This Is the Secret to Getting the Fluffiest Baked Potato Ever

published Jan 24, 2022
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baked potato on a plate with butter and chives
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

There’s nothing as satisfying as digging into a loaded baked potato — unless, underneath all that sour cream and cheese, the potato is so solid, you literally have to dig it out. Fortunately, you’ll never have to worry about that again, thanks to food blogger Jonathan Melendez’s simple tip for ensuring the fluffiest baked potatoes you’ve ever tasted.

It turns out the secret lies not in the baking of the potato, but in the cutting of it. As Melendez was making vegan bacon bits on the latest episode of his Instagram series, Recipe on the Back, he shared his unique method for opening the potato he was about to fill. Instead of using a knife to make a slit, he took a fork and began making criss-crosses.

“You’re poking holes through the potato at the top as you’re twisting the fork,” he explains. “So, you go one, twist down like that, all in a line. Now, when you have the criss-cross fork pokes, you push the potato from both ends towards the center and then it fluffs the potato.” It’s kind of a miracle.

In fact, viewers were so wowed by this hack, it seemed to be all they could talk about in the comments. “I’m so inspired by this new way to open my baked potatoes!!” wrote Joy the Baker — who has more than half a million followers herself.

Melendez discovered this tip in Idaho, the potato capital of the world, and he admits it “blew my mind when I learned it.”

Because of the overwhelming response, he then posted a video dedicated to the process, which you can watch here (and above). As he loads the potatoes with butter, sour cream, shredded cheese, lots of bacon bits, and fresh pepper, it might just encourage you to whip up some perfect baked potatoes yourself. Just leave the knife in the drawer.