How to Microwave a Potato? Follow These 9 Easy Steps

Plenty of Fresh Potatoes

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Do you like potatoes? Well, potatoes are tasty and easy to cook. They brighten any food in such a way you can’t help but to salivate. Not only are they tasty and brightening food, but they also have a couple of health benefits. Let’s take a look at some tips on how to microwave a potato below.

Admittedly, they are a staple food available in many households.  They are relatively cheap with a faster growth rate.

The best part about this root is that it’s versatile. There are so many ways to prepare it. You can boil it, steam it or cook it in a microwave. Whichever way, you will experience a great dish.

Let’s dive and see how to microwave a potato.

Steps to follow to microwave a potato correctly

Step one: Select the best potato type

2 Hands Showing Some Fresh Pick Potatoes

Image by Pexels from Pixabay  

Yes, just like any other foodstuff, potatoes have different varieties. You may be asking yourself, “Which is the best type?”  Any guess? Well, Russet potatoes are the right type to microwave. They’re also referred to as baking potatoes or Idaho.

The high starch content in Russet potatoes makes them the best. They produce more fluffy baked potatoes.

You may also be asking, “what if I don’t have Russet potato at my disposal?” Don’t worry. Yellow-fleshed potatoes are the second best potatoes that can serve the same purpose. An example of Yellow-fleshed potatoes is Yukon Gold. They are moderately starch, and they produce slightly dense creamy baked potatoes.

Step two: Clean the potatoes thoroughly

2 hands Rinsing Potatoes

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Potatoes come from the ground. Dirt covers them. As if that’s not enough, germs have found a resting place in the potato skin. It’s a good idea to wash them thoroughly.  Washing them in running water will ensure they are clean especially if you are sure you will eat the skin.

Ensure you remove the “head-strong” dirt to be safe and to avoid infecting your microwave with germs and dirt.  If you want them cleaner, you can use a bristled scrubbing brush which cleans them effectively.

Congratulations! Your potatoes are now clean. Lastly, dry them using a clean paper towel.

Step three:  Season the potato

Potatoes seasoned with onions and black pepper

Image by Kerstin Riemer from Pixabay  

Your potatoes are clean and dry now. They are ready for seasoning.

Take olive oil and rub a little amount on the potatoes’ skin.  Sprinkle with a desired amount of salt. If you are a fan of pepper, add as much as your mouth can handle.

Adding ingredients gives the potatoes a yummy flavor. Again, they assist in crisping the potatoes’ skin.

Step four: Prick the potato

Potato prick with mini fork and knife and a ketchup

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Use a fork to prick your potatoes before placing it on a microwave. The main reason for pricking is to let steam to escape hence preventing the potato from exploding which can cause short-circuiting.

The best way to prick it is to aim at all areas (bottom, top, and the two sides) three or four times.

If using a fork is a chore to you, there is still another alternative. You can use your knife to cut a deep “X” at the potato’s top.

Step five: Put the potato in the microwave plate

Man put something in the Mcrowave

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Your potato is ready to be placed in the microwave. If you want the potato to remain soft and not to shrink, you can first wrap it with a wet paper towel.  The potato skin will also remain softer.

Step six: Place the plate carefully on the wave and then select the suitable cooking time

Selecting the exact time of cooking in the microwave

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Are you wondering how to set the time? There are two determinants for setting the time:

  • The size of the potato
  • Your Microwave’s power

The standard time for small to medium size potatoes ranges between 8 to 12 minutes if cooked with full power.

Follow these steps systematically to yield the best potato

First, allow the potatoes in the microwave for five minutes and remove it.  Turn it over to ensure that both sides are heated evenly.

Return it for approximately another 3 to 5 minutes according to how soft it is at that time.

In case your potato is not fully ready, microwave it in one-minute turns while checking the progress every minute.

See, if you are microwaving more than one potato, you will have to increase the microwave time by approximately two-thirds. For instance, let’s say a large potato will be ready after 12 minutes; you will have to increase the time by 8 minutes hence taking 20 minutes.

If crispy skinned potatoes are your favorite, the procedure will be different. You will first microwave it for approximately 5-6 minutes and then move it to a baking sheet.  From there, preheat it in an oven for 20 minutes with a temperature of 204°C (400° F).

Using that method produces oven-crisp potatoes skin. Interestingly, you will save half the cooking time than when you could have cooked it the normal way.

Step seven: monitor your potato

Baked Potatoes in a Oven Wedges

Image by Hans Braxmeier from Pixabay 

Just like any other food, you have to keep an eye to your potato to see if it’s ready to be removed from the microwave.

Take a fork and stick it to the center of your potato.  If the fork passes through it with ease, but still the center is somewhat firm, your potato is ready.

Step eight: Leave the potato for 5 minutes

Baked Potatoes inside the oven and some are wrap with aluminum foil

Image by Hans Braxmeier from Pixabay 

When you allow the potato to rest for that time, the core of the potato finishes cooking with the help of the heat that was absorbed into the inner layer. Again, it assists the inside of the potato to become fluffy while preventing the outside of the potato from over-drying.

You can speed up the process by wrapping the potato with aluminum foil immediately you remove it from the microwave.

Touch the potato carefully because it is damn hot. That said, if you are providing for someone in a hurry, use aluminum foil to wrap it. In there, it will remain warm for a long while. Kindly, do that immediately after you potato from the microwave to conserve as much heat as it can.

Step nine:  Serve the potato

Baked Potato Gourmet in a Ceramic White Plate

Image by Christo Anestev from Pixabay 

Yay! Your potato is ready to be introduced to your salivating mouth. That’s all you needed to know how to microwave a potato.

But wait. Cut the potato and add your favorite toppings. If you want to keep it simple, all you need to do is to add salt, butter, and little-grated cheese. Or even, you can jazz it with green onion or chives, sour cream, and some crispy bacon.  If you want to make it a complete meal, you dress it and make it stand out.


A microwaved potato is nutritious just like a baked potato.

However, regardless of whether you are baking or microwaving, you will interfere with minerals, nutrients, and nutritious elements as long as a lot of heat is applied.

When microwaving, much of the water-based minerals are preserved in such a way they won’t get lost when baking.

Henceforth, the best thing to do is to avoid relying on either of the methods and stop relying on one.  So, interchanging will give high chances of utilizing enough nutrients.

Don’t fail to overturn the potato

Most of the times, microwave don’t heat food properly on the part covered by the plate. Also, the underside can be soggy if you don’t turn over hence turning it will distribute that water evenly.

Don’t cook many potatoes at once

You can decide to microwave many potatoes, but one at a time will be effective.

Don’t put water in the microwave plate

If you thought that you could add water when microwaving a potato, then you are wrong.  Just leave it the way it is. The reason being that a potato contains its oil. So, adding water is useless.


  • Some microwaves come with a “baked potato” button. If you doubt yourself, kindly hit that button.
  • If you are rushing, you can cut the potato and place the topping at the center and return the potato to the microwave for approximately 30-60 seconds.
  • If you want to yield an evenly cooked potato, use a rotating carousel. In case you don’t have it, try to pause your microwave either one or twice.
  • Increase the microwaving time when you are using a less-power microwave.  For instance, 800-Watt Microwave needs 1.5 times the standard time.
  • Use parchment papers when wrapping the potato if you are looking for the paper that can be reused and saved.
  • To prevent your potato from drying, use plastic wrap in wrapping the potato.
  • To inspect if your potato is ready, take a toothpick and make a hole through it.
  • Plan Brown Paper is a good alternative if you don’t have a parchment paper.
  • Bacon Grease can be a good coating; you can try it too. The bacon grease will make the potato tastier and keep the potato skin soft.


Fresh Potatoes inside the Oven

Image by aireandcalderchick from Pixabay 

Though microwaving a potato takes less time than baking, there are some things to consider being on the safe side.

  • Remember that the plate from the microwave is too hot to handle. You must be careful while handling. Using an oven mitt or a towel to remove the plate can be safe.
  • Never wrap the potato using metal foil because they can damage your microwave since the foil produces sparks.

Bottom line

Fresh Potatoes in a Tray ready to be baked

Image by mnplatypus from Pixabay 

Potatoes can taste great or mediocre. They can be sweet only when they are prepared correctly. Fortunately, the above steps will help you learn how to microwave a potato that will raise your goosebumps when you taste it.

Follow the above steps and tips and rest assured, you will never regret it. Good luck.

Featured Image: Image by pushpendra singh from Pixabay

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