How Long To Microwave a Baked Potato?

Microwaves have become a kitchen essential for many households, allowing for quick and convenient cooking. 

One dish that often gets cooked in the microwave is the humble baked potato – a versatile and easy-to-make meal option.

But have you ever found yourself wondering of how long to microwave a baked potato.

Look no further because this blog post will dive into all things microwaved potatoes, discussing factors such as size, type of potato, and power settings that can affect cooking time.

Get ready to take your microwave skills up a notch with these tips on how long to microwave a deliciously fluffy baked potato! 

Why Should We Use a Microwave to Bake a Potato?

Today’s recipe is based on the microwave cooking method, which might raise some questions – why should we use a microwave to bake potatoes in the first place? 

Well, for starters, it’s much faster than using an oven.

While a traditional oven can take anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour or more to cook a baked potato, microwaving one takes only about 5-10 minutes, depending on the size and type of potato. 

Microwaving also requires less energy, making it a more environmentally friendly option. 

Additionally, microwaving can result in a fluffier and more moist potato than baking in an oven.

The steam created from microwaving helps to keep the potato moist and prevents it from drying out. 

So, if you’re short on time or simply looking for a convenient way to cook a baked potato, microwaving is the way to go! 

How Long to Microwave a Baked Potato 

As mentioned earlier, microwaving a baked potato can take anywhere from 5-10 minutes, depending on various factors. 

One of the most significant factors that affect cooking time is the size of the potato:

1. A small potato will cook faster than a larger one, so keep this in mind when selecting your potatoes. 

2. A medium-sized potato will typically take around 6-7 minutes to cook thoroughly in the microwave.

3. A larger one could take up to 10 minutes. 

Another factor to consider is the power setting on your microwave.

Most microwaves have different power settings ranging from 1-10, with 10 being the highest power setting. 

Generally, cooking a baked potato on high heat (setting 10) will be the fastest method, taking about 5-6 minutes for a medium-sized potato.

However, if you prefer a more gradual cooking process, try lowering the power setting to around 7 or 8 and cook for an additional minute or two. 

Lastly, the type of potato can also affect cooking time.

As mentioned earlier, starchy potatoes like Russet or Idaho potatoes will cook faster than waxy ones like red or new potatoes. 

The Best Kind of Potatoes for Baked Potatoes 

Before we get into the timing of microwaving a baked potato, let’s talk about the type of potatoes that are best for baking. 

In general, starchy potatoes like Russet or Idaho potatoes are ideal for making baked potatoes.

They have a higher starch content and lower moisture, which makes them fluffier when cooked. 

On the other hand, waxy potatoes like red or new potatoes are not suitable for baking as they tend to hold their shape and have a creamier texture when cooked. 

When you’re at the grocery store picking out your potatoes, remember to opt for starchy ones if you plan on microwaving them! 

How To Microwave a Baked Potato?

Now that you know how long to microwave a baked potato, let’s go through the actual process of cooking one.  

First, you need to prepare some basic ingredients and equipment before starting. 

Ingredients That You Need

With several recipes to microwave a baked potato, this one here is the simplest and requires just a few basic ingredients: 

1. Russet potato: stands out for its thick, nutrient-rich skin and fluffy, light texture upon cooking. Its starchy quality not only makes it ideal for baking but also contributes to that sought-after fluffiness and moisture retention when microwaved. 

2. Olive oil (optional): Adding a light coating of olive oil to the skin of the potato before microwaving can help achieve a crispier skin. 

3. Salt (to taste): Salt enhances the natural flavors of the potato. It can be sprinkled on the skin for added texture and taste or mixed with the flesh after cooking to elevate the overall flavor.

4. Butter or sour cream (optional): Both butter and sour cream contribute richness and creaminess to the baked potato, turning it from a simple dish into a comforting meal. 

Recommended Tools

Besides a microwave, you will need: 

1. A fork: For piercing holes in the potato to allow steam to escape and prevent it from exploding while cooking. 

2. A paper towel or kitchen towel: To wrap around the potato and absorb any excess moisture while cooking. 

Follow these below simple steps to make a deliciously fluffy and perfectly cooked baked potato! 

Microwaving Process For a Baked Potato

Now that you have your ingredients and equipment ready follow these simple steps to make a deliciously fluffy and perfectly cooked baked potato!

Step 1: Preparing Your Potato

First, select a medium to large Russet potato as your base.

Wash it under cold running water to remove any dirt, ensuring it’s clean for cooking. 

Use a vegetable brush if necessary to scrub the skin gently.

This step is crucial for hygiene and to ensure the potato cooks evenly.

Step 2: Piercing the Potato

Next, take a clean fork and pierce the potato skin several times on all sides.

These holes will act as vents to release steam during the microwaving process, preventing the potato from exploding and ensuring it cooks thoroughly inside.

Step 3: Applying Olive Oil and Salt (Optional)

If you prefer a crispier skin, lightly brush the potato with olive oil. 

Then, sprinkle the skin with salt to taste.

This step is optional but recommended for those who enjoy a flavorful, crispy skin on their baked potato.

Step 4: Wrapping The Potato

Wrap the potato in a paper towel or place it on a microwave-safe plate.

The paper towel helps absorb excess moisture, while a plate collects any that escapes, keeping your microwave clean.

Step 5: Cooking The Potato

Place the potato in the microwave and cook on high power for 4 minutes. 

After the initial 4 minutes, carefully turn the potato over to ensure it cooks evenly on all sides.

Continue microwaving for another 3 minutes.

Step 6: Checking For Doneness

After the cooking time is up, use a fork to test the potato’s doneness.

The fork should slide in easily without resistance. 

If the potato is still too firm, return it to the microwave and cook at additional 1-minute intervals on high power, checking for doneness after each interval.

Step 7: Serving

Once the potato is cooked to your satisfaction, carefully remove it from the microwave (it will be hot).

Allow it to cool slightly before making a slit on the top. 

Fluff the inside with a fork, and add your preferred toppings, such as butter, sour cream, salt, and pepper. 

Serve while warm and enjoy your effortlessly prepared, fluffy, and delicious microwaved baked potato.

Some Ways To Get Crispy Skin

If you prefer a crispier skin on your baked potato, there are a few ways to achieve this using the microwave method. 

1. Olive oil: As mentioned earlier, lightly brushing the potato with olive oil before cooking can help achieve a crispy skin.

2. Browning function: Some microwaves come equipped with a browning or grilling function that can simulate the effects of an oven or grill. If your microwave has this feature, use it to crisp up the potato skin after cooking for a few minutes.

3. Finishing in the oven: Another option is to finish off the baked potato in a conventional oven at high heat for 5-10 minutes. This will give you crispy and golden-brown skin while keeping the inside fluffy and soft. 

Experiment with these methods to find what works best for you and your preferred level of crispiness.

Toppings For a Microwaved Baked Potato

While a simple baked potato with butter and salt can be delicious on its own, there are endless possibilities when it comes to toppings.

Here are a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing: 

1. BBQ pork: Top a microwaved baked potato with shredded BBQ pork and cheese for a hearty and satisfying meal.

2. Bacon, cheddar, and sour cream: This classic combination adds richness and flavor to your baked potato.

3. Chili and cheese: For a comforting and filling option, top your baked potato with chili and melted cheese.

4. Taco-inspired toppings: Turn your baked potato into a Mexican-inspired treat by topping it with seasoned ground beef, salsa, cheese, and sour cream.

5. Broccoli and cheddar: For a healthier option, top your baked potato with steamed broccoli and melted cheddar cheese.

6. Avocado and salsa: Top your baked potato with mashed avocado and fresh salsa for a creamy and flavorful twist.

7. Mushrooms and garlic butter: Sauteed mushrooms in garlic butter add a savory and earthy flavor to your baked potato. 

Get creative and experiment with your favorite toppings to make a baked potato that suits your taste buds. The possibilities are endless! 

Conclusion

In conclusion, knowing how long to microwave a baked potato is a simple yet rewarding skill that transforms a humble spud into a versatile and satisfying dish. 

With the convenience of microwave cooking, you can enjoy a fluffy, perfectly cooked baked potato in minutes, tailored to your taste, with a myriad of topping options.

Whether you prefer it plain or piled high with your favorite garnishes, the microwaved baked potato is a testament to the simplicity and adaptability of comfort food.

How Long To Microwave a Baked Potato?

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 1

Ingredients
  

  • 1 medium to large Russet potato (approximately 10 to 12 ounces)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (optional for crispy skin)
  • 2 tablespoons butter (to taste)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Choose a medium to large Russet potato. Clean thoroughly under running water and scrub the skin if necessary.
  • Pierce the potato's skin several times with a fork to allow steam to escape during cooking.
  • (Optional): For crispier skin, brush the potato with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
  • Wrap the potato in a paper towel or place on a microwave-safe plate to absorb moisture.
  • Microwave the potato on high for 4 minutes, then turn it over and microwave for another 3 minutes.
  • Check the potato's doneness with a fork; if firm, continue to microwave in 1-minute intervals until soft.
  • Allow to cool slightly before cutting open, fluffing the inside, and adding toppings like butter, sour cream, salt, and pepper.
Keyword how long to microwave a baked potato, microwave baked potato

Chef Chip Roman is one of the most exciting and talented chefs in Philadelphia. He has his own catering business, Charles Roman Catering, as well as Roman Restaurant Group which includes Blackfish, Mica, and Ela. He graduated from Drexel University in 2002 with a degree in business and culinary arts. Chip Roman is a classically trained chef who has worked in some of the most prestigious kitchens and chefs in Philadelphia, including Le Bec Fin’s George Perrier and Marc Vetri’s Vetri.

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