How Do You Cook a Baked Potato in the Microwave? (Full Guide)

How do you cook a baked potato in the microwave

Lindsey, do you know how to cook a baked potato in the microwave? This is one of the questions our readers ask a lot. Well, we´ve got you covered.

Baked potatoes loaded with toppings are a comforting and nutritious dinner, but many of us only order them at restaurants because it’s hard to plan ahead enough to let them roast for an hour in the oven. Potato-lovers don’t despair! Did you know you can cook delicious baked potatoes in your microwave in around 10 minutes? 

Microwaves vary, but for an average-sized baking potato (around 10 ounces), microwave for 3-4 minutes per side until soft. Make sure you pierce the potato with a fork 3-4 times before cooking to allow moisture to escape. 

Here are the main steps that you need to cook a baked potato in the microwave which included:

  1. Prep Your Potato
  2. Spread Out Potatoes in Microwave
  3. Turn Them Over Carefully Halfway Through
  4. Test for Tenderness
  5. Let Potatoes Rest
  6. Serve With Your Favorite Toppings!

Read on for a few tips on how to make baked potatoes in the microwave and you can have a delicious potato meal any night of the week. 

How Do I Cook a Microwave Baked Potato? (Step By Step)

1.    Prep Your Potato

Wash your potato thoroughly and scrub off any caked on dirt. Dry the skin as much as possible. Pierce the skin with a fork three or four times so the moisture can escape.

If you don’t pierce the potato with a fork or knife, it may end up exploding in your microwave! 

2.    Spread Out Potatoes in Microwave

Place one potato in the middle of your microwave. If cooking more than one potato, make sure they are spaced apart and not touching. 

3.    Turn Them Over Carefully Halfway Through

Be careful–they will be very hot and there will be hot steam coming out of the puncture holes. You will want a potholder or oven glove and a fork or spatula to turn them with. 

4.    Test for Tenderness

After the initial cooking time, insert a fork to test for doneness. The potato should be soft all over, with no uncooked hard spots.

If you notice that the potato is not cooked through, cook for another minute and then check again. You can repeat these minute increments until the potato is completely cooked. 

5.    Let Potatoes Rest

Before removing them from the microwave, let the potatoes rest and cool for a minute or two. After they have cooled slightly, transfer them to a plate to serve. 

6.    Serve With Your Favorite Toppings!

There are any number of things you can put on a baked potato! You can stick with the usual toppings such as sour cream, butter, cheese, scallions, or bacon bits.

You could also get adventurous and go with chili, steamed broccoli, salsa, beans, olives, or roasted garlic. 

You can store uneaten potatoes in the refrigerator. 

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How Do I Make a Crispy Baked Potato in the Microwave?

Many chefs par bake potatoes in the microwave and then finish baking them in the oven to achieve the desired skin crispiness.

You can certainly do this too in order to save time while attaining that perfect crispy skin on your baked potato. 

Preheat your oven to 425℉. Cook the potato in the microwave as indicated above. When it is done, remove from the microwave, and place on a baking pan. It will be hot so be careful!

Drizzle oil or melted butter over the potato and sprinkle generously with sea salt. You can also season with black pepper if desired. 

Place the potato directly on the middle oven rack. Place the baking pan below to catch any dripping. 

Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes until the skin is crispy and the potato is soft. Serve immediately after baking. 

With this method, don’t use aluminum foil, which will retain moisture and make the skin damp instead of crispy. 

How Do I Cut Microwaved Baked Potatoes?

They should be soft and easy to cut. You can cut them however you want, though it always looks fancy to cut them both lengthwise and crosswise and then push in the skins and fluff the inside with a fork. 

If you are adding a lot of toppings, you may want to just cut lengthwise so you can load them up with delicious goodies.

 How Long Do I Microwave a Baked Potato?

This will depend a little on your microwave, but for a typical Russet baking potato, you will want to start with three or four minutes per side. After cooking it should be uniformly soft with no hard sections. 

For a very large potato, add a minute per side. You may also want to cut a really large potato into two sections for easier cooking. 

If you are cooking small potatoes, reduce the time by a minute per side. 

Start with these parameters and see how it goes. You may have to adjust the time based on your own microwave.

Traditionally baked potatoes are made from Russet potatoes, though you can bake any kind of potato in the microwave, and they will be delicious.

You may have to experiment with the amount of time needed if you are trying a different type of potato. 

How Long Do Two Potatoes Take in the Microwave?

More potatoes equals more cooking time. Add a minute of cooking time for each additional potato. So, for two potatoes, start with 4-5 minutes per side.

You can cook several potatoes at a time, though your microwave may not be able to handle more than three or four to achieve even cooking. 

If you want to cook more than four, split them into two groups.

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Baked Potatoes FAQ

Are baked potatoes better in the oven or microwave?

This is a matter of personal preference, though cooking in the oven will probably give you a better texture.

Many cooks find that potatoes cooked only in the microwave have a mealy texture. That said, you can save yourself a lot of time and make a delicious baked potato entirely in the microwave whenever the potato craving strikes. 

You can also combine the two methods to save time and have a perfect potato. Rather than 45-60 minutes in the oven, you can cook in the microwave first as indicated and then finish in the oven for 10-15 minutes. 

How do you keep potatoes from getting hard in the microwave?

If your potato has hard, uncooked spots, you may need to rotate the potato more than just flipping it over halfway through.

This may be especially true if your microwave does not have a turntable. You may need to rotate the potatoe every minute and then flip halfway through.

Is it bad to bake a potato in the microwave?

Baking a potato completely in the microwave will give you a soft, cooked potato that is just as nutritious as potatoes baked in the oven.

You can’t crisp the potato skin in the microwave, however, so If you want a crispier outside you will need to cook in the oven for additional time. 


If you love baked potatoes or are just looking for some new quick dinner ideas that can please the whole family, microwaved baked potatoes may be just the thing you are looking for.

Baked potatoes are inexpensive and nutritious, and with a range of toppings, they can be customized even for picky eaters. 

With the help of the microwave, you can make delicious baked potatoes in less than the hour it would usually take–and if you finish them off in the oven, no one will probably be able to tell the difference. 



Lindsey graduated with an MBA in 2009. Since then, Lindsey has worked in the retail and consumer service industry as a manager, advisor, and marketer. Lindsey is also the head writer and Co-founder of Lindsey is based in Morgantown, West Virginia.

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