I made a baked potato in my air fryer, and I’m never using an oven again

(left) seasoned potato inside an an air-fryer basket (right) the fluffy insides of a baked potato made in the air fryer
The air fryer makes the skin crispy and the inside fluffy. Chelsea Davis for Insider

I got a lot of feedback after I tried making a baked potato in the oven, microwave, and air fryer, but I stand by my decision that air-frying is the best.

Read on to learn more about the technique and how to perfect it.

The air-fryer method produces a beautifully cooked potato with crispy skin and a fluffy interior

A baked potato sliced open on a plate after being cooked in an air fryer, with tubs of sour cream and butter behind it
I can’t wait to try different seasonings and toppings. Chelsea Davis for Insider

Among the oven, microwave, and air fryer, I found that the air fryer yields the most evenly cooked baked potato.

There were no weird undercooked parts, and it wasn’t overcooked or dried out. It also fluffed up perfectly with a fork.

I never used to eat the skin of my baked potatoes – mainly because I thought it lacked flavor and texture – but spraying the spud generously with oil before popping it in the air fryer at 400 degrees for 45 minutes created the perfect crispy texture.

Since I actually want to eat the skin now, I’m excited to play around with different seasonings and toppings.

I simply used salt, pepper, and garlic powder when I tried it the first time, but barbecue seasonings or a mix of paprika, seasoned salt, smoked cayenne pepper, and fresh herbs would also be tasty.

The sturdy and crispy skin alongside the fluffy interior also makes the potato ideal for piling on hearty toppings like chili, guacamole, or buffalo chicken.

I’m not an expert potato maker, but I learned some tricks to finesse my technique

The inside of an air-fryer basket containing one seasoned potato
It’s best to space out the potatoes in the air-fryer basket. Chelsea Davis for Insider

When I set out to try the three baked-potato cooking methods, I was vocal about how much I didn’t like the effort required to poke the raw potato before using the oven or microwave.

According to readers, my most egregious mistake was how many times I poked it.

As one explained to me via email, “You don’t need to kill the potato with the fork, all you need to do is to take a knife and poke holes, breaking the skin.”

Another reader wrote that a meat or carving fork would make piercing the potato a lot easier.

But with the air-fryer method, you don’t have to poke holes at all, which is the solution I prefer.

Many readers were also quick to remind me to not overcrowd the air fryer. For the best results, I keep at least an inch or two between the potatoes.

It’s helpful to note that different types and sizes of potatoes require different cooking times. The nice thing about the air fryer, though, is that you can pause cooking and easily check to see if anything is burning.

Air fryers use convection to cook, so the overall chances of uneven cooking are low.

Best of all, prepping the potato and cleaning up are super easy

I love making baked potatoes in the air fryer because they require minimal cleanup.

There are no baking trays involved. Nothing needs to be wrapped in foil (or plastic wrap, as many readers suggested for the microwave). And the whole prep is a total breeze.