The answer is yes, you can use microwaves to safely cook potatoes.
But remember to prick them if you don’t want a hot mess of potato explosion in the microwave!
You might not know this, but microwaves can reduce your cook time. Accordingly, you can cook potatoes within 5 minutes rather than 20 minutes with other cooking methods.
However, microwaving potatoes can result in the loss of some nutrients, mostly sensitive vitamins such as Vitamin C.
But it also happens even when frying or boiling potatoes. Vitamins dissolve in high heat and/or water; thus, microwaving or any other cooking method affects the nutrients in potatoes more or less similarly.
How To Microwave Potatoes Safely & Easily?
When utilizing microwaves to cook fruit or vegetables, you had better remember some following points to cook them safely.
- Only utilize microwave-safe dishes and containers for cooking potatoes. It is imperative not to utilize a plastic container or bag for microwaving.
They cannot keep their shape during the cooking process. So, it is best to use ceramic, glass, and other utensils available for microwave use.
- Prick the skin several times on each side as they might burst due to the rapid heat increase.
- Cover them with a bowl to ensure that the microwave’s interior won’t be soaked with moisture.
- Don’t utilize any oil since it sprays your microwave’s inside.
- Use a safety cap or a glass or ceramic bowl.
- Do not crowd the microwave. Should you have a lot to cook, then it is best to boil them or microwave them in batches.
- Don’t utilize cling film or saran wrap.
How Long Does It Take to Do So?
It depends on various elements like your microwave type, amount of potatoes, potato types and sizes, and what dishes you are preparing. In general, it takes about 10 minutes to soften potatoes in a microwave oven.
It is best to set the cooking timer for about five minutes on high and track if they are cooked. If not, you should increase the timer to 30-second intervals. Remember that the thicker potatoes, the longer the cooking time is.
It might cook quicker at the edge than the middle because of the operation mechanism of microwaves. You can almost evenly cook them if you set the machine on medium, although it takes longer.
Is It Better to Microwave Or to Boil?
Depend on your demand, it might be less messy and faster to cook in microwaves. We have to admit that the best way to cook here is to boil them.
Whether you need potatoes for gravy, mashed potatoes, and casserole, it is advisable to boil them. The reason is that you will better know how cooked your potatoes are. Accordingly, you can manage the cooking process like a breeze for evenly cooked dishes.
What Can You Do With Microwaved Potatoes?
Unlike boiling, when cooking potatoes in a microwave oven, you will get dried, cooked potatoes. So microwaved potatoes are a great option for recipes that require low moisture levels, like potato lasagna and shepherd’s pie.
Besides, you can use potatoes cooked in microwaves as toppings and stretch the meatball composition. We highly recommend you mash and crush microwaved potatoes and mix them with cheese or whatever you like.
Then you season with salt, some garlic powder, smoked paprika, pepper, rosemary, and onion powder. Evenly mix them and shape them into small sausages or rolls.
The last step is baking potatoes in high temperatures for several minutes or setting them under a broiler to have baked potatoes. You will get very nice potato rolls with cheese and a tender flavor.
Can You Eat The Skin Of A Microwaved Sweet Potato?
Yes, you can eat the microwaved skin if you want. Sweet potato skins have several health benefits. According to this research, medium-sized sweet potatoes with skin can deliver:
- Carbs: 30 g
- Calories 130 g
- Protein: 3 g
- Fiber: 5 g
- Vitamin C: 31% of Daily Value (DV)
- ProVitamin A: 154% of DV
- Potassium: 15% of DV
The sweet potatoes’ fiber content comes mainly from the skin. Thus, removing it can decrease the fiber intake in your body. Otherwise, if you leave the peel on when microwaving, you can benefit from optimal nutrient retention.
You do not need to peel the potatoes before microwaving. It is best to pierce them a few times with the fork and cook them with their skin.
Though most nutrients are in the flesh, its peel can deliver dietary fibers, seal vitamins into the flesh and thwart oxidation that diminishes nutritional levels.
Also, it is advisable not to cut potatoes into small pieces before microwaving as they will be exposed, thus, encouraging oxidation. If you don’t want to eat the peel, leave sweet potatoes cool after cooking and peel off them before serving.
Does Microwaving Potatoes Kill Nutrients?
Microwaving doesn’t change the chemical structure of potatoes as it just heats up their water molecules. Thus, it cannot kill nutrients found in potatoes. Instead, microwaving is one of the least likely cooking forms to damage food nutrients.
The reason is that the longer food is cooked, the higher nutrient levels tend to dissolve. And as you already know, microwaving takes less time than other cooking methods.
In other words, there’s less time for nutrients to break down. Cooking potatoes in the microwave can be ideal for retaining the essential minerals and vitamins as long as you cook it right.
Is it safe to cook potatoes in the microwave? Our answer is yes, but keep in mind to leave the skin on when microwaving to keep nutrients. Besides, to safely microwave, you had better pierce them with a fork to avoid explosion inside the oven.
Still, to be honest, if you want to retain the highest level of nutrients, it is best to use the boiling method rather than microwaving.