Can You Microwave Potatoes?

Cooking potatoes in the microwave is a fairly simple process – once you know how! There are also a few tips that are worth noting down before you use the microwave to cook potatoes. We’ve covered everything you’ll need to know below:

How to Microwave Potatoes

Microwaving your potatoes works very well if you are planning on having boiled potatoes either to eat as they are or for mashing. You can also cook jacket potatoes in the microwave.

Both of these are pretty easy to do, just follow this method:

  1. Prepare Potatoes
    Pick out smaller potatoes that are about even in size. You will need to prick the skins lightly before cooking because they can burst from their skins otherwise. If you are cooking a jacket potato you need to follow the same method just with one large potato rather than lots of small potatoes.
  2. Grab Microwave-Safe Bowl
    Next, you need to grab a microwave-safe bowl with a lid. Place the potatoes into the bowl.
  3. Microwave
    Cover with the lid and pop the potatoes in the microwave for five minutes on full power. For jacket potatoes, you are likely to need longer so start with about ten minutes on full power.
  4. Check for Doneness
    When the five minutes has passed you can take the potatoes out and check they are cooked by slicing a knife through them. They should give easily without crushing too much. If they are not done pop them back into the microwave for another minute. Keep repeating this process until you are happy your potatoes are done.

Microwaved Potatoes

3 Tips for Microwaving Potatoes

If you want to have plenty of success when microwaving potatoes then make sure you take these three tips onboard:

  • Cover with a Plate – Try to avoid using too much soft plastic such as cling film or freezer bags when cooking in the microwave. This means you should avoid using some cling films to cover your bowl of potatoes. If you don’t have a lid then you can use a small plate instead rather than wrapping it in clingfilm.
  • Avoid Oils – When cooking your potatoes don’t use any oils. It might be tempting to but this will just spray all over your microwave and make a mess. It will also make your potatoes super hot to handle when they come out of the microwave.
  • Prick the Skins – When you cook potatoes in the microwave don’t forget to prick the skin. This is a simple process that is easy to forget but it is important. Potato skins are fairly tough and the potato inside will expand as it cooks which could end up bursting the potato and making a mess.

Advantages of Microwaved Potatoes

When it comes to using the microwave to cook potatoes, there are a couple of clear advantages:

  1. Super Speedy
    The main advantage of cooking your potatoes in a microwave is the speed. It is so much quicker when compared to the twenty to forty minutes it takes to boil potatoes or the hour to two hours it takes for jacket potatoes.
  2. Perfect for Mash
    Microwaved potatoes are perfect for mashing. The process of making them in this way allows the potato to break down. It can leave them a little dry but by the time you have added butter or a little cheese and mashed them, you will have perfectly cooked mash and not notice any difference.

Disadvantages of Microwaved Potatoes

Unfortunately, although there are benefits to microwaving potatoes there are a couple of drawbacks that you’ll want to be aware of:

  1. Not as Tasty
    The main disadvantage of cooking your potatoes in a microwave instead of using more traditional methods is that they don’t taste quite as good. The potatoes tend to dry out a little and it’s impossible to get delicious crispy skins this way.
  2. Expect Inconsistency
    Using a microwave can be a little inconsistent. So much depends on the size and shape of the potato and one day it might take five minutes to cook your potato, the next it might take ten and the results can vary hugely.

How to Reheat Potatoes in the Microwave

To reheat your potatoes in a microwave you can pop them in a bowl and put them into the microwave. Heat them on full power for a couple of minutes and then either give mashed potatoes a stir or check that your whole potatoes are hot.

You may need to put them back in for another thirty seconds. After this test the potatoes again and repeat until the potatoes are hot.

How to Defrost Potatoes in the Microwave

You can defrost your potatoes easily by taking them out of the freezer and popping them into a bowl in the microwave. This is usually the safest method to defrost most foods. If you want to speed up the process then you can thaw them out in a microwave instead.

To thaw out in the microwave pop the potatoes into a bowl and put them in the microwave on a defrost setting for a couple of minutes.

After this, check the potatoes and if they are not thawed pop them back in for another minute. Keep repeating this process until the potatoes are thawed.

Final Summary

You can cook potatoes in the microwave although you are likely to get mixed results from doing this. You can either cook boiled, mashed or jacket potatoes but they won’t taste or feel quite as good as if you had used other methods.