How to Microwave Sweet Potatoes – The 1 Min Microwave Secret

Sweet potato is very versatile. There’s no better side dish than a piping hot sweet potato swathed in butter or cream, or garnished with your favorite topping. If not that, you can use it as a snack or even as a full meal. 

This vegetable is rich in starch and keeps you feeling satisfied for longer. Plus, it’s rich in essential nutrients. But making it can be a bit of a hassle; you have to preheat the oven and bake the sweet potato for at least 45-60 minutes to be able to dig into it. 

Luckily, you can just microwave sweet potato and do away with all that hassle. It hardly takes time and you’ll have scrumptious sweet potato ready in no time! 

Can you microwave sweet potato?

Yes, you can microwave sweet potatoes without any problem. In fact, microwaving them helps to retain nutrients that are usually lost when you bake them.

Most people prefer microwaving sweet potatoes because of how convenient and quick it is. Plus, it is not too different from baking it. All other forms of cooking, including baking, take longer to cook the sweet potato. 

According to some people, when you microwave a sweet potato, you don’t get the dry, crispy skin you do when you bake it in the oven. However, you can get similar results by first microwaving the sweet potato and then putting it in a broiler for a few minutes. 

How can you microwave sweet potatoes?

To microwave sweet potato, first, wash it, trim it, and pat it dry. Then slightly puncture the skin using a fork. Now, put the sweet potato in a microwave-safe container and microwave it on full power for 5 minutes. Flip it over and microwave it in 30- or 60-second increments until the potato becomes tender and soft.  

Sweet potatoes are versatile root vegetables that are very rich in nutrients. They go well with all kinds of meals, and can even be used for desserts. 

While baking sweet potatoes in the oven takes around (or sometimes even more than) an hour, microwaving them hardly takes five minutes. You can quickly cook them for a nutrient-rich meal.  

And to make sure that the sweet potato doesn’t dry out in the microwave, you can wrap a wet paper towel around it. But make sure it doesn’t drip wet; you don’t want the potato to be damp. Then, put the sweet potato on a microwave-safe plate. If you’re microwaving more than one potato, make sure you leave some space between them. 

Be very careful when flipping or taking the sweet potatoes out of the microwave since they’ll be very hot. Instead, use tongs or potholders or wait until they cool down enough so that you can touch them without getting burned.

How many sweet potatoes should you microwave in one go?

You can microwave up to 2 medium-sized sweet potatoes in one go. But if you have more than 2 sweet potatoes or if they are bigger, you should cook them individually. You should also note that microwaving more than one sweet potato at a time takes slightly longer than microwaving just one.

Generally, it takes about five minutes to cook one medium-sized sweet potato in the microwave. You should add another two minutes each for additional sweet potatoes. 

Up to 4 or 5 medium-sized sweet potatoes are enough to add as a side dish to your meal. 

How long does it take to cook sweet potato in the microwave?  

The time it takes for a sweet potato to cook in the microwave depends on the size of the vegetable and your microwave’s wattage. Generally, it takes 5 minutes of full power to cook one 8-ounce sweet potato. Meanwhile, larger sweet potatoes can take 7-10 minutes to cook fully.

Larger sweet potatoes take more time to cook but instead of nuking them for another five minutes, it’s best to nuke them in 1-minute intervals. Continue doing so until the center is cooked. 

Stop microwaving when you can easily pierce through the center using a fork or paring knife. This means that the potatoes are fully done. Only serve the potatoes when you’re sure they’re done.    

Can you microwave sweet potatoes before baking them?

Yes, you can definitely microwave sweet potatoes before baking them. This way, you can use the microwave to cook them and put them in the oven to roast them. The oven will give it a nice crispy skin, sweet caramelized flavor, and a lovely color.

You can cut down the time it takes to cook sweet potatoes by nuking them in the microwave. And to cook them before baking them, here’s what you need to do:

  • Thoroughly wash the sweet potatoes by running them under the water and scrubbing them to remove dirt and harmful chemicals. Take a paper towel and pat the potatoes completely dry. 
  • Cut out the bruised parts of the sweet potato if there are any. 
  • Take a fork and poke holes in the sweet potato to allow steam to pass through.
  • Put the sweet potatoes on a microwave-safe plate. Make sure to leave some space between them.
  • Set the microwave on high and cook them for 3-5 minutes, depending on your microwave’s power and the size and quantity of sweet potatoes. 
  • Flip the sweet potatoes halfway through the cooking time. Then continue microwaving, making sure to check if they’re done after every minute.  
  • Once they’re ready, quickly pop them in the oven for a minute or two to get that crispy skin and lovely color. Make sure you preheat the oven. Alternatively, you can put them under the broiler to get the same results. 

You can check whether the sweet potatoes are ready or not by pushing a paring knife, toothpick, or fork in the middle of the thickest part. If the flesh is soft, the sweet potatoes are done. If not, put them back in the microwave until the center turns soft. 

Keep in mind that small sweet potatoes take less time to cook than larger ones, so you can just take out the smaller ones and microwave the larger ones until they turn soft.

Tips to microwave sweet potatoes

Of course, you don’t want dried-out or tough sweet potatoes that are hard to swallow. They’re not only difficult to eat, but also don’t taste delicious. So to make sure your sweet potatoes don’t dry out in the microwave, here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Avoid overcooking the sweet potatoes for too long and only nuke them until the center is soft.
  • Always use a microwave-safe plate to cook the sweet potatoes. Using a container that’s not labeled microwave-safe can put you at risk. 
  • You can avoid the edges from drying up and turning crispy by flipping the sweet potato halfway through the cooking time. 
  • The time it takes for a microwave to cook sweet potatoes differs from one appliance to another. So for instance, a 1000-watt microwave can cook the potato really quickly so you’ll have to keep an eye on it.   
  • If the sweet potato requires more time after the five minutes are up, make sure you only microwave in short intervals and keep checking on the potato in between.
  • Use a damp paper towel to make sure the sweet potato stays moist and doesn’t dry up in the microwave.
  • If you’re using microwave-safe plastic wrap to wrap the sweet potato, make sure you’re very careful. This is because the holes in the sweet potato will release steam, which can easily melt the plastic and leech harmful chemicals into your food. 

The Bottom Line

You now know how to microwave sweet potatoes. Just a few minutes in the microwave and you can have a delicious and nutritious side dish ready. Just make sure you follow the tips mentioned above and don’t overcook the sweet potatoes!

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