The Absolute Best Ways To Reheat Baked Potatoes

Up there with rice, pasta, and bread, potatoes are a starchy staple we love to have on hand in the kitchen at all times. Seemingly able to go with almost anything, potatoes bring a neutral yet somehow irreplaceable flavor to our dinner plates, along with a texture that can vary wildly depending on the dish: crisp and crunchy in french fries, smooth and creamy in mashed potatoes, and fluffy in the case of an excellent baked potato.

A baked potato is one of those dishes that's so simple and so delicious that we sometimes forget about them. But that would be a mistake: Baked potatoes are a classic for a reason — a crispy-on-the-outside, fluffy-on-the-inside delight that can be even further improved by a mountain of butter or sour cream. Baked potatoes are undoubtedly best the day they're made, emerging piping hot from the oven, but can also be successfully reheated to near-perfection using the tips below.

In the oven

Per Southern Living, in many instances the most effective method for reheating a food is the way it was originally cooked, and that's true for baked potatoes: reheating them in an oven is the way to go, to keep them from drying out inside or getting gummy. Baked potatoes reheated in the oven best recreates the crispy-to-fluffy ratio we all love to dig into.

To reheat a baked potato in the oven, start by taking the potato out of the fridge and allowing it to come to room temperature. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, then pop the potato onto a baking sheet or directly onto the oven rack, taking it out of any foil wrapping you may have refrigerated it in, to achieve the crispiest skin (via Southern Living). Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the potato is piping hot — and now you've got a good-as-new baked potato just waiting for its toppings.

In the toaster oven

Since a toaster oven is just a mini version of a full-sized oven, it's the second-best choice, in our opinion, for reheating a cold baked potato. As with the oven, baked potatoes reheated in the toaster oven have the best chance of recapturing that fluffy inside (via Taste of Home) and not drying out or becoming gummy in the process.

To reheat baked potatoes in a toaster oven, the process is exactly the same as it is in a full-size oven. First, take your baked potato out of the fridge and let it warm on its own to room temperature while the toaster oven is heating up; to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, per Frisky Forks. Next, place your baked potato (sans foil) onto the rack and bake for 15-20 minutes. For potato toppings, we recommend a melty pat of butter, a cool peak of sour cream, or some crispy crumbled bacon bits.

In the air fryer

Do you have an air fryer? A countertop kitchen appliance that "fries" food by circulating hot air, as explained by Grub Street, the air fryer first debuted in 2010 and quickly became "the next Instant Pot" — and its popularity is still going strong. Between late May 2017 and mid-March 2019, nearly 10 million air fryers were sold. And if you've got one at home, and you like baked potatoes, you're in luck: This appliance is absolutely stellar at reheating them, according to Taste of Home, turning out crispy reheated baked potatoes.

To do so, heat your air fryer at 350 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, pop a potato inside, and cook until it's heated through, about three to four minutes. As pointed out by Taste of Home, the only downside to this method is that an air fryer can only hold so many potatoes, so you might have to work in batches.

On the stovetop

While the above reheating methods work best for reheating a baked potato, reheating it on the stovetop is also an option — if you don't mind cutting it up. To do so, Spoon University recommends removing your leftover baked potatoes from the refrigerator, cutting them in half, and letting them come to room temperature. Add some oil to a skillet and heat it over medium-low, then add the potatoes, cut side down.

Cover the pan with a lid, reduce the heat to low, and steam the potatoes for three to four minutes. Then, turn the heat back up to medium-low, and continue to turn and shake the potatoes until they're well-heated and crispy on each side. Once reheated, the baked potato bites are ready to be enjoyed with your choice of toppings. If you don't feel like heating up your oven or toaster oven, reheating leftover baked potatoes on the stovetop is a great alternative hack.

In the microwave

Although it's more than possible to reheat a leftover baked potato in the microwave, it's not our first choice, for several reasons. As noted by Southern Living, microwaving is a pretty aggressive form of reheating, and can lead to dried-out potatoes fast. Further, since microwaves work to steam food, your baked potato will sacrifice its hard-earned crispy outer skin.

But if you don't mind that and you're really hungry (or if you're just heating up a lone potato), popping your cold baked potato in the microwave is a convenient and simple — and, as said, fast — way to go. However, before you do so, a quick tip to help keep your potatoes from drying out too quickly. Southern Living suggests cutting the potato in half and covering each side with a damp paper towel, before heating the now-halved potato for two to three minutes in a microwave-safe dish.

So there you have it: five ways to reheat baked potatoes. With these methods, you'll be able to enjoy perfectly reheated baked potatoes whenever you've got some leftovers on hand. Just make sure your fridge is stocked with all your favorite toppings, too.