Return to listing

Jacket Potatoes

Could there possibly be anyone in the wide world who doesn't drool at the thought of jacket potatoes with really crisp, crunchy skins and fluffy, floury insides with something lovely melted into them?

I'm not speaking of the insipid microwave versions of convenience fame, but the hallowed, reverenced beauty of the real thing. If you ever feel like treating yourself and want something supremely soothing and comforting that costs almost nothing (forget chocolate bars and the like), just bake yourself the biggest potato you can lay your hands on, then cut it in half and, as you do, listen carefully to the inviting crackle and crunch of the skin as the knife goes in.

Next, with a fork, fluff the floury insides, then add a generous amount of butter and watch it melt and disappear into the clouds of fluffiness. Add rock salt and crushed black pepper, then eat and savour it alone in all its humble, simple glory.

The secret of perfect jacket potatoes like the one described above is not to hurry them – give them up to 2 hours to get the really crunchy skin, learn to use the time when you're out, so they can be ready when you come home, or go and do something else and forget about them till they're ready.

This is my master recipe, and below are some ideas for fillings and toppings.


This recipe is taken from Delia Smith’s Complete Cookery Course, Delia Smith’s Complete Illustrated Cookery Course and How to Cook Book One.


First you need to wash the potatoes and dry them very thoroughly with a cloth, then leave them aside to dry as much as possible. If you're using ready-washed potatoes you need not do this, as the high heat will purify them.

Next, prick the skins a few times with a fork, then put a few drops of olive oil over each one and rub it all over the skin.

After that, rub in some crushed salt – this will draw out the moisture from the skin and, together with the oil, provide more crunchiness.

Now place the potatoes straight on to the centre shelf of the oven and let them bake for 1¾-2 hours, or until the skins are really crisp.

When you are ready to serve, slit each potato in half lengthways and top with the butter and seasoning.

Serve immediately because, after you remove jacket potatoes from the oven, they lose their crispness very quickly, so don't let them hang around.


Return to Homepage
Visit the Delia Online Cookery School

Related recipes

Soured Cream and Chive Topping for Jacket Potatoes Enough for 2 large potatoes

Soured Cream and Chive Topping for Jacket Potatoes

An easy to make topping for jacket potatoes, just needs a quick mix and then leave for about an hour

Stuffed Jacket Potatoes with Leeks, Cheddar and Boursin Serves 2

Stuffed Jacket Potatoes with Leeks, Cheddar and Boursin

Jacket potatoes are cheap and filling but sometimes you want a change from grated cheese and baked beans! This recipe is packed with flavour for a very satisfying supper dish.

Jacket Potato Wedges with Melting Cheese and Spring Onion Serves 4

Jacket Potato Wedges with Melting Cheese and Spring Onion

Potato wedges are a good way of maximising the fibre and nutritious elements of a potato but can be bland. These wedges are anything but - melted cheese and spring onions make them special enough for a buffet.

Souffled Jacket Potatoes Serves 4

Souffled Jacket Potatoes

Recipes don't come much more frugal than this cheap and satisfying take on jacket potatoes - ideal food for cash-strapped students and vegetarians.




Popular topic
Latest post
Ask Lindsey... For denique
25 Nov 2015 07:48
Coffee Break Newsletters
17 Nov 2015 15:08
Food and travel Sponge receipe needed
14 Nov 2015 22:15
Can Anyone Help? Delia's Truffle torte
24 Nov 2015 19:32
Books Sorry for no reply
03 Sep 2015 21:44
Equipment Pyrex Mixing bowl John Lewis
11 Nov 2015 20:45
Gardening Falling Leaves
07 Nov 2015 13:15
CMS solutions by