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Making a Baked Potato in the Microwave

at a glance
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes

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Next time you’re planning to make stuffed baked potatoes, try cooking the potatoes in the microwave instead of the oven — it’s a kitchen hack that’ll save you SO MUCH time!

finished microwaved baked potatoes split open and loaded with butter, salt, and pepper

Can you really bake a potato in the microwave?

YOU CAN! Though the results aren’t quite like a classic crispy-skinned oven-baked potato, for the amount of time you’ll save, I say this method is totally worth it. If you’re looking to save time in the kitchen (50 minutes, at least), this recipe is absolutely for you.

I personally really love that using this cooking method makes it totally possible for my family to eat a stuffed baked potato (one of my *very* favorite dinners) on even the busiest of weeknights. In this busy season of life, hacks like this regularly save me from last-minute take-out! 

Microwave Baked Potato Ingredients

This 1-ingredient recipe is really more of a cooking hack than anything! This microwaved potato method is sure to make your time in the kitchen easier and more minimal. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Potatoes – the only ingredient you’ll need here is russet potatoes. Easy-peasy! 

Do note: you can use this method with ANY kind of potato. Sweet, Yukon gold, red, etc!

Supplies Needed to Make this Recipe

  • Fork
  • Paper Towels
  • Microwave

How to Make a Baked Potato in the Microwave

  1. Prep – using a fork, poke holes in each potato. Then, wrap each potato in a damp paper towel.
  2. Microwave – place the paper towel-wrapped potatoes in the microwave and microwave on high for 3 minutes. After 3 minutes, using an oven mitt, squeeze the potatoes to test for doneness; if it gives, it’s done. If it doesn’t, microwave in 2-minute increments until soft, testing for doneness after each spell.
a person using a fork to poke holes in potatoes before microwaving them
a person unwrapping damp paper towels from microwaved baked potatoes
potatoes being wrapped in damp paper towels before going into the microwave
potatoes being wrapped in damp paper towels before going into the microwave

Do you need to poke holes in the potato before microwaving?

You do! While I don’t actually poke holes in my potatoes before baking them in the oven, I *do* poke several holes in each potato before microwaving them. The holes allow the steam to escape from the potatoes, keeping them from exploding in the microwave!

Do you need to wrap a potato in the microwave?

I do wrap each potato in a damp paper towel. I’ve found that this helps the potatoes to steam and cook without drying out — it also (for me, at least!) always leads to a fluffier microwaved potato!

How Long to Microwave a Baked Potato

Your potatoes shouldn’t take longer than 10 minutes (at the very most) in the microwave. You’ll start with just 3 minutes in the microwave, check the potatoes (using an oven mitt!), then continue on, microwaving in 2-minute increments until they’re soft. Keep in mind that the size of your potato will make a difference as far as cooking time goes!

How many potatoes can I cook in the microwave at one time?

Honestly, as many, as can fit! The more potatoes you have, the longer they may take to cook, but don’t give up — just keep microwaving in 2-minute increments until they’re soft!

finished microwaved baked potatoes split open and loaded with butter, salt, and pepper

Does the skin get crispy when microwaving a potato? Is there a way to make the skin crispy?

It doesn’t. That’s really the only downfall of microwaving a potato vs. baking it. The process is way quicker, but if crispy skin is something you really love in a potato, you may want to stick to baking your potatoes in the oven or trying an air fryer.

If you want to compromise, you could also microwave your potatoes for 3 minutes, then rub them down with olive oil (once they’re cool enough to touch) and stick them in a 425°F oven for 15-20 minutes (or until the inside is cooked through and the skin is crispy). 

Can this method also work for a baked sweet potato in microwave?

Sure! The starting point would definitely be the same (poke holes, microwave for 3 minutes, check, then continue microwaving in 2-minute increments as needed), but the total time may vary slightly. Just stick with those 2-minute increments until the potatoes are cooked through!

Topping ideas for a Microwave Baked Potato

The sky is the LIMIT here, y’all! Some of my very favorite baked potato topping ideas include:

  • Classic – butter, shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, bacon, and chives
  • BBQ – butter, chopped brisket, BBQ sauce, shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, and chives
  • Chili-Stuffed – chili, shredded cheddar cheese, green onion, sour cream
  • Broccoli and Cheese – steamed or roasted broccoli, shredded chicken or cooked and crumbled ground beef, shredded cheese, sour cream
  • Pizza-Style – tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, cooked and crumbled sausage, pepperoni, pickled jalapenos
  • Philly Cheesesteak – ground beef, sauteed onions + peppers, provolone cheese

Potatoes are such a GREAT thing to serve to a crowd. Learn all of our best tips + tricks for setting up make-your-own potato bars HERE.

Baked Potato in Microwave

By: Cassy Joy Garcia
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Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Next time you’re planning to make stuffed baked potatoes, try cooking the potatoes in the microwave instead of the oven -- it’s a kitchen hack that’ll save you SO MUCH time!

Ingredients  

  • 4 russet potatoes medium-sized

Instructions

  • Using a fork, poke holes in each potato. Then, wrap each potato in a damp paper towel.
  • Place the paper towel-wrapped potatoes in the microwave and microwave on high for 3 minutes. After 3 minutes, using an oven mitt, squeeze the potatoes to test for doneness; if it gives, it's done. If it doesn’t, microwave in 2-minute increments until soft, testing for doneness after each spell.
Meet the Author
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Cassy Joy Garcia

HOWDY! I’m Cassy Joy and I am just so happy you’re here. I’m the founder, Editor-in-Chief, and Nutrition Consultant here at Fed and Fit. What started as a food blog back in 2011 has evolved now into so much more.
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