How long to bake potatoes in a microwave?

How long to bake potatoes in a microwave? This actually depends on three things; potato size, number of potatoes and microwave wattage. Check the Owners Manual of your microwave oven for the wattage power and cook according to the timing guideline below.

Small Potatoes: less than 5 ounces, Medium Potatoes: 5-8 ounces, Large Potatoes: 9-12 ounces.

Wattage (WATT) Potato Size: Serving = Time in minutes
600 WATT Small potato: one = 3:30, two = 5:50, three = 11:40, four = 16:20.
Medium potato: one = 7, two = 11:40, three = 17:30, four = 25:40.
Large potato: one = 10:30, two = 17:30, three = 23:20, four = 29:10. 
700 WATT Small potato: one = 3, two = 5, three = 10, four = 14.
Medium potato: one = 6, two = 10, three = 15, four = 22.
Large potato: one = 9, two = 15, three = 20, four = 25.
800 WATT Small potato: one = 2:38, two = 4:23, three = 8:45, four = 12:15.
Medium potato: one = 5:15, two = 8:45, three = 13:08, four = 19:15.
Large potato: one = 7:53, two = 13:08, three = 17:30, four = 22:15.
900 WATT Small potato: one = 2:20, two = 3:53, three = 7:47, four = 10:53.
Medium potato: one = 4:40, two = 7:47, three = 11:40, four = 17:07.
Large potato: one = 7, two = 11:40, three = 15:33, four = 19:26.
1000 WATT Small potato: one = 2:06, two = 3:30, three = 7:00, four = 9:48.
Medium potato: one = 4:12, two = 7:00, three = 10:30, four = 15:24.
Large potato: one = 6:18, two = 10:30, three = 14, four = 17:20.
1100 WATT Small potato: one = 1:55, two = 3:11, three = 6:22, four = 8:53.
Medium potato: one = 3:49, two = 6:22, three = 9:31, four = 13:57.
Large potato: one = 5:44, two = 9:31, three = 12:41, four = 15:51.
1200 WATT Small potato: one = 1:45, two = 2:55, three = 5:50, four = 8:10.
Medium potato: one = 3:30, two = 5:50, three = 8:45, four = 12:50.
Large potato: one = 5:15, two = 8:45, three = 11:40, four = 14:35.
Chart Notes The chart does not guarantee accurate timing for baking potatoes in the microwave oven. It should be used only as a reference for determining the correct cooking times. You may need to adjust the cooking times further or below to eventually perfect the potatoes.
Instructions 1) Microwave on HIGH (which is the maximum power setting on your microwave oven i.e 10%).
2) Flip potatoes halfway through cooking time to ensure even cooking.
3) At the end of cooking time, check if potatoes are fork tender or their internal temperature registers 210°F. If not, return back to the microwave, cook at 1 minute bursts and continue to check for doneness after each interval.
4) Let potatoes stand for additional 2 minutes before serving (outside the microwave).
5) Microwave a maximum of 4 potatoes at a time.

HOW TO MICROWAVE POTATOES:

  1. Select the right spuds: When it comes to baking potatoes, the type and variety you use will have the biggest impact on the final texture— whether creamy and firm or light and fluffy. Surprised aren't you? Yes, potatoes come in different varieties and each one of them may only be suited for a particular type of cooking. Avoid using all potatoes interchangeably unless you’re not after the exact results from a recipe. That said, as far as baking potatoes is concerned, use potatoes with high starch content often referred to as floury potatoes. These potatoes display the dry, light and fluffy interior that baked potatoes are loved for— all thanks to their high starch content. Examples of these potatoes include, Russet, Round white, Yellow Finn and Yukon Gold potatoes. As for low starch potatoes commonly known as waxy potatoes, they have high levels of sugar and moisture which prevents them for producing a light and fluffy texture when baked, instead, an undesirable creamy, firm texture is displayed.
  2. The perfect potatoes: When selecting the right potatoes for baking, ensure to choose potatoes that are fresh and wrinkle free. Go for potatoes that are sprout-free and without any greenish-tinge under their skin. The greenish tinge means that the potatoes have been exposed to light or extreme cold or warm temperatures and have therefore developed a bitter compound known as ‘solanine’  which can be highly toxic at large quantities.
  3. Properly wash and dry spuds: We all detest biting sand and other foreign objects in our food, but potatoes are root vegetables which means lots and lots of these foreign objects when you don't properly wash them. So take your time and properly cleanse your potatoes of any sand and dirt before baking in the oven. Here's how to properly wash potatoes: First, fill a large mixing bowl with lukewarm water and add 3 tablespoons of white vinegar. Place potatoes in the vinegar solution for a few minutes and run them under a tap while brushing their skins gently with a scrubbing brush. Rinse potatoes thoroughly and pat dry using a paper towel. An alternative is to simply scrub the potatoes (with a scrubbing brush) under running water, then rinse thoroughly and properly dry with a towel. Another thing you might be worried about are the ground sprayed pesticide, herbicides and insecticides or the sprout-suppressing chemicals which persist on store bought conventionally grown potatoes, however the levels detected have been found to be harmless and do not present any health effects to people. Just cleanse the potatoes with a white vinegar solution and they are ready to collect your favorite seasonings! If you're still worried about the chemicals on your potatoes, you can opt for organically grown potatoes, which are not applied with any chemicals during sprouting and growth.  
  4. Prick holes on spuds: Pricking holes on potatoes ensures that no excess steam is built within the potato which can lead to explosions. The prick serves as a channel to release the excess steam built within the potato thereby regulating it's internal pressure. Another good thing about pricking holes on potatoes happens with seasoning. The holes on the potato will allow some of the seasonings to seep through and render a flavorful result. Gently stab potatoes with a fork three times on each side to prick holes on them. 
  5. Season spuds: Commonly, potatoes baked in the microwave are seasoned with salt and pepper and then served with any topping. However, you can bring your own ideas to the table and use your favorite seasonings. Here's ours, sprinkle granulated garlic right after peppering and you're set for an amazing dinner!
  6. Microwaving the spuds: Use the chart at the top of this page (as a guide) to microwave your potatoes. If potatoes aren't done by the end of the cooking time, extend cooking by 1 minute bursts and keep checking for doneness as explained on the chart. Ensure you flip potatoes halfway during cooking time for even cooking. 
  7. Warnings: Use a fork or tong to flip potatoes during cooking. Do not use bare hands as the potatoes will be very hot.
  8. Getting crispy skins: Microwave potatoes happen in a flash but there's a little trade-off that comes with them--no crispy skin. The inside of the potatoes develop into that light and fluffy texture-- provided you've done your homework and have chosen the perfect potatoes, but the exterior is always wrinkled and leathery. To crisp up their skins, you'll need need an extra help from the oven. Cook them in the microwave for 3/4th the cooking time on the chart, then transfer to a preheated oven at 450°F and cook for additional 15 minutes or untill fork tender and the internal temperature registers 210°F.
  9. Serving spuds: After microwaving potatoes, always allow them to sit for additional 3-4 minutes before serving. This will ensure an evenly cooked interior. At expiration of the sitting period, cut potatoes in half lengthwise and top with favorite additions (we like ours with sour cream, chives, classic chicken topping or butter).
Recipe: Microwave Baked Potatoes

Ingredients: 
  • 4 medium potatoes (8 ounces each)
  • One tbs butter.
  • Salt and pepper.
Instructions:
  • Choose 4 (8 ounces each) medium potato.
  • Wash and thoroughly dry potato.
  • Pierce potatoes with fork and place potatoes on a microwave safe dish lined with paper towel. Use the plate directly if you dont have a paper towel.
  • Microwave on HIGH (700 watt) for 22 minutes untill fork tender or internal temperature registers 210°F. Turn potatoes halfway during cooking.
  • When potatoes are ready, slice a deeply cut on one of their surface and push each ends to loosen potatoes.
  • Add butter, salt and pepper.
  • Enjoy.  
Recipe Notes:
  • The recipe is for a 700 watt microwave oven, if using a different microwave wattage, convert appropriately using the cooking chart at the top of the page.

Related Questions:

Is it safe to microwave a potato?

Absolutely yes! If you're worried about loosing much of the dietary fiber on the potato skin as wells as the plentiful vitamins and minerals on the inside, well, you shouldn't be. According to the nutritional fact sheet for a 100 g microwaved potato and 100 g oven baked potato retrieved from the portal of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), nuking a potato in the microwave oven affects it's nutrient no worse than cooking it up in a regular dry heat oven. Here's the foremost summary from the nutritional fact sheets ( incase you're too busy to check them out).

Nutrient Oven baked potato (100 g) Microwaved Potato (100 g)
Dietary Fiber 2.2 g 2.3 g
Protein 2.5 g 2.44 g
Vitamin C 9.6 mg 15.1 mg
Vitamin B6 0.311 mg 0.344 mg
Pantothenic Acid 0.376 mg 0.454 mg
Iron 1.08 mg 1.25 mg
Magnesium 28 mg 27 mg
Phosphorus 70 mg 105 mg
Potassium 535 mg 447 mg
Copper 0.118 mg 0.334 mg
Manganese 0.219 mg 0.292 mg

As you can seen from the table above, the nutrient profile for both specimens is roughly the same. There is an insignificant loss in the amount of Protein, Potassium and Magnesium that contribute to the daily value dose— for a 100 g microwave baked potato. It however has a much higher dose for Dietary Fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Pantothenic acid and the other minerals.

Read: Other ways to bake potatoes alert-information

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