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best way to bake a sweet potato in the oven

LA Sep 22, 2004 03:46 PM

to foil or not to foil? what temp is best? and for how long? I know that it depends on the oven, but general recs would be very much appreciated!

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    Alan408 RE: LA Sep 22, 2004 03:59 PM

    wash/scrub,slice off ends, oil, wrap in foil, 325-350 for 60+ minutes.

    I like my baked sweet potato to be mushy, I start testing (gently apply pressure i.e.,squeeze it) after 1 hour. Depending on the thickness, may take more than 60 minutes.

    I don't think the temperature has to be exact, as you noted, oven temperature may vary. I recently baked some at 325, but remember baking some at 350.

    I used to bake (russet) potatoes in the coals of a campfire. That taught me, cooking potatoes does not require a specific temperature. When they are squeezeable, they are done.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Alan408
      kiwi RE: Alan408 Sep 22, 2004 04:07 PM

      Doesn't it depend on if you want to eat the skin? I like it, so it's probably bad for you.

      1. re: kiwi
        Mrs. Smith RE: kiwi Sep 22, 2004 04:42 PM

        For russet potatoes, unless there are green spots (mildly toxic), and the skins were well scrubbed, the skin is VERY good for you. That's where almost all the fiber is, and some of the vitamins!

        1. re: kiwi
          Val RE: kiwi Sep 22, 2004 04:48 PM

          Actually, eating the sweet potato WITH the skin is the best way nutritionally speaking because of all the fiber in the skin; sweet potatoes are a great food value if you don't glop them all up with too much butter and/or brown sugar.

          1. re: Val
            Ellen RE: Val Sep 23, 2004 09:02 AM

            A fabulous light dinner is sweet potatoes topped with a good plain yogurt and fresh coriander chutney. Sweet, smooth, tart, spicy. Yum!

      2. c
        Candy RE: LA Sep 22, 2004 04:57 PM

        No need to cut off ends or wrap in foil, but I would suggest you put them on a piece of foil because as they get sone they will ooze sugar syrup which will burn on to your oven's floor.

        7 Replies
        1. re: Candy
          kiwi RE: Candy Sep 22, 2004 05:31 PM

          But you do need to prick 'em so they don't explode.

          1. re: kiwi
            Candy RE: kiwi Sep 22, 2004 06:54 PM

            I've never had a sweet potato explode in over 30 years of baking them. I would prick a regular russet potato, but I bake them with potato nails in them so it is unnecessary.

            1. re: Candy
              kc girl RE: Candy Sep 23, 2004 12:34 AM

              Please tell me more about potato nails. I Googled and it seems there are different materials and grades.

              What is your experience with use?


              1. re: kc girl
                gordon wing RE: kc girl Sep 23, 2004 01:44 PM

                in the past one of my room mates just had some big nails from the hardware store that we stuck into the taters to speed up the cooking....it would be better to get one that wouldn't leach some kind of mineral into the food, I guess. you can just stick a fork into the potato also that works pretty well - takes up more room because of the handle but you already have a drawer full of forks.

                1. re: kc girl
                  Candy RE: kc girl Sep 23, 2004 04:22 PM

                  Mine are aluminum and are about 6" long. Insert lengthwise into a baker. They help the potato bake more evenly. My mom always used them and we stocked them in a kitchen shop I worked in years ago but similar sized nail from the hardware store should work too.

                  1. re: Candy
                    Bugmen0t RE: Candy Sep 19, 2012 07:24 PM

                    Whatever you do, don't use galvanized steel. Hot zinc fumes are very toxic.

            2. re: Candy
              EWSflash RE: Candy Aug 17, 2013 06:09 PM

              Oh boy, yes they do ooze. The good thing is, you can peel the crusty drips off the foil and they taste like candy.

            3. a
              Andy T. RE: LA Sep 23, 2004 08:19 AM

              I rub them with oil. I read somewhere that seals in the moisture and helps them cook faster. I also put them on a rack on top of a foil lined cookie sheet to catch the drips. The rack allows the hot air to circulate completely around the potato, again speeding up the cooking. I cook them at 400 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Andy T.
                kathymn RE: Andy T. Nov 22, 2012 03:39 AM

                Placing foil underneath is a good idea. They do drip.

              2. Uncle Bob RE: LA Sep 20, 2012 11:05 AM

                Wash, dry, oil if it makes you happy.. but not necessary . ~~ Place in a cast iron skillet or griddle or on a cookie sheet...into a 350* oven...They're done when they feel soft.


                1. j
                  jmnewel RE: LA Sep 20, 2012 11:22 AM

                  Scrub and rinse (no need to dry). Cut off ends or not (I do). Place a bit of foil on an oven rack, top with potatoes, not touching, and bake anywhere from 325° to 400°, depending how much time you have and what else is in the oven. I usually do 400° for about 35 to 40 minutes for relatively slim sweet potatoes. I do prick after 30 minutes, because I have had them explode. I never understood oiling a potato skin. I like them nice and crispy.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: jmnewel
                    sunshine842 RE: jmnewel Nov 21, 2012 11:41 PM

                    Oiling helps them get crispy -- it's almost like micro-frying on the surface.

                    1. re: sunshine842
                      Delucacheesemonger RE: sunshine842 Nov 22, 2012 12:43 AM

                      Exactly and l pierce in the beginning. Can assume all are talking about yams not yellow.white sweet potatoes.

                      1. re: Delucacheesemonger
                        sandylc RE: Delucacheesemonger Sep 26, 2013 05:58 PM

                        Those "yams" really ARE orange sweet potatoes...

                      2. re: sunshine842
                        coll RE: sunshine842 Nov 22, 2012 03:05 AM

                        I coat them with bacon grease, just made a couple last night for breakfast today topped with yogurt.

                        1. re: coll
                          sunshine842 RE: coll Nov 22, 2012 03:31 AM

                          that would be good!

                    2. k
                      kathymn RE: LA Nov 22, 2012 03:39 AM

                      Just pulled mine out of the oven. Wash/scrub your sweet potatoes. Dry. Place on rack in middle of oven. Bake for 50ish minutes. Test for doneness by squeezing a bit. (don't burn your hand...use a dish towel or something.) Then remove from oven and place on rack on counter to cool. Once cool, spoon out of skins and then do your thing with spices, etc. :) If you are not using the skins for anything I don't see any reason to oil them either. The point of baking them in their skins is to get them nice and carmelized which is so much tastier than boiling them.. Although I am also making an Emeril recipe that calls for boiled. Good luck.

                      1. Avocadess RE: LA Aug 17, 2013 02:54 PM

                        I would not use aluminum foil -- who wants aluminum seeping into their food? What I do is put a thin layer of water on the bottom of a baking pan (I use a casserole type dish) and set the yam(s) in that for cooking. That way if there is any leaking it's still easy to clean up, and keeps the yam from getting dry while cooking. (That's my logic anyhow.)

                        1. monavano RE: LA Aug 17, 2013 03:03 PM

                          I precook my potatoes in the microwave until almost cooked through, then transfer into 425 oven for about 10-15 minutes. Definitely us foil under, as sweep potatoes will ooze. And, never microwave with a kitchen towel under because the sap can catch on fire.
                          Yep, did that once.

                          1. r
                            rasputina RE: LA Aug 18, 2013 11:59 AM

                            Turn on oven, get out sheet pan, place sweet potatoes on it. Put pan in oven. Cook.

                            1. x
                              xebob RE: LA Sep 26, 2013 05:17 PM

                              The exact temp or time does not matter so much as simply covering them with foil when you bake them. My potatoes always came out dry and tough until I learned that simple trick. Just tearing off some foil and laying on top works just fine.

                              1. a
                                ameristar RE: LA Nov 18, 2013 01:00 PM

                                I yam what I yam

                                1. d
                                  DoloresW RE: LA Dec 16, 2013 07:49 AM

                                  Using aluminum foil seems wasteful to me, and may be toxic, so after washing the sweet potatoes and piercing them to let out steam, I oil them with coconut oil (olive oil would work just as well), and they come out with delicious soft skin.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: DoloresW
                                    coll RE: DoloresW Dec 16, 2013 09:11 AM

                                    I coat them with bacon fat myself. But sweet potatoes, I don't eat the skin, unlike regular potatoes.

                                  2. a
                                    alow733 RE: LA Apr 19, 2014 01:01 AM

                                    We leave our skin on, the drippings add flava. House burning smell is awesome...ppl come in to our house and be like "are you cooking yams!??!" and we reply.....I yam.

                                    1. s
                                      schrutefarms RE: LA Apr 19, 2014 01:06 AM

                                      This is how I make them…
                                      Sliced (about 1/4-1/2 inch thick rounds)
                                      Place in a single layer in a glass baking dish
                                      small pat of butter on each one
                                      sprinkle with coarsely chopped garlic and salt
                                      bake until soft

                                      I'm just not a huge fan of sweet potatoes unless they are salty/garlicky/buttery. I really like them this way.

                                      1. k
                                        kathymn RE: LA Apr 19, 2014 03:08 AM

                                        I microwave them sometimes for a quick n easy side dish to salmon or chicken. But keep in mind the small, nubby ends of the yam will most likely get overcooked and inedible compared to the delish main potato. Just pop it open, scoop out the orange goodness, add some freshly grated nutmeg, a touch of brown sugar, a dribble of orange juice...mash it together with the back of your fork right on your plate. Yum

                                        1. q
                                          Querencia RE: LA Apr 19, 2014 07:16 PM

                                          Does such a thing still exist as a coal furnace in a house? Probably not. When I was a child our furnace had a ledge inside where my mother used to bake potatoes and sweet potatoes. A lovely method.

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