How Long To Microwave A Potato?

When you’re hungry, it can take a long time to bake potatoes in the oven. The process of deep-frying and pan-frying potatoes is too time-consuming, and mashing potatoes is too complex.

In order to make potatoes, a microwave is the quickest and easiest method. 

But how long to microwave a potato? It takes 5 minutes to microwave a potato on each side. Potatoes, depending on their size and variety, may require different amounts of time to cook.

Every type of potato can be microwaved. Other side dishes and potato dishes can also be prepared by baking or boiling potatoes.

Microwaving potatoes is explained in this article. We have provided everything from instructions to serving suggestions. 

Is It Safe to Microwave Potatoes?

It’s a great option whenever you don’t want to prepare complicated recipes or don’t have time to cook. 

Microwaved potatoes are completely safe provided you do it properly. You must be careful with these vegetables.

To prevent the potato from exploding while cooking, poke it with a fork. As long as the potato has a way to release the steam generated, you shouldn’t suffer the consequences. 

How to Microwave a Potato

It is very easy to microwave potatoes. Here’s what you should do to make a perfect microwave potato:

  1. Wash and scrub the potatoes. It is essential to thoroughly wash the potatoes and scrub their skin to remove dirt before cooking them with their skin on. Spots should be removed with a knife if present. 
  2. The potatoes should be brushed dry.
  3. Potatoes should be poked with a fork. It is an important step, as we mentioned. Leaving it out will result in a messed up microwave. 
  4. Potatoes should be smeared with olive oil. When you don’t feel like olive oil, you can add bacon grease for extra flavor. 
  5. You can find different spices to season your food with.
  6. Set the microwave to high for 5 minutes and microwave the potatoes. Place the potatoes on a plate that can be microwaved. The paper towel can act as an insulator to prevent the potato from rolling around. 
  7. To evenly cook potatoes, flip them. A hot potato will cook them evenly. Use a fork to flip it. 
  8. Add three more to five minutes of microwave time. It usually takes 3 additional minutes to fully cook most potatoes if you’re only cooking one. For larger portions of potatoes, microwave for up to an additional 5 minutes. 
  9. After the potatoes have been microwaved, serve them.

With a little patience, you should be able to enjoy a delicious, soft, fresh potato in no time.

There is an easy YouTube video tutorial available if you prefer video tutorials to text. Watch now!

How Long to Microwave Different Types of Potatoes

It greatly depends on the size of the potato and on your microwave as to how long it will take for a potato to cook in the microwave. Different potato varieties may cook at different rates. 

Below you will find a table with commonly used microwave cooking times for different types of potatoes. Each medium-sized potato takes the following time to cook:

How Long to Microwave Potatoes Chart

Potato Type Cooking Time
Russet Potatoes 8 minutes
Yukon Gold 4-6 minutes
Idaho 7 minutes
French Fingerling (1 pound) 8 minutes
Red Potatoes 4-6 minutes
Sweet Potatoes 5 minutes

We recommend you check the potatoes for doneness before serving, as the cooking time will vary according to the wattage of your microwave. 

Trying your favorite potatoes in the microwave a few times will help you come up with a time chart you can use every time. 

With a little experimentation, you will be able to make quick microwave potatoes at the touch of a few buttons in no time!

What Types of Potatoes are Best for Microwaving?

The details of each type of potato may not be of much use to you if you are not a chef.

In the event that you are a home cook who enjoys cooking with potatoes, it would be useful to distinguish between the waxy, starchy, and all-purpose types of potatoes. 

Types of Potatoes are Best for Microwaving

Would you like to know why this is important? It is crucial to know the difference between waxy, starchy, and all-purpose potatoes in order to choose the right variety according to what you are cooking with. 

The amount of starch and moisture in a potato determines whether it is waxy or starchy. 

1. Starchy Potatoes

Since each of these potatoes has a higher starch content than moisture, you may have already guessed that. This means that the flesh of these potatoes is even in color. 

Dryness and flakiness characterize this type of potato. For a perfect potato mash, simply mash the potatoes. 

As a result of starch particles expanding, starchy potatoes are best for boiling so we get the airy texture we desire in mashed potatoes. The same is true for baking starchy potatoes. When baked, they become fluffy and light. 

There are two types of starchy potatoes widely used in the United States: russet and idaho. They also contain a great deal of starch. 

In microwave ovens, russet potatoes are the most commonly used variety. 

2. Waxy Potatoes

There is more moisture in waxy potatoes than there is starch. As a result, the flesh is creamy. 

Waxy potatoes usually have a round shape and are smaller in size. This is due to the thin and delicate skin. Peeling is not always necessary. 

It is a potato that holds its shape well. It makes a great boiling potato. Mashing them is not recommended. Potato salad will be more flavorful. Waxy potatoes can also be microwaved. 

Red-skinned potatoes, new potatoes, and fingerlings are all waxy spuds. The moisture content of baby potatoes is high as well. This food can be baked in the microwave, where they will remain firmer and more pliable than starchy potatoes.

3. All-Purpose Potatoes

Whatever way you prefer to prepare potatoes, whether baked, boiled, or roasted, you should opt for all-purpose potatoes. There is some starch in them, but not much; also, they are not overly watery. 

Potatoes of all colors are all-purpose potatoes. A starchy or waxy potato can be substituted for potatoes of all colors. 

The best potato to bake in the microwave is the Yukon gold. When they are cooked, they are moist and firm at the same time. However, they remain firm and hold their shape. 

How Do You Know When Potatoes are Done?

There are many ways to cook potatoes, including baking, boiling, and roasting. It is their perfect level of doneness, however, that makes potatoes delicious when the only seasonings are salt and pepper. 

Despite recipes generally indicating how long potatoes should be boiled for, it is important to know that you can do this yourself to make sure they are well cooked.

If you use a smaller potato than it specifies in the recipe and your microwave isn’t powerful enough, you might get a different result. Here’s an image of how a cooked potato looks. 

How Do You Know When Potatoes are Done

When checking potatoes for doneness, the good old skewer method is your best bet without running the risk of making a mistake. 

Potatoes are done when a wooden skewer easily enters the potato without you having to apply any pressure. To check whether the potato is done, you can poke it with a knife or fork. 

After you’ve become more experienced with baked potatoes, you can tell whether they’re done by simply touching them. Baked potatoes that are done are soft and can easily be squeezed. 

Anyhow, remember that cooking potatoes too long rather than too short is better for food safety. Getting sick is worse than losing quality.

How to Store Microwaved Potatoes

Refrigerate microwaved potatoes stored in airtight containers. These will keep for up to five days in the fridge. 

As easy as it is to cook potatoes in the microwave, you can also reheat them. Microwave for several minutes to bring them to room temperature. 

Can You Boil Potatoes in the Microwave?

Cooking potatoes is not the same as boiling them in the microwave. Water is required to boil potatoes.

Although they need to be boiled, baking potatoes in the microwave is quicker and easier. Baking potatoes without water is the best strategy when you aren’t going to mashing them. 

Boil Potatoes in the Microwave

Cut or whole potatoes can be boiled. But if you want the best results, boil potatoes whole, without removing their skin, in the microwave.

Potatoes retain their nutritional value when they are boiled with their skins on, whereas boiling them without them can decrease the nutrients contained in them. As well, it is a well-known fact that whole-boiled potatoes taste better. 

Boiling Whole Potatoes in the Microwave

In the microwave, you can boil a whole potato in the following way:

  1. Scrub the skin and wash the potatoes thoroughly. 
  2. Potatoes can be microwaved when poked and placed on a deep plate. 
  3. Water the potato with a cup. Ensure the potato is covered with liquid. The water can also be heated first before adding the potato. 
  4. For an 8-minute cook time on high, place the potato in a frying pan. 
  5. Remove the potato from the water. When it’s done, remove it from the water. 
  6. As it cools, the cooking will continue. After 5 minutes, let it rest for 10 minutes. 
  7. The potato should be peeled, cut into smaller pieces, seasoned, and served. 

Adding extra potatoes to the boiling water will result in an additional 2 minutes of cooking time.

Boiling Cut Potatoes in the Microwave

Cutting potatoes and boiling them both involve the same basic steps. The following are a few adjustments you need to make in the process when boiling cut potatoes:

  1. The potatoes should be washed.
  2. Potatoes should be cut into desired pieces. 
  3. Make sure that the dish with the lid is at least 2.5 cm deep so that they can be microwaved. 
  4. Water is added. You should only use enough water to create steam rather than cover the potatoes with water. 1 cup (240 mL) should be adequate. 
  5. Close the lid loosely over the plate. To protect the potatoes, wrap them in plastic wrap. Be sure the plastic wrap can be microwaved. 
  6. To prevent steam from being trapped inside the wrap, punch a few holes. 
  7. Using the high setting, microwave the dish for 10 minutes or until done.
  8. Potatoes should be drained of their liquid.

As you can see, boiling potatoes cut into chunks requires less water than boiling whole potatoes; rather than covering them with liquid, only enough liquid must be used to create steam around the potatoes.

How to Serve Microwaved Potatoes

You haven’t tried topping, filling, sauces, or spices on a microwaved potato if you consider it something simple and boring. It doesn’t take much to turn boring potatoes into something more exciting by adding a few herbs before cooking. 

How to Serve Microwaved Potatoes

Adding flavor to a simple baked potato is like painting on a blank canvas. To take your microwave potatoes to the next level, try these suggestions. 

Toppings and Fillings 

You can add a variety of toppings to baked potatoes to make dinner even more exciting. Put all your favorite ingredients on top of the potato after you cut it in half, and link it together at the bottom. 

The classic combination of bacon and cheese will do the job, and you can’t go wrong with it.

You can try so many more ideas, though. It is important to note that some fillings must be prepared beforehand. If you’ve got time, prepare these options for days when you’re having a ‘fancier’ dinner. 

A few more great ways to top baked potatoes are:

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

In case you don’t want to microwave the potatoes again to warm the toppings, serve them with sauces instead. You can use pesto, garlic sauce, hot sauce, whatever you like. Add any condiment to baked potatoes. 

Making Mashed Potatoes in the Microwave

Take the potato out of the microwave once it is fully cooked. Take a long knife and cut the potato down the middle. 

Leave the skin on the potato, and mash it up. Taste and add salt and pepper. Drizzle with butter and melted cheese. Microwave the potatoes once again for 60 seconds. 

Take it out and add sour cream on top. When adding a splash of freshness to your dish, chopped green onions are a great addition. 

You now have the taste of mash made from a microwave-baked potato.  

Making Herbed Potatoes in the Microwave

If you don’t want to spend time stuffing your baked potatoes but still want to keep them interesting, then you might want to try making herbed potatoes. 

The potatoes require only washing and cutting into wedges, followed by covering in a mixture of butter and olive oil. Garlic powder and herbs can then be added. Adding thyme and oregano to spuds is the perfect combination. 

Potatoes should be mixed with the mixture. Ensure that they are evenly covered. 

The herbed potatoes will be ready in 10 minutes if you microwave them. You will never need to tell anyone that you microwaved them. 

Making Potato Salad in the Microwave

Make a quick salad to accompany microwaved potatoes.

You will need about one cup of medium-sized cubes to make a potato salad. Prepare the ingredients and mix them together. 

Alternatively, you can use celery and greens to make it lighter. Both are good! Combine the sour cream and seasonings to bring the flavors together. 

More Side Dishes for Microwaved Potatoes

More Side Dishes for Microwaved Potatoes

It is common for people to serve baked potatoes without any side dish. So much so that they eat them as a meal on their own.

Potatoes baked in the microwave can dramatically reduce the time you spend preparing dinner and make it easier. 

Thanks to their versatility and neutral flavor, baked potatoes are a great match for almost any side dish.

We recommend serving baked potatoes with the following items if you’ve run out of ideas:

  • Gravy with shreds of pork
  • A variety of vegetables, including carrots, peppers, zucchini, eggplant, etc., prepared through roasting.
  • A dish of beans or lentils cooked in olive oil with herbs and spices
  • Chili con carne
  • Grilled pork chop
  • Crispy buffalo wings
  • Pan-fried salmon
  • A classic meatloaf

If you have baked potatoes of a variety, consider the side dish you’re going to serve with them. In the case of baked sweet potatoes, adding a dish that is highly sweet may not work. 

After stuffing the potatoes with several ingredients, if they are quite filling, you may want to serve them with a lighter side dish. You might serve them with a simple salad or vegetable side dish. 

Tips for Cooking Potatoes in the Microwave 

The microwave makes microwaving potatoes a breeze. Making it more convenient seems unnecessary. You can simplify the process of cooking using these tips and tricks.

Tip #1

Make sure that the potatoes are of similar size when cooking several at once. It will ensure an even cooking process. 

Take out the smaller potatoes a few minutes earlier if you are microwaving potatoes of different sizes. 

Tip #2

With a paper towel, it’s easy to peel a microwaved potato. When you peel a potato before it cools down, using a paper towel makes it easy. An old kitchen towel will work too. 

With cold potatoes, this method will not work. Cool the potatoes and peel them with a knife. 

Tip #3

Don’t poke potatoes before baking in the microwave in order to later stuff them with various ingredients. Cut them down the middle from one end to the other long and deep. 

Afterward, you can load it with your favorite toppings while it is still hot.  

Tip #4

By placing a microwaveable plate along with some water and the washed and scrubbed spud, we can easily boil potatoes. It’s important to poke the potato for best results. 

Microwaving without water makes the potato harder than it would be having been cooked by steam. Furthermore, it prevents it from wrinkled. 

Tip #5 

Using a microwaveable, resealable bag is an easy way to microwave a few potatoes at a time. 

Wash and peel the potatoes. After peeling them, don’t pat the potatoes dry. If you make water droplets in the bag, they will create steam. 

In addition, don’t close the bag completely. Allow steam to escape through the corner. Trapped steam melts everything. 

Tip #6

Oven-baked potatoes take a long time. However, the skin becomes crispy and delicious as a result. So, is it worth forsaking the crispy skin of potatoes if you cook them for 10 minutes in a microwave?

The answer is no. Both can be achieved.

During the cooking period, the oven should be preheated to 425 °F. To get them crispy in half the time, put them directly on the baking sheet from the microwave and then bake them.

Tip #7

Before microwaving the potato, do not smear it with oil, or you might end up damaging the surface. Skin that is left with some water on it prevents it from becoming too wrinkled. 

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