Whether you’re making mashed potatoes, boiled potatoes or baked potatoes, if you want to microwave potatoes then there are a few easy methods to try. For years I have found that microwave ovens are always better the smaller the quantities you’re dealing with – and I cook for one person.
Quick Jacket Potato:
If you just want a quick jacket potato, then all you need do is wash/prick the skin of the potato, then put it in the microwave oven and microwave it for 10-15 minutes (turn/check it every 3 minutes or so) until it’s soft all the way through. Some people like to wrap the potato in kitchen towel first.
Personally, although I used to do this, I found that the texture of the potato was altered and it really wasn’t that nice. These days I steam the potato in a microwave steamer. This keeps the potato more moist and the texture is much more fluffy.
This method works well for jacket potatoes as well as regular boiled potatoes (for potato salad or mash).
- I start by washing the skin, then slicing the potato in half. I will typically use two small/medium potatoes, not one huge one, giving me four halves.
- These then go into the microwave steamer with the white side up, put water into the steamer and microwave on full power for 5 minutes. I then turn the potato halves over and microwave on full power for 5 minutes again. I then turn the potato halves over – so the whites are uppermost again – and microwave the potatoes for a further 3-5 minutes. A total of 13-15 minutes.
The reason I do it this way is that the potatoes will get very cooked/fluffy, so they become harder to turn over without falling apart, which is why it’s best to have the white side (inside) uppermost during the final cooking minutes.
If I plan to make mash with the potatoes, then I’ll slice the potatoes up thinner and turn/stir them around every 5 minutes. My simple mash potato recipe is to slice the potatoes, then steam them in the microwave, then tip them into a bowl with a knob of butter and use a fork to mash them up by hand.
What’s great about using the microwave to make jacket potatoes (or boiled potatoes) is that you’re not spending time waiting for a saucepan of water to come to the boil, you’re not creating masses of steam, you’re not having to carry/drain a saucepan of water and the washing up is smaller, so easier!