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Aug 14, 2008 08:01 AM

Potatoes in the Microwave?

Is there a way to cook potatoes in the microwave without ending in a soggy mess?
We'd like to accompany our steaks on the grill with some form of potato- but I would rather not heat up the regular oven on this hot summer day.
Anyone got any suggestions?

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  1. When I'm pressed for time I may toss a potato or two in the microwave for 5 mins. This gets it softened up a bit and then I will finish them off in the toaster oven @ 400 for a quick, easy baked potato.

    You could also cut up some new potatoes, microwave them for a few minutes with just a small amount of water and then saute them in equal parts butter and olive oil w/ some fresh rosemary, s&p. If you wanted to expand on this option, after sauteing toss them in a bowl w/ some fresh arugula, cherry tomatoes and a light vinaigrette.

    1. Wash potatoes (don't dry), pierce, place in glass bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap or glass lid, microwave: 1 eight oz potato about 6-7 minutes to 4 potatoes 18-22 minutes. let sit for five minutes. Cut open, fluff with fork, and top.

      15 Replies
      1. re: Sam Fujisaka

        What are you doing that makes them a soggy mess? I've never had that happen. If anything, I might overcook and shrivel them.

        I agree with Sam's method, but I don't cover ... just pierce and nuke. Cooking times vary by oven.

        Love the toaster oven idea, maybe finish halved nuked potato on the grill?

        1. re: rworange

          I just pierce and nuke too - but I place the potatoes on a paper towel. Then let sit for a few minutes before I squinch the ends together to open to reveal the flesh.

          1. re: Gio

            I stopped piercing my potatoes. I read somewhere that it's better not to (i have yet to have one blow up on me). When I do run of the mill baked potatoes I just wash them and then slather them in butter and sprinkle w/ kosher salt and bake. It produces the flakiest potato w/ a nice crunchy salty skin.

            1. re: lynnlato

              I've had one blow up on me when I forgot to pierce. Some potatoes probably do have small tears in the skin during the journey from field to table, so that might let the steam escape. Maybe the butter does something to prevent that ... or cooks it quicker since fats cook on maxi-speed in the microwave.

              Yeah, I used to put my potato on a piece of wax paper, but I'm trying to be greener these days and not use paper products as much so it works just plopping it in a plastic container or on a dish ... though the engery to heat water to clean the dish probably makes it a ... wash ... green-wise.

              1. re: rworange

                Yes but - that paper towel can go into the compost heap. Just saying.

                1. re: rworange

                  Just to clarify, I do the butter, kosher salt & pepper when I am baking them - not nuking them. If I nuke them before I bake them, I will nuke them "naked".

                2. re: lynnlato

                  Yours don't explode because you are baking them. They explode when microwaved unless you pierce them.

                  1. re: gariposh

                    rare that any potato that jfood has MV'ed has exploded.

                    1. re: gariposh

                      Never ever ever have I a.) pierced a potato to be "baked" in the microwave, and b.) had one explode for any reason, including lack of piercing.

                      And I'm going back to the first microwave my family got back in the late 1980's, and thousands of potatoes!

                      1. re: gariposh

                        My last post was over a year ago and since then I had a potato explode in the oven while baking. What a mess. This was the first time this has ever happened to me. I'm going to poke atleast one hole in my potatoes from now on, because that is a mess I don't want to clean up again.

                        1. re: lynnlato

                          Was it a Russet? They have the thickest skin so I can imagine they might build up enough pressure without cracking. I have never had an exploding spud in 30yrs of microwaving - I just put the whole potato in, using no towel or dish. Usually it's AP, Yikon Gold, or Red Bliss, sometimes sweet potato. After I few minutes there is a hissing noise as the pressure creates a tear in the skin, through which the steam escapes. I think I have always pierced Russets (Idaho is a russet) because I later put them in the oven to crisp the skin, so I don't want an obvious tear/crack in the skin.

                          1. re: greygarious

                            My guess is that the way potatoes are handled have a lot to do with not exploding as often. After being dug up, dumped in trucks and bins it would be unusal that a potato didn't have some sort of nick or scrape that allows the steam to escape. Rather than playing potato roulette, I'd rather just poke a few holes into it to be safe.

                            1. re: rworange

                              jfood also washes the heck out of them and they are wet when they go in, if that makes any difference.

                            2. re: greygarious

                              Yes, it was a russet. But this was in the oven, not the microwave. I'm poking a hole or two from here on out. That was one nasty mess to clean up. :)

                3. If I'm going to get the outdoor grill going, I start baked taters in the microwave (just poke them a few times, and turn them over once so they don't get mushy) Don't cook them all the way, then put split open, stuff with goodies depending on the diner's preference, wrap in foil, and let finish on the grill. Never had a bad one.

                  1. I have tried a bunch of suggestions for microwaveable and maybe Lynn and Sam's ideas do help, but the short answer is "no": they still don't taste like a bake potator should and the skin is lame and why not wrap in foil and cook on BBQ?

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: LJS

                      My neighbor did this for me last year. She cooked them in the microwave and then put them on the grill as is, no foil, for a few minutes, turning as necessary and the skin was like it was baked in the oven.

                      1. re: jesoda

                        I get excellent results doing the partially cooked (well...if 90% is considered partial) potato in the mirowave, and then finish on the grill technique. I'll split them in half lengthwise, brush with rosemary infused olive oil, and then put the flat part directly on the grates. You can flip them if they are getting overdone on that side, and that is when I just move them to the back corner to just stay warm until the meat is done.

                      2. re: LJS

                        I forgot--I do salt the skin. The result can be a somewhat crispy skin. When I MW a potato to make my daughter mashed potatoes (which come out great, BTW), we fight over the skin.

                      3. My favorite way to serve potatoes when the grill's fired up is to cut them into thick wedges, toss the wedges in a bowl with lots of good olive oil and coarse salt, par-cook them in the microwave, then brown 'em up on the grill while the steaks rest.