How to Cook the Perfect Baked Potato in the Microwave

How to Cook the Perfect Baked Potato in the Microwave

A baked potato in the microwave is the perfect quick meal when you don’t feel like cooking. Potatoes are (relatively) healthy, taste great with a range of different toppings and are easy to make. In this article, we’ll show you the easiest way to bake the perfect potato in your microwave without needing a convection oven.

Before we get started though, don’t listen to people who say you can’t cook a tasty potato in the microwave. While it’s difficult to get crispy skin (unless you own a grill microwave), a microwave is much quicker than a convection oven and can still do a great job.

How to Cook a Potato in the Microwave

Cooking a potato in the microwave is easy once you know how. If you get the process wrong, however, you can often end up with a hard interior and soggy skin. Follow these six steps to get a great potato every time.

Step 1: Scrub

Before you do anything, remember to scrub the potato. This gets rid of any pesticides that might remain on the skin, and also removes dirt.

Remember, potatoes come from the ground, so a quick scrub with a brush can make them safe to eat. On a side note, you should wash or peel any vegetable that’s grown in the ground, including carrots and sweet potatoes.

Step 2: Prick the Potato

It’s also important to prick the potato several times with a fork. This prevents pressure building up inside the skin as it heats up.

Failure to do this can cause the potato to explode, so don’t forget! Just a few pricks either side is all you need.

Step 3: Cook on Full Power for 5 Minutes

Put the potato on a microwavable plate and heat for 5 minutes. You’ll need to experiment to find the perfect timing for your microwave, but five minutes is a good start.

If you have a 1000W microwave you’ll probably need to slightly reduce the time, while low powered models might need an extra minute.

Step 4: Turn Over and Cook for Another 5 Minutes

Once the five minutes is up, turn the potato over and cook for the same length of time. After this cooking period, the inside of the potato should be nice and soft. If not, put it back for a few more minutes until you can slide a knife through without feeling resistance.

Step 5: Season and Add Butter

Once the potato is soft, cut it in half and season to your liking. You can also add a small amount of butter or even cheese to the open sides for a creamier potato.

After seasoning and adding butter, put it back in the microwave for one minute to fully melt the butter and cheese.

Step 6: Add Toppings and Enjoy!

The potato should now be perfectly cooked, with melted butter and a soft interior. Now all that’s left to do is add your favourite toppings and serve!

Topping Ideas

If you’re looking for some new potato topping ideas after cooking in the microwave, here are some popular options:

  • Cheese and baked beans – this is the classic baked potato topping. It’s not the most interesting choice but can be great for a quick meal.
  • Ricotta and tomato – if you’re looking to be a bit more adventurous, ricotta and tomato is a tasty topping you might not have tried. Mix the two with a bit of olive oil and season to taste.
  • Mushrooms and caramelised onions – this is one of our favourites!
  • Pepperoni pizza – for a less healthy option, you can try melting plenty of cheese on the potato before adding pepperoni. Add some tomatoes for the authentic pizza taste.
  • Eggs – after baking the potato, add a poached egg to either side for some extra protein.
  • Breakfast potato – if you want to go one step further than an egg, add some chopped avocados and tomatoes for the perfect morning potato.
  • Chilli – this takes a bit more work, but chilli with a baked potato tastes great. It’s also a good combination if you have leftovers from last night’s dinner.

Summary

Baked potatoes are one of the most versatile types of food if you need a quick meal. They taste great with almost any topping and can be cooked in less than 12 minutes in your microwave. It’s important to cook them correctly though, otherwise they can turn out hard and unappetising.

Have you tried this step-by-step guide? Which toppings did you chose? Let us know in the comments!

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