How to cook the perfect jacket potato as TikTok star Spudman unveils secrets

The potato expert has dished out his top tips on recreating the iconic dish at home -Credit:Anita Maric / SWNS

TikTok's very own Spudman has dished out his secrets for rustling up the perfect jacket potato in your own kitchen, advising against the common mistake of wrapping them in foil.

Ben Newman, a 39 year old from Tamworth, Staffordshire, has become an internet sensation, amassing over 117 million views and 3.4 million followers for sharing glimpses into his life as a modest jacket potato vendor.

His spuds are so sought after that fans have been known to queue for hours, with some travelling from as far as the USA, Australia, New Zealand, and Malaysia just for a taste.

Having taken the online world by storm, Ben - who posts as @spudarmy - is now divulging tips on how to replicate his renowned Spudman jacket potatoes at home.

He emphasises the importance of potato variety and cautions against choosing Nadine Potatoes, which are commonly found in supermarkets but offer poor results when cooked.

Ben also recommends opting for two smaller potatoes rather than one large one, which goes against what many would typically do.

From his base in Burton-upon-Trent, Staffordshire, Ben advises, "Cooking time will depend on the size of the potato. If the potato fits in the palm of your hand, cook for around an hour and a half.

"Everyone makes the mistake of going for the biggest potato they can find, but it is better to buy a couple of smaller ones and have two."

Spudman has built up a loyal fanbase on social media and in real life -Credit:Anita Maric / SWNS

While many believe wrapping a spud in tin foil is essential, Spudman disagrees, saying: "I never wrap my potatoes in foil at home."

He explains that at home: "You're less likely to burn them in your home oven as opposed to an industrial potato oven which hits 300-350 degrees."

Spudman's journey began in 2003, and his passion for jacket potatoes has only grown since then. Ben shared: "I took over from the previous owner in 2003 after he said he was retiring."

Despite not envisioning this path, he had a connection through his father, who was a potato merchant and supplied the previous owner for over two decades.

Now, years later, he's still at it and loving every minute: "I didn't think I would be doing it all these years later but I am and I absolutely love it!"

Jacket potato
Customers often queue for hours to get a taste of Ben's famous jacket potatoes -Credit:Anita Maric / SWNS

Ben's TikTok account launched around four years ago as the Covid pandemic was ending, has seen a surge in popularity, now boasting an impressive 2.75 million followers since last October. Reflecting on the growth, Ben said: "It was the perfect way to shout about the fact we were back at work."

Spudman has teamed up with air fryer brand, Ninja Kitchen, which has revealed its own air fryer jacket potato recipe you can check out below.

Air fryer jacket potato


  • 2 x 225g Maris Piper or King Edward Potatoes, washed and poked all over with a fork.

  • 2 tsp vegetable oil

  • 1 tbsp coarse salt, such as Maldon

  • Salt & pepper to taste

  • Butter


  1. Massage the oil all over the potatoes.

  2. Roll the potatoes in the course salt. This is what makes the skin really crispy.

  3. Place the potatoes in the basket and select the air fry function on 200c.

  4. Set the time for 45 minutes.

  5. Check that it is cooked all the way through then remove from the basket and cut a slit down the centre so the skin remains crisp.

  6. Season with salt and pepper, add a dollop of butter and your favourite toppings.

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