 10 minutes. Once out of the microwave spread butter on the outside and place them on a baking tray. Sprinkle some salt over the top and place them in a high oven for about 20 more minutes. Same result but a heck of a lot quicker!

  120. Yes, this is how I make them & seeing as how my mother was Welsh, probably the reason. I am now without a microwave & do not miss it a bit. But I used to make them the way Jamie Oliver did: nuke ’til nearly done. Meanwhile, oven hot hot hot & roll them in a bit of olive oil, salt then pop into oven for 10-15 minutes til crispy. I think that’s it. Anyway, welcome back! xo/Susan

  121. Does it matter what kind of potato you use? Are they russet? They look delicious!

  122. Having them tonight in London! They are a regular on our family table. Wash them the rub salt into the wet skin before baking yum! Never in the microwave!

  123. Having them tonight in London! They are a regular on our family table. Wash them the rub salt into the wet skin before baking yum! Never in the microwave!

  124. “Serve immediately with shedloads of butter, salt and pepper.” Hahaha cute phrasing!

    This looks so tasty, especially for these cool NYC evenings lately.

  125. I love eating them with a lot of butter, salt&pepper and Branston Pickle on the top and fresh salad as a side.

  126. haha, nicola, janey says “shedloads” all the time. also: “pants,” as in “this rainy weather is pants.” :)

  127. Yikes! As an English gal, microwaving a jacket potato seems so.. wrong! If you liked these try doing the same trick but for less time with smaller potatoes to make mini jackets, then grating parmesan over them. Utterly delicious :)

  128. I love baked potatoes, so I really need to get on this! They sounds lovely.

  129. 2 hours in 200 C! I am surprised that they don’t burn! I’ll try that.

  130. My current pregnancy craving is jacket potatoes with coleslaw, yum yum – I have them at least twice a week. Never tried letting the steam out and putting them back in the oven though – will try that tomorrow.

  131. As an English person I can confirm that these really are everywhere and super delicious :)

    I like reading your blog for an American take on English things, I find it really interesting, thank you.

    I love that you said shedloads as I think that’s such a British saying xx

  132. Yeah, this is a no-brainer since I’m married to an English dude lol. Baking potatoes in the microwave? Yuck. I didn’t realize people actually did that. My husband puts salt on the outside of them before popping them into the oven and stabs them a few times so they don’t explode. Pretty easy stuff. To me, this is just baked potatoes lol. Prior to meeting him, I’d just put them in the oven and that would be it.