- Making baked potatoes in the microwave instead of the oven can save you 30 minutes or more.
- One potato takes 10 to 14 minutes in the microwave – add two minutes per additional potato.
- You won’t get crispy skin in the microwave, so experts advise baking them for five minutes afterward.
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Whether you’re short on time or don’t have a working oven, making a baked potato in the microwave can provide a great alternative. While you may sacrifice the crispy skin you get in the oven, you’ll also save 30 minutes or more.
“Although the microwave gets a bad rap in the cooking world, it actually works pretty well to cook potatoes,” says Devan Cameron, a professional chef who runs the food blog Braised & Glazed. “If I’m at home, I’ll sometimes cook potatoes in the microwave because it’s much faster than waiting for them to bake in the oven.”
A microwaved potato can generally offer the same texture and flavor as an oven-baked potato, says Cameron, but you do need to keep certain things in mind. Below, experts share their top tips for making baked potatoes in the microwave.
How long to microwave baked potatoes
Keep in mind that the cooking time for microwave-baked potatoes can depend on how powerful your microwave is, as well as how large your potatoes are and how many you’re making.
Chef Adrian Davila – the owner of Davila’s BBQ in Seguin, Texas – recommends five to six minutes per side for one potato, and seven to nine minutes per side for two potatoes. As a general rule, he advises adding four minutes (two minutes per side) to the cooking time per additional potato you put in the microwave.
The best way to tell if your potatoes are done, according to Cameron, is to slide a fork into the center – if it feels soft on the inside and there’s no resistance, they’re ready. If they don’t feel tender in the center, however, they probably need more time.
“The microwave can cook unevenly, so it’s important to check all areas of the potato for spots that may still be uncooked,” he says.
Making baked potatoes in the microwave can be a huge time-saver. The only real drawback is that you won’t get crispy skin – but fortunately, popping your potatoes into the oven for five minutes afterward can solve that problem.
Since cooking times can vary vastly depending on the microwave you’re using, how many potatoes you’re cooking, and how large the potatoes are, use the fork test to tell for sure if they’re done.
For safety reasons, always remember to use oven mitts or tongs when removing the potatoes from the microwave.