This Easy Microwave Baked Potato recipe is the best way to get the perfect baked potato in minutes. A quick side dish on busy nights when you don't have time to oven bake or air fry your spuds!
There's nothing like a thick, juicy steak served with a fluffy baked potato, right?! But oven-baked potatoes take an hour to make, and who has time for that -- especially in the summer? Growing up, we always made baked potatoes in the microwave instead of the oven for an easy side dish. It's still my favorite way to make a quick baked potato!
Even though I also like to make baked potatoes in the Instant Pot, a microwaved baked potato is much faster. All you do is set the timer, hit start, and you have the best soft, fluffy baked potatoes in a fraction of the time!
You only need one ingredient and a few household items to make baked potatoes in your microwave. You can find them in your grocery store.
- Russet potatoes -- I usually use 4 potatoes, but use how ever many you need
I also recommend
- Olive oil -- for crispy skin (optional)
- Sea salt and black pepper -- (optional for crispy skin and flavor)
- Fork -- to poke holes in potato
- Kitchen brush -- to clean the potatoes
- Microwave-safe plate
- Foil -- to cover microwaved potato after cooking
- Oven mitts -- to hold the hot plate
- Pair of tongs -- to handle the hot potato
Best Potatoes for Baking
First of all, we're using russet potatoes, also known as Idaho potatoes or "baking" potatoes. This kind of potato makes the best baked potatoes. You can find them in 3 sizes -- large, medium and small.
When picking out potatoes, look for ones that are as even and firm as possible. Avoid ones with bruises or cuts or soft spots.
What Size Potato to Use
I usually go for the medium potatoes, which are about 4 to 5 inches long. These are perfect as a side dish.
If I use the really large ones, I cut them in half before serving -- They're huge! Larger potatoes make a great main dish!
How to Clean
First, you want to scrub the potatoes well. The best way to do this is with a kitchen brush under cold running water. Cool water is fine.
Then, pat them dry with a paper towel. Note, that you can use a wet paper towel to scrub the potatoes if you don't have a brush.
How to Bake A Potato in the Microwave
Like I said, cooking potatoes in the microwave is super easy. But, there are a few tricks to getting soft, fluffy microwaved baked potatoes that are evenly cooked without hard spots.
Use a fork to poke holes all over the potato, about 5 times each. This helps steam escape when cooking. Nobody wants a potato explosion!
Then, set the potatoes evenly on microwave-safe plate, and place in the microwave. No need for plastic wrap or any covers or even a damp paper towel. Now, you're ready to cook 'em!
How Long to Cook
1 potato -- 3 minutes cook time on one side and 2 minutes on the other side
2 potatoes -- 4 minutes on each side, for 8 minutes total cooking time
- Medium potatoes (5 inches) — 5 minutes per side for a total of 10 minutes cooking time
- Small potatoes (4 inches) — 4 minutes per side for a total of 8 minutes
- Large potatoes (6 inches or more) — 15 minutes total. Start with 6 minutes per side. You may have to turn the larger potatoes 3 times.
How long it takes to cook a baked potato in the microwave depends on how many you're cooking and the size of your potato. The cook time also varies depending upon the wattage of your microwave ovens.
The best way to microwave baked potatoes evenly is to cook for just a few minutes per side, instead of cooking for, say, 10 minutes at once.
Flip the potatoes over, cook for another few minutes, and check for doneness. You should be able to easily stick a fork into the potatoes when done.
After cooking, carefully remove the plate, using oven mitts -- It will be hot! Cover with foil, and let the potatoes rest for about 5 minutes. A microwave-baked potato continues to cook while covered, so even if they don't seem as soft as you like, they should be softer after resting.
How to Get Crispy Skins
This step is purely optional, but it does give you steakhouse-style baked potatoes with crispy potato skins. Place the cooked microwaved potatoes on a baking sheet, brush them with a little olive oil or vegetable oil, and sprinkle with sea salt.
Then, bake for about 5 minutes or until the skins start to get dark and crispy. As a plus, this also makes the insides of the potatoes even fluffier!
How to Cut
To cut the potato, make a vertical cut lengthwise, using a sharp knife. To get the fluffy potato insides to pop up, make a short horizontal cuts on each side of the larger cut. Press gently on each side until the insides rise up -- don't apply too much pressure.
And that's all there is to making the best microwave baked potato. You can add a pat of butter and a dollop of sour cream, but don't stop there. Make a baked potato bar for loaded baked potatoes or add your favorite toppings for the best baked potato ever!
- Sour cream
- Bacon bits -- real, please!
- Raw broccoli
- Shredded cheddar cheese
- Pico de gallo -- check out my homemade pico de gallo!
How to Store and Reheat
Store any leftover baked potatoes in an airtight container in your refrigerator. They should keep well for 3 to 4 days.
You can reheat baked potatoes in your microwave for 1-2 minutes, or until heated through.
Yes, so don't skip this part! Poking holes allows steam to escape and prevents potatoes from exploding in the microwave.
Yes, that's why it's important to cook for a few minutes per side and turn the potatoes during the cooking process to prevent hard spots. It's also important to remember that the cook time varies with size of the potato, amount of potatoes being cooked and size of the microwave.
Easy Microwave Baked Potato
- 4 medium russet potatoes
- 1 teaspoon olive oil optional
- 1 teaspoon sea salt optional
- Scrub potatoes well under cold running water, and pat dry
- Use fork to poke holes evenly over potatoes
- Place potatoes on a microwave safe plate, and cook on full power for 5 minutes. Turn potatoes over, and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Potatoes should be cooked through and soft when poked. If not, cook in 1-minute increments until done
- Remove from oven, and cover with foil for about 5 minutes or until ready to serve
- Optional -- For crispy skins, rub olive oil over cooked potatoes, place on baking sheet, and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake in 400 degree oven until skins are crispy
Nutrition information is estimated. Please do your own calculation to fit special diets.
I hope you enjoy these easy microwave-baked potatoes as much as we do! I prefer the microwave method over other cooking methods -- air fryer, oven, grill or pressure cooker!
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