If you are short on time and hungry, nothing is more satisfying than a perfectly baked potato. The contrast between the fluffy interior and crispy skin delights the taste buds. The traditional method of baking potatoes in the oven is still popular, but the microwave provides a convenient and quick alternative without sacrificing flavour or texture. This article will guide you through simple steps for a fluffy, delicious, quick baked potato in the microwave.
How to Choose the Right Potato
Selecting the right potato before you begin the microwave baking process is important. The high starch content of russet potatoes (Idaho potatoes) makes them a great choice. When cooked, this starch turns into a fluffy texture. Red or Yukon Gold can also work if you want a creamier texture.
Preparation: Scrubbing and pricking
- Scrubbing: Begin by thoroughly washing the potatoes in running water. This will remove dirt and debris. Keep the skin on the potatoes for the microwave, which will help them retain moisture. It also provides a tasty contrast to the fluffy inside.
- Pricking: Use a fork or a knife with a pointy edge to make small punctures in each potato. The skin is pricked to allow steam to escape and prevent the potatoes from bursting during cooking.
Seasonings and Coatings
You can enhance the flavour of microwave-baked potato by adding different seasonings and coatings.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Salt A drizzle of extra virgin olive oil sprinkled with sea salt makes a delicious seasoning.
- Garlic & Herbs Rub potatoes with minced fresh garlic and herbs of your choice, such as thyme or rosemary.
- Butter with Chives: A generous pat of butter and finely chopped chives add a creamy and savoury flavour to potatoes.
The Microwave Baking Process
- Microwave-Safe Dish: Place your potatoes in a microwave-safe dish. It’s important to keep some space between the potatoes to ensure an even cook. Cover the dish using a lid that is microwave-safe or plastic wrap. Leave a small opening for steam to escape.
- Microwave Time: Cooking time will vary based on the size and number of potatoes and the microwave’s wattage. According to a general rule, microwave a medium potato on high power for 5-7 minutes. Increase the cooking time for larger potatoes. For even results, remember to flip the potatoes halfway through cooking.
- Resting period: Allow the potatoes to sit in the microwave for a few moments after microwaving. This resting time allows the residual heat to continue cooking the potatoes, ensuring the potato’s interior is fluffy and tender.
Servings and toppings
After microwaving your potatoes, you can turn them into a delicious meal.
- Splitting: Cut a lengthwise slit into the top of every potato. Gently push the ends towards the centre to fluff the interior.
- Toppers: Be creative! The classics such as sour cream, cheddar cheese and chives will always be popular. You can add cooked bacon, sauteed mushroom or steamed broccoli for a hearty potato.
- Seasoning: Season your potatoes with a little salt and pepper for a final touch.
The microwave-baked potato proves you can have a delicious and fluffy baked potato in just a fraction of the time. You can satisfy your cravings with the right seasonings and preparation. Next time you’re short on time but crave the comfort of baked potatoes, use your microwave to make it happen. You’ll enjoy the crisp exterior and fluffy interior in just a few minutes.