Can You Microwave Jacket Potatoes?

If you’ve decided to microwave jacket potatoes for dinner tonight then there are a couple of steps you’ll want to take to ensure you get perfectly fluffy potatoes with a (somewhat) crispy outer skin:

How to Microwave Jacket Potatoes

Microwaving jacket potatoes is a pretty easy thing to do. Just follow this method.

  1. Wash and Dry
    Wash your potato thoroughly before cooking. Pat dry with some paper towels and then pop it onto a microwave-safe plate.
  2. Pierce
    Pierce the skin of the jacket potato a few times with a fork. This helps the steam escape as the potato cooks. It also ensures your potato has a fluffy and delicious texture.
  3. Rub in Oil
    Take a little oil and rub it into the skin of the potato. This will help give it a slightly crispier skin.
  4. Microwave
    Put the plate into the microwave and microwave on full power for about three to four minutes.
  5. Check
    Check the potato after this time and turn it over to help it cook evenly.
  6. Microwave Again
    Microwave on full power for another three to four minutes.
  7. Check Again
    Check the potato with a fork to see if it is cooked. If not pop it back in the microwave for another minute or two and check again. Keep repeating until your potato is cooked to your liking.

3 Tips for Microwaving Jacket Potatoes

You now know the method but there are 3 tips you’ll want to take on board to ensure you get perfect jacket potatoes every time:

  • Use Oil to Crisp Skin – It’s difficult to get crispy skin when microwaving but a little oil goes a long way to help. Massage some oil into the skin before cooking and it will help. You could also add a little salt to season it and help crisp up the potato skin too.
  • Use Kitchen Towel to Absorb Moisture – If you are finding the bottom of your jacket potato is becoming soggy then try putting down a piece of kitchen towel underneath the potato. This may help to soak up excess moisture and encourage the skin of the potato to crisp up.
  • Grill After Microwaving – If you really want to ensure you get delicious crispy skin then pop your potato under the grill or into the oven for a few minutes after microwaving. This will only add a few minutes to the cooking time but it should make a big difference to the overall texture of the potato.

Advantages of Microwaved Jacket Potatoes

As you can probably tell already, there are some clear benefits to using the microwave to cook jacket potatoes:

  1. Super-Duper Speedy
    There is no doubt about it microwaving your jacket potatoes saves you so much time! It can take two hours to prepare, preheat the oven and slow cook a potato in the oven! In a microwave, it should take around ten minutes instead!
  2. Very Straightforward
    Another advantage is just how easy it is. If you are busy you can pop a potato into the microwave for a few minutes and then get on with the rest of your to-do list while it cooks.

Disadvantages of Microwaved Jacket Potatoes

Unfortunately, it’s not all good news. There are a couple of drawbacks you should be aware of:

  1. Lack of Crispy Skin
    One of the most commonly talked about disadvantages of cooking a jacket potato in the microwave is the skin. When you cook a potato in the oven you get delicious skin that is crispy and crunchy and this is very difficult to achieve in the microwave. The skin can end up tough and rubbery rather than crispy. There are things you can do to help but it will never be quite the same as oven-baked potato.
  2. Uneven Cooking
    When cooking a potato in the microwave it is difficult to get an even cook throughout. You often find that the outside is a little overcooked whilst the middle is a little hard. With a little trial and error, you should be able to find the perfect cooking times for your microwave but until you get to that point you may find that your potato isn’t evenly cooked throughout.

How to Reheat Jacket Potatoes in the Microwave

If you need to reheat your jacket potato then be careful because you can easily end up overcooking it. However, if you do need to then pop the potato onto the plate and put it into the microwave.

Heat for a minute at a time, checking between each minute until it has heated to perfection.

How to Defrost Jacket Potatoes in the Microwave

You should be able to cook your potato in the oven from frozen without thawing it at all! If you do need to defrost it instead then pop it onto a plate and into the fridge to thaw out slowly overnight.

Final Summary

The cooking time of a jacket potato can be hugely reduced by microwaving it instead. You can save at least an hour and a half of cooking time this way!

It is worth it if you are in a rush but the potato will always taste better when oven-baked so if possible cook it using more traditional methods instead.