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Mar 11, 2012 07:00 PM

'microwave-ready' potato


A friend's husband asked my help preparing "microwave-ready" sweet potatoes. Never having seen these before, I peeled off the wrapping, pierced the spuds, and nuked conventionally. Today he called from the market, telling me they should have been left wrapped, and not pierced. Seems 1. unsafe to leave food tightly wrapped in whatever the clear wrap is and 2. not to pierce to allow steam to escape. What is the story with this product?

  1. That isn't making sense to me. I'd have done exactly the same thing. I wonder if "microwave ready" isn't a marketing term or something. I've seen oven ready baked potatoes, wrapped in foil and prepierced so you chuck them in the oven. Maybe the wrap used was microwave safe and the sweet potatoes were prepiereced which is why you paid a premium for them (I know, that's an assumption, but I suspect they cost more than regular sweet potatoes). Ya got me! :)

    3 Replies
    1. re: freia

      I'm sure they cost more to pay for the wrapping, and the 'pre-washing'. + the so-called convenience factor. Still don't like the idea of the plastic(?) touching the food. And I saw no evidence they were vented. I just can't understand what is so hard about preparing a potato to nuke it, that such a product is even dreamt of.

      1. re: vmjk23

        There is no end to the "convenience" that some will seek I think! I don't like plastic in a microwave, and heck, I use glass for leftovers. I've always wondered why there is a market for "oven ready baking potatoes". They are over a dollar EACH up here, and all I can see is they are wrapped in foil. They must sell, though, or they wouldn't be on the shelves. Maybe the microwave ready sweet potato is a marketing experiment. I've never seen that around here, well, at least, not yet.

      2. re: freia

        Trader Joes has a variety of vegetables in microwave ready packaging. Mostly they are small ones, or precut (e.g. cubed butternut squash). The packaging tends to be loose, and may instruct you to poke a vent hole.

        I haven't seen a whole sweet potato wrapped in plastic and labeled that way, but I wouldn't be surprised if I did.

        Typically vegetables are microwaved in way that captures enough steam to help cook them, but not build up dangerous pressure.

      3. I have a friend, who rarely cooks. And she buys these pre-wrapped microwave potatoes, either in white or yellow form. I came to dinner one night and inspected the potatoes. They appear to be very clean and neatly wrapped (tightly) plastic. No vent holes that I saw on any of them.
        I asked what the draw was to this particular product and she said that "them beng all prepared to go into the microwave". I told her that at $1.00 each, she could have bought 5lbs of potatoes for less money and all they would need to be nuked was washing and poking a couple of holes in them. I believe this product is made simply for people who don't cook much and aren't aware of how basic it is to toss a couple of potatoes in the microwave.

        BTW, my friend can do esquisite arts and crafts that scare the heck out of me, lol! She just doesn't like to cook!

        1. You do not need to pay extra $$ for wrapped sweet potatoes in the micorwave. I cook them all the time this way and I just poke the potato a few times with a skewer and place directly on the turntable. I check after 6-7 minutes, depending on size, for doneness.
          A bit of caution-- one time, I place the pierced potatoes on a dish towel so that it would absorb the syrupy liquid that sometimes comes out when heated. The hot, hot juice burned a whole in my terry towel and it started to smoke and almost burn!
          So.... don't do that ;-)

          1. I think the individually wrapped ones aren't worth the price, I get 1.5 pound bags of sweet potatoes for $1.99, you throw the whole bag into the microwave.

            I'm not going to wash potatoes or sweet potatoes if I can help it, life is too short for that.

            1. Since there is another thread on this topic with more responses, we're going to lock this one. You can find the other thread at the link below.