How Long Should You Microwave A Sweet Potato?

Whether you're making sweet potato casserole or you're just craving a baked sweet potato with a little butter, salt, and pepper, you likely don't want to wait the hour or more that it can take to bake a sweet potato in the oven. Of course, if you're mashing the sweet potato or turning it into a casserole, you can peel, dice, and boil the sweet potato rather than baking it, but why do that extra work if you don't have to?

Your microwave can turn a raw sweet potato into fluffy, orange goodness in a minimal amount of time. According to Mashed recipe developer Kristen Carli and her recipe for sweet potato casserole, all you need to do is poke your potatoes with a fork a few times and then microwave each one individually for eight minutes. If you want to microwave multiple sweet potatoes at the same time, Mashed recipe developer Sher Castellano shared in her 15-minute loaded sweet potato recipe that she microwaves her sweet potatoes two at a time for three minutes before turning the spuds over and repeating that time. You'll know your potatoes are done when they're soft to the touch and you can easily poke through them with a fork.

What to know if your sweet potato isn't cooking through

Of course, no cooking hack is without its drawbacks. For example, if you're microwaving a sweet potato and forget to poke those necessary holes in its skin, the spud could explode in your microwave. On the other hand, if you don't microwave your potato long enough, it won't cook all the way through, and you'll need to zap it longer.

But what do you do if you've microwaved (and microwaved, and microwaved) your sweet potato and it's still hard in spots? If you suspect something's wrong, you might have stored your sweet potatoes improperly before cooking. If you put your sweet potatoes in the fridge after returning home from the grocery store, the spuds can become extra-hard in the middle, even after cooking. Plus, they just won't taste or look the same. So, if you're microwaving a sweet potato and it's just not cooking, you might want to rethink how you've been storing your produce.