How To Microwave A Baked Potato? (Step-by-Step)

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Did you know that you can easily microwave a potato from scratch?
Yup, you heard me right. I mean, I couldn’t believe it myself when I first tried it. But apparently, you can do so with any type of potato and adjust the time and settings of the microwaving accordingly.

I can’t believe I wasted all this time and effort in baking them in the oven and waiting for hours for them to cook. Or the hassle of deep-frying or even pan-frying the potato while watching it carefully so that it doesn’t burn. What really gets me is the fact that I couldn’t just enjoy it whenever I craved it. Noooo, I had to wait for the oven to preheat first, then for the potato to actually cook. Ultimately, I just lose interest in the whole dish.

Not anymore though. This method results in the most delicious cooked potatoes in a matter of a few minutes. I am going to share with you just “How long does it take to microwave a potato”. You will be surprised I assure you!

Is it safe to Microwave potatoes?

Of course, it is, or I wouldn’t have shared this article with you. It’s perfectly safe when done right, and it saves you a lot of time in the process. Just remember to make holes in each potato using a fork so that the trapped steam formed inside the potatoes while they cook can be released. If it doesn’t escape, you will have yourself a potato bomb mess. A simple, yet essential step before microwaving the potatoes.

What types of potatoes are best for Microwaving?

The moisture and starch content inside the potatoes differs from one type to another. Now, this is not really a piece of essential information that you need to know, but if you are always keen on everything food-related, like me, then I recommend you to read the following description of each type. This will allow you to choose the right type of potatoes according to the meal you are going to cook.

1. Starchy potatoes:

These types of potato like the “Russet”, “Idaho”, and “Red” potatoes have a large content of starch in comparison to the water content, which allows them to be the perfect types to prepare a buttery and rich dish of mashed potatoes. You see, the starch particles inside the potato expand when they come in contact with the boiled water and create gaps allowing the potato to soften up more when boiled and be easier to be mashed.

They also turn flaky and soft easily when they are baked. So, they are perfect for the microwave, especially the russet.

2. Waxy potatoes:

Fingerling, New potatoes, and red-skinned are all types of waxy potatoes. They basically hold their shape despite how they are cooked. That’s why they shouldn’t be mashed, the results won’t be as satisfying as the starchy potatoes. They are better cut into cubes and used in making a potato salad. However, this type is also suitable to be microwaved without the need to peel them prior to microwaving them, as their covers are already thin.

3. All-purpose potatoes:

Don’t want to overthink it? Go for the all-purpose potatoes, they are perfect for whatever dish you are planning to make!
Whether it is mashed, boiled, or baked you can just go for these potatoes. They have a medium amount of water content, as well as, a medium amount of starch content, that’s why they can suit every case.

White and purple potatoes are perfect examples of All-purpose. But the Yukon gold, however, is the best one to be baked in the microwave giving a mix of the best qualities of waxy and starchy potatoes. It is just creamy and delicious.

How long does it take to microwave different types of potatoes?

How long To Bake a Potato in the Microwave

We have different variables that determine the required cooking time of the potatoes in the microwave. One of which is the power of your microwave itself, of course, it also depends on the number and the size of the potatoes added. Most importantly though, is the type of the potato itself.
That’s why I am going to summarize the cooking times of the different potato types to you in a table:

Potato type Cooking time required
Yukon gold 4-6 minutes
Red potatoes 4-6 minutes
Sweet potatoes About 5 minutes
Idaho 7 minutes
Russet potatoes 8 minutes
French fingerling (1 lb) 8 minutes

It is important not to rely solely on the presumed required time of cooking, but to actually test for yourself before serving the potatoes. This could be done simply by poking the potato from the center with a fork or a toothpick and checking whether it is soft enough or not.

This will, later on, help you in being an expert in knowing the exact time required for each type according to the efficiency of your microwave so that you can make your own chart.

Now that you knew how long does it take to microwave sweet potato and how long to bake potatoes in the microwave in general. Time to see the easy and detailed steps of microwaving our potatoes.

How to Microwave a potato?

  1. The first step is always important. It is not really related to the microwaving itself, but rather the potatoes you have. You will need to thoroughly clean the potatoes first from any dirt by washing and scrubbing each potato under the water tap. Also, remove any bad parts with a knife.
  2. Use a clean towel to dry each potato.

You almost forgot, didn’t you?

  1. You need to make holes in each potato using a fork so that it doesn’t go boom in the microwave.
  2. Time to grease the potatoes up for extra flavor and crunch. You have two alternatives, either you play it safe and go for olive oil, or you can go big and add bacon grease. Which admittedly, is delicious with the potatoes.
  3. Sprinkle some salt and pepper and any spices you prefer for flavor.
  4. Arrange the potatoes on a microwavable plate and place it in the microwave on “High” settings for 5 minutes.
  5. When the 5 minutes are done, flip each potato so that they can cook equally. It is advised to use a fork when flipping them as the potatoes retain a lot of heat when they are being cooked.
  6. Return the potatoes back into the oven for extra 3-5 minutes according to the size and number of potatoes in there.
  7. Once they are cooked enough, serve and enjoy!

Now you will have yourself freshly baked-like, piping hot delicious potatoes, that didn’t require more than 10 minutes to perfectly cook!

How do you know when potatoes are done?

Over time you will figure out how to expertly know whether your potatoes are done or not just by giving it a slight squeeze by your fingers or even looking at the shrunk and peeled off skin. But, an even easier way for any beginner is the “Skewer” method. Which is basically poking the potatoes with anything sharp, whether it is a fork, knife, or even a wooden toothpick. The easier it is to poke the potato the more cooked it is.

Despite the fact that we want perfectly cooked potatoes, yet remember, overcooking is always better than undercooking. To avoid any chance of food poisoning.

Generally speaking though, most of the potato recipes already state how long your potatoes should be cooked, but because of the fact that not all microwaves have the same power, and of course not all the potatoes are the same size and type. This will guide you to different ways you can follow to judge the degree of doneness of the potatoes.

Can You Boil Potatoes in the Microwave?

Can You Boil Potatoes in the Microwave

It is a no-brainer to know that boiling the potatoes is not as simple as baking them. Boiling requires water. So to answer this question. Yes, you can in fact boil the potatoes inside the microwave. It is worth knowing that baking them whole without removing their skin is even better than cutting them, as the skin aids in retaining the nutritional values inside the potatoes. However, I am going to share with you the steps of boiling both, whole and cut potatoes.

Boiling Whole Potatoes in the Microwave:

  1. Wash the potatoes thoroughly and scrub any dirt off the skin. Leave the skin intact, you don’t have to peel it.
  2. Make small holes using a fork on each potato.
  3. Place the potatoes in a deep microwavable bowl, then fill the bowl with a cup of water or more to cover the potatoes. Use warm or hot water.
  4. Adjust the microwave settings to “High”, then leave it to cook for 8 minutes.
  5. After the 8 minutes have passed, check one potato to see whether it is soft enough or not.
  6. Leave the potatoes in the bowl filled with hot water for extra 5 minutes after taking them out. This will help the potatoes to further cook outside of the microwave.
  7. Now you can peel the skin off and cut the potatoes. Add any extra seasoning and enjoy.

Bear in your mind that any extra potatoes added should be left for extra 2 minutes in the microwave.

Boiling Cut Potatoes in the Microwave:

  1. Wash the potatoes thoroughly and scrub any dirt off of the skin.
  2. Using a sharp knife, start cutting the potatoes into cubes.
  3. Place the potato cubes on a microwavable plate that has a lid.
  4. Pour only one cup of water on the plate. You don’t have to cover the potato with water. You just need enough water to become steam and cook the potatoes.
  5. Either go for the regular lid or a plastic wrap to cover the plate with the potatoes.
  6. Poke some holes in the plastic wrap to allow steam to escape.
  7. Let it heat on “High” settings for 10 minutes.
  8. Drain the water and enjoy.

When you boil cut potatoes, you will only use the steam of the water to cook the potatoes rather than the boiling water itself which means you won’t need as much water.

Making Herbed Potatoes in the Microwave:

Nothing beats a fresh out of the microwave, piping hot, buttery and herby potato wedges. I mean, its taste is heavenly. You just need to cut the potato into wedges after washing and drying it. Drizzle a mix of olive oil and butter to all the herbs to stick and crisp up the wedges, then sprinkle your mix of herbs made up of thyme, oregano and garlic powder. The best mix for potatoes. Microwave them for 10 minutes and that’s it!

Making Mashed Potatoes in the Microwave:

One of the easiest, yet fanciest ways to eat baked potatoes. Just imagine with me, a soft microwaved potato with its intact skin, cut in the middle and split open to be topped with a variety of different cheese, a sprinkle of fresh herbs, butter, salt, and pepper, and returned back to the microwave for few seconds so that the cheese can make this stingy melted mess. Served with a spoonful of sour cream and eaten hot. The image itself made me drool!

Making Potato Salad in the Microwave:

The microwaved potatoes can also be suitable as a delicious side dish, not just a main dish. Potato salad is easily one of my favorite side dishes that goes absolutely well with any type of meat.

All you need to do is just mix the cut and peeled microwaved potato with any seasoning you prefer. Cheese and bacon also go well with the potato salad. And of course, celery and green onions never fail.

How to Store Microwaved Potatoes?

Nothing is easier than wrapping your baked potatoes, after cooling and reaching room temperature, in a freezer or air-tight bag in the fridge. They can last for up to 5 days, and of course, easily reheated later on the same way they were cooked, in the microwave for just a few minutes!

Tips for Cooking Potatoes in the Microwave:

Here is a list of tips and extra notes that will facilitate the whole method of using the microwave in baking the potatoes:

  1. Always cook close or similar sized potatoes in one batch so that they cook evenly. If that option is not available, then take out the smaller ones first and leave the big ones for some extra minutes.
  2. Use a paper towel or a kitchen towel to easily remove the skin of the potato while it is still hot. Once they cool down, you can remove the skin using a knife.
  3. If the potatoes you are going to microwave will be later stuffed, then you don’t have to poke them with anything, just form a long, deep cut using a knife along with the potato itself and microwave it. The cut will later on expand and it will be easily stuffed.
  4. Adding a cup of water with the potatoes inside the microwave will ease their baking and stop the skin from shrinking.
  5. You can also microwave potatoes in a sealable plastic bag by adding the washed potatoes without drying them in a semi-closed bag to allow the steam to escape.
  6. To get the final crispy exterior of the oven-baked potatoes while at the same time baking them in the microwave, all you need to do is to place your microwaved potatoes in a preheated oven at 425 °F and leave them for a few minutes. It should do the trick.

Water generally stops the shrinkage of the skin of the potato, that’s why you can either grease the surface of the potatoes with oil before baking or just don’t dry them so that their skin stays somewhat intact.

How to Serve Microwaved Potatoes:

Potatoes can be served in wholly different and interesting ways. A simple sprinkle of some herbs with a drizzle of olive oil can do so much to these simple and soft treats.

I am going to share with you different toppings you can add to spice up your dish:

Toppings and Fillings:

Baked potatoes can be the plane edible plate that you can decorate with all the yummy and amazing food you want. It can be as simple as some cheese and bacon on top of a split-open baked potato. Or you can resort to more fancier toppings, some of which need to be precooked:

  • Mushrooms
  • Minced Beef
  • Caramelized onions
  • Chicken
  • Fried egg
  • Cottage cheese
  • Sour cream or Greek yogurt
  • Beans
  • Smoked fish
  • Salsa
  • Tuna
  • Guacamole

Any one of these can go perfectly with the baked potatoes. Don’t forget to warm it up the potatoes with the topping before serving.

A little sauce won’t hurt either, Hot sauce, pesto, or garlic sauce.

More Side Dishes for Microwaved Potatoes:

It is amazing how baked potatoes can be a wholesome meal or just a side dish, both of which are equally delicious and satisfying.

Here are some ingredients that can go well with baked potatoes to make the main dish:

  • Shredded pork with gravy
  • Grilled pork chop
  • Roasted vegetables, like carrots, peppers, zucchini, or eggplant
  • Beans or lentils with olive oil, herbs, and spices
  • Chili for extra spiciness
  • Juicy and crispy buffalo wings
  • Crispy pan-fried salmon
  • Simple meatloaf

Choosing a side dish for your main potato dish needs a bit of thinking. For example, sweet potatoes need to go with a less sweet side dish. While in the case of a rich stuffed potato dish, then a light veggie side is perfect.

Time to share a detailed recipe of microwaving a potato:

How To Microwave a Potato

How To Microwave a Potato

Learn with detailed steps how you can easily microwave your potatoes and all the different types of potatoes that can be microwaved.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Additional time 5 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Servings 1 potato

Ingredients
  

  • Medium to large potato per person
  • Olive oil
  • Pepper and salt for seasoning
  • Extra spices and herbs for flavor (Thyme, oregano, and garlic powder)
  • Butter

Instructions
 

  • The first step is always important. It is not really related to the microwaving itself, but rather the potatoes you have. You will need to thoroughly clean the potatoes first from any dirt by washing and scrubbing each potato under the water tap. Remove any bad parts with a knife.
  • Use a clean towel to dry each potato.
  • You need to make holes in each potato using a fork so that it doesn't go boom in the microwave.
  • Time to grease the potatoes up for extra flavor with a sprinkle of olive oil, then season the potato with any spice you would like, salt, and pepper. You can also add some butter on top for more richness.
  • Arrange the potatoes on a microwavable plate and place it in the microwave on "High" settings for 5 minutes.
  • When the 5 minutes are done, flip each potato so that they can cook equally. It is advised to use a fork when flipping them as the potatoes retain a lot of heat when they are being cooked.
  • Return the potatoes back into the oven for extra 3-5 minutes according to the size and number of potatoes in there.
  • Once they are cooked enough, add any toppings you prefer, bacon, green onions, or cheese. Serve and enjoy!

Notes

Once they are cooked enough, add any toppings you prefer, bacon, green onions, or cheese. Serve and enjoy!
Keyword How Long To Microwave A Potato, how to microwave a potato

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