How Long To Microwave A Potato?

No doubt, microwaving a potato is an excellent way to maximize its demand as it enhances its flavor, and especially when it is topped with cheese, caramelized onion, and sour cream, it becomes a perfect meal to satiate your craving delightfully.

After having a busy day at work, people typically need the quickest method to prepare the meal at home. 

Microwaving a potato is the best and most quick method of preparing potatoes because boiling and pan-frying consume more time than microwaving.

Though the question arises how long to microwave a potato? The time of microwaving varies due to the size and variety of potatoes. For instance, Small potatoes need 5 minutes and big ones need about 10 minutes.

Furthermore, this article will provide a comprehensive guide on microwaving a potato and cover questions related to it. So keep reading the article.

How to microwave a potato?

Microwaving a potato is way easier than boiling and frying potatoes in a pan because both these processes are time-consuming. 

For microwaving a potato, all you have to do is;

  • Remove the dirt and dust from potatoes by washing or scrubbing them.
  • If there is any dark spot on the skin of the potato, cut it with the help of a knife.
  • Pat the potato to dry.
  • Once you dry them completely, pork the potato with a fork otherwise it may explode in the  microwave.
  • You can use olive oil for smearing the potato.
  • Sprinkle salt or pepper on the potato for delicious flavour, though you can use any kind of species as well.
  • Microwave the potato for 5 minutes.
  • Flip the potato with a fork and spoon to cook it evenly.
  • Microwave it again for 3-4 minutes as this time is enough to cook it completely.
  • Once it is done, remove the potato and serve it with sauces.

If you properly follow this method of baking, you will have a soft, delicious & flavourful baked potato in just 8-10 minutes.

How long does it take to microwave a potato?

The answer is quite simple as it would take only 8-10 minutes to cook a potato evenly because microwaving is less time taking.

Keep in mind, the process of microwaving is the same for all varieties and sizes of potatoes although the time of microwaving may vary. 

For instance, Sweet potatoes need 5 minutes, red potatoes take 4-6 minutes and Russet potatoes, as well as French fingerlings, need 8 minutes in the microwave to cook evenly.

Note: If you are microwaving more than one potato at a time, microwave them for 3-5 minutes more.

Is it safe to microwave a potato?

Some people remain doubtful about microwaving potatoes due to their safety concerns like they are conscious about the nutrient loss as well as they are afraid of exploding potatoes.

To clear doubts regarding microwaving a potato, I’m writing that it’s completely safe to microwave a potato as long as you prick the potatoes before putting them inside.

Pricking potatoes before microwaving provides a way to escape steam and prevent the exploding of potatoes.

What type of potatoes is best for microwaving?

If you are a home chef, you may find it useless to differentiate whether you are using starchy potatoes or waxy potatoes in your recipe of baking. 

Though if you love to cook at home with super easy methods and flavourful ingredients, you might want to know about various varieties of potatoes and their key features.

So, I’m explaining a few varieties of potatoes and their key features. Let’s have a look;

1: Starchy potatoes

As it is quite clear from the name; starchy potatoes have a high concentration of starch and such a high starch content is responsible for their even flesh color.


  • They are best for baking as they turn out light and fluffy.
  • Starchy potatoes are characterised by their dryness and flakiness.
  • These potatoes are excellent for boiling.
  • Starchy potatoes are perfect for making creamy potato mash.

Russet, Idaho, and Red potatoes are the widely known types that contain high starch content. Hence, russet potatoes are mostly used for microwaving.

2: Waxy potatoes

Waxy potatoes have more moisture than starch which makes their flesh a bit creamy. These potatoes generally have a small size and round shape with thin skin which you don’t always need to peel off before baking or cooking.


  • Waxy potatoes can hold their shape well.
  • This variety of potatoes is a good choice for boiling.
  • Waxy potatoes are perfect to add in salads.
  • You can easily bake waxy potatoes in a microwave.

New potatoes, Fingerlings, and Red-skinned potatoes are included in waxy potatoes because they have a high moisture content as well as they are suitable for baking. 

When you bake waxy potatoes, even of smaller size, they excellently hold their shape and firm texture.

3: All-purpose potatoes

If you haven’t decided yet, whether you are going to bake, boil or pan fry the potato then you should buy all-purpose potatoes. This variety of potatoes has medium starch & moisture content.


  • A best alternative for starchy and waxy potatoes
  • These potatoes are best for baking.
  • All-purpose potatoes maintain their texture and hold their shape perfectly.

White & purple potatoes and Yukon gold potatoes are included in this variety. However, Yukon gold potatoes are a good choice for microwaving because they can hold their shape and maintain a perfect texture like a balance between creamy and firm.

How to know that potato is done?

Before cooking potatoes in a microwave, you must know how to check if they are done or not. 

The best and easiest method to check baked potatoes without the fear of getting it wrong is the old skewer method.

Old skewer Method

Take a wooden skewer and press the potato slightly, if the skewer went through it without any pressure, it’s obvious that the potato is done. You can use a fork, a knife, or a spoon instead of a skewer.

When you cook potatoes once or twice at home, you can identify when the potato is done as it turns soft and you can squeeze it as well.

Remember that when it comes to food safety, it’s good to overcook the food rather than undercooking it because undercooking makes you sick.

How to microwave more than one potato at a time?

If you have to cook more than one potato at a time, choose potatoes of the same size because it helps them to cook evenly.

If you cook two potatoes separately, it may take twice the time and they may not taste as good as they should be. 

Cooking one potato can take 5 minutes and cooking two or more potatoes may take 10-12 minutes roughly.

How to store microwaved potatoes?

Put the microwaved potatoes in an airtight container and place them in the fridge as it will keep them safely for around 4-5 days.

Reheating the microwaved potato is easy like cooking it. Microwave the potato for a few minutes until it is completely heated.

Can you boil potatoes in the microwave?

Boiling the potatoes in the microwave is a bit different from baking them because baking potatoes is way easier.

For boiling, cut the potatoes into pieces or you can boil the whole potato as well although boiling whole potatoes without even peeling off their skin is an excellent choice.

Boiling greatly affects the nutrient content of potatoes and when you boil the potato with its skin, it will surely preserve its nutritional value.

Undoubtedly, whole boiled potatoes are much more flavorsome as compared to the pieces of potatoes.

How to boil potatoes in the microwave?

  1. First of all, wash and scrub the potato thoroughly in order to remove any dirt and dust.
  2. Prick the potato with a fork and put it in a deep dish.
  3. Add water in the dish and keep in mind that the water should be enough to cover the whole potato.
  4. Boil the potato for almost 10 minutes.
  5. Take the potato out of water and check if it’s done or not.
  6. Once it is done, remove the dish from the microwave and let the water cool down for a few minutes.
  7. Peel off the potato and use it as you want.

If you are boiling more than one potato, adjust the time of boiling accordingly for the best results.

How to serve the microwaved potato?

Microwaved potato is like a blank canvas, you can add various spices of your choice to make it better. 

There is a wide range of spices, flavourful toppings, and fillings that you can use to make your dinner or lunch delightful. 

You can fill the microwaved potato with a delicious filling of cheese, bacon, chicken, and mushrooms. Moreover, you can top the baked potato with topping like;

  • Beans
  • Sour cream
  • Caramelised onions
  • Fried egg
  • Salsa

If you are too lazy to prepare a topping or filling for a baked potato, you can eat it with sauces like hot sauce and garlic sauce, etc.

Are microwaved potatoes good for you?

Yup, microwaved potatoes are absolutely good for you even though microwaving slightly affects the nutrient content of food.

Potatoes, whether cooked or baked, promote digestive health and prevent colon cancer as well as a good diet for allergic patients because it’s gluten-free.

Potatoes are a rich source of antioxidants and fatty acids present in them play a vital role in controlling blood sugar.

Tip for cooking potatoes in the microwave

Here are a few tips that you should consider before microwaving a potato;

Tip 1

Before microwaving, choose potatoes that are the same size because it helps them to cook evenly.

Tip 2

When you bake a potato and want to fill it after baking then don’t poke it with a fork instead you can make a long deep cut in the center of the potato.

It will be helpful for you to fill it even when the potato isn’t cool down yet. Moreover, you can top the baked egg with various types of toppings as well.

Tip 3

If you are smearing the potato with some oil, try not to pat it dry because it will prevent the wrinkling of the potato.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the side dishes for microwaved potatoes?

You can serve the following side dishes with microwaved potatoes;

  • Chilli con Carne
  • Crispy buffalo wings
  • Roasted vegetables
  • Pan-fried salmon
  • Classic meatloaf
  • Can you bake potatoes at a low temperature?

Yup you can lower the temperature for baking the potatoes because at low temperature the potato may be baked evenly.

If you bake the potato with the skin at a low temperature, it will surely preserve the healthy nutrients in it.

Do microwave potatoes kill nutrients?

Microwaving the food kills the nutrients, yet boiling still does this process at a faster rate. If you bake the potato without its skin, it may be at great risk of losing its nutrients, so try to bake potato with the skin on it.

How long does it take to microwave 4 potatoes?

Normally, a potato takes 10 minutes to bake and when you have more than one potato, increase the time by 2 minutes more for each potato. After the estimated time, take a skewer and check if it’s done or not.

To sum up

Baked potatoes are undoubtedly a scrumptious meal to satisfy your midnight craving with different sauces and toppings over it. The good thing about baked potatoes is they won’t take your time. 

For baking a potato, all you have to do is; scrub or wash the potato, poke it with a fork, put it in the microwave, and wait. After 10 minutes check with the help of a knife whether it is done or needs more time.

Once it is done, you can serve it with some side dish that I have mentioned in the above article and I hope you will like it. Happy reading!

About Harris V.

Harris is a content coordinator and senior writer at Gliving. After years of cooking professionally, Harris traded in his knives for the pen. He spends most of his time writing these days but still loves to get down with some delicious recipes in the kitchen for his family.