TikTok star Spudman shares guide to the perfect jacket potato

Baked potato with melting butter
-Credit: (Image: john shepherd/Getty)

The humble jacket potato simply can't be beaten - and the 'SpudTok' food trend is a testament to this, racking up over 117 million views on TikTok.

Ben Newman, better known as Spudman, shot to fame on the platform in October, sharing videos about all things potato from his jacket potato van in Tamworth, Staffordshire.

Now boasting over 3.1 million followers and 60.9 million likes, Spudman has become a true TikTok sensation. In an exclusive partnership with Ninja Kitchen, Spudman has shared his secrets for making the perfect jacket potato at home, along with his top three tips.

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According to Spudman, the key to the perfect jacket spud lies in the variety of potatoes, not the cooking method. He advises against buying 'Nadine Potatoes', a variety often stocked by supermarkets.

While they may look appealing and yield a good crop, their cooking quality is poor, reports Wales Online. He also notes that cooking time depends on the size of the potato. If it fits in your hand, it should be cooked for around an hour and a half.

Many people make the mistake of choosing the largest potato they can find, but Spudman suggests buying a couple of smaller ones instead. They will cook more evenly and won't have any hard bits.

While many might believe that wrapping a potato in tin foil is the way to go, Spudman begs to differ. "I never wrap my potatoes in foil 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," he explained.

Spudman was established back in 2003

After securing his trailer pitch in Tamworth back in 2003, Ben has devoted his life to jacket potatoes ever since. He revealed: "I took over from the previous owner in 2003 after he said he was retiring. While it was something I never thought I would do, my dad was a potato merchant and supplied the previous owner for over 20 years before I took it over."

"At the time, I was young and didn't really know what I wanted to do with my life so I thought, 'Why not? ' I didn't think I would be doing it all these years later but I am and I absolutely love it!"

How Spudman became a TikTok sensation

Spudman launched his TikTok account around four years ago, just as the UK emerged from COVID-19. Ben shared: "It was the perfect way to shout about the fact we were back at work. In terms of followers, we have had decent steady growth for a good few years and hit around 350,000 followers last October."

Since October, @Spudarmy has seen a surge in followers, now boasting an additional 2.75 million. Ben described the current situation as "crazy", stating: "At the minute, every day is nuts. On average, I prep 1000 spuds on a weekday and 1,500 at a weekend. Every video I have posted since October has gone viral - it's like someone turned a switch on and suddenly went mental for spuds."

He added: "People have come from far and wide to try our spuds. Most recently, we have had couples from all over the world including from Australia, America and Canada. When I say to people 'Are you on holiday here? ' and then reply 'No - we've come for you! ', that is the biggest compliment I could ever receive."

How to make the perfect air fryer jacket potato

With jacket potatoes being more popular than ever, Ninja Kitchen has revealed its own air fryer jacket potato recipe.


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

  • 2 tsp veg oil

  • 1 tbsp coarse salt, such as maldon

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • Butter

Step-by-Step Guide:

  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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