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Sep 22, 2004 03:46 PM

Best way to bake a sweet potato in the oven?

  • l

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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  1. 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

      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

        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

          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

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

      2. 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

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

          1. re: kiwi

            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

              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

                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 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

                  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

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

            2. re: Candy

              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. 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.

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

              2. 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. 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

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

                    1. re: sunshine842

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

                      1. re: Delucacheesemonger

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

                      2. re: sunshine842

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