There is no need to heat up the kitchen for an hour or more when you want to bake potatoes. You can make baked potatoes in the microwave that are just as light, fluffy and delicious as those made in a conventional oven. The secret is in choosing the appropriate variety of potato and then preparing it correctly. You can bake four potatoes, add your favourite toppings and serve them to your family in the time that it takes a large oven to heat to 176 degrees C.
Choose a starchy potato variety whenever your recipe calls for baking them. Starch helps the potato become soft and fluffy as it cooks. Two popular baking potatoes are long whites and russets.
Choose same size potatoes for microwave cooking. They will bake evenly and finish at the same time. Otherwise, small potatoes may overcook or large potatoes under cook.
Wash the potato skins using a vegetable brush and then rinse them under running water to remove all residues. Farms do not wash potatoes when harvested to lessen the chance of damaging the skin.
Cut a small wedge in each potato that is 1 inch deep and 1/8 inch wide. Remove this wedge and discard. This allows the steam to escape completely and results in a fluffy potato.
Brush oil on the skin if you want it crispy. Otherwise, skip this step.
Put the potatoes in a covered microwave dish. Bake on full power for 10 to 12 minutes, depending on the wattage of your microwave. Check the potatoes after 10 minutes by piercing with a fork to see if they are tender.
Cut a lengthwise slit in the top of each potato. Fluff the pulp with a fork.
Add your favourite toppings, such as butter, bacon, sour cream and chives or chilli. If your toppings include cheese, then cook for one minute on high to melt it.