How To Bake a Potato in the Microwave

Green toppings on baked potato

Baked potatoes in the oven can take a long time. You may be tempted to just toss one into your microwave and get it done faster. If you want to bake a potato in the microwave, follow these instructions, and you will get it done with little mishap.

  1. Review microwave manual. All microwaves are not the same. There is a wide variety or power levels or wattage available in microwaves. The higher the wattage, the faster the microwave should cook. For this reason the amount of time needed to cook a potato depends upon what type of microwave you have. Read your manual and there should be some instructions regarding power level and time for cooking different items, including potatoes.
  2. Wash potato. Remove all dirt and any eyes that protrude.
  3. Use fork to poke holes. These holes are used for ventilation. Microwaves cook from the inside out so the hot air and steam created when the interior of the potato cooks needs these vents or the potato can explode creating a big mess. Make sure that you poke holes deep into the potato, on both ends and around all sides.
  4. Wrap in damp paper towel. The towel will help the potato skin retain moisture.
  5. Put potato on plate and put in microwave. Microwaving a potato works best if you have a turning plate in the microwave. Place the potato on a microwave safe plate then into the microwave.
  6. Start microwave. Using the time and power level suggested by the microwave’s manual, program the time and hit the start button.
  7. Squeeze gently to test doneness. When the microwave is done, wrap another paper towel around the potato and gently squeeze. Remember the potato will be very hot. If the potato gives a little it should be soft enough to stop cooking in the microwave. The potato, however, is not done yet.
  8. Let potato stand to cool and complete baking. Since microwaves cook from the inside out, they continue to cook after the microwave stops. This is often called passive cooking. The potato needs to be left standing for at least five minutes to continue cooking.
  9. Cut and serve potato. Choose your favorite topping then dine on the potato.

Baked potatoes used to take forever to cook. With the popularity of microwaves, that time can be reduced. Follow these instructions and the times in your manual and you can bake a potato in the microwave.


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