Jacket potatoes make the perfect quick recipe. They’re easy, they’re filling and oh-so-satisfying to eat.
The stumbling block for many of us though is that oven baking these taste bombs is that they can take the best part of an hour to bake.
That’s why today we’re taking a shortcut with one of our best cooking hacks and looking at how to cook a jacket potato in the microwave.
This method is a lazy cook’s favorite – the time from raw to steaming potato on a plate is about 15 minutes.
Let’s get started with your favourite new cooking hack…
Hunt Down the Perfect Potato
We don’t want to make this complicated, but there’s something important you need to know: Not all potatoes are created equal. Russets are your go-to potato for fluffy microwaving.
Be sure to remember that if you are making more than one, try to get them all roughly the same size so that they are ready at the same time.
Time for a Wash Down
You want to make sure the potato is clean, but don’t go scrubbing so hard that you remove the skin. Potato skin is chock full of good minerals and fiber.
Scrub the potatoes and pat dry with a paper towel. Line your potatoes up so you can admire them because the next step is brutal.
Pick up a fork and jab it into the potato several times on all sides. If you don’t prick the potato, the steam will build up under the skin and the potato will explode all over the inside of your microwave. Messy and no dinner.
Place the potatoes on a microwave safe dish. Cooking time may vary by a minute or two depending on the size of the potato and the number of potatoes being cooked.
For one medium-sized potato, cook on full power for five minutes. Turn the potatoes over and cook for another five minutes. Use tongs or a fork to flip the potatoes because they’ll be hot.
To check if the potatoes are done, give the potatoes a poke with a paring knife to see if it’s soft all the way to the center. If not, continue to cook in 1-minute bursts until the potatoes are done.
It’s Eating Time
Remove the potatoes from the microwave with oven mitts. Let the potatoes cool for a second or two. Then cut each potato in half lengthwise. Mash up the insides a little and add salt, pepper and butter to taste. Voilà, potato divinity.
Now you have the basic microwaved jacket potato under your belt, what’s next? There’s a world of variations out there, each one more yummy than the next. Here are a few change-ups that might interest you.
1. Crispy skin microwaved potatoes
If you want a more traditional baked-in-the-oven crispy potato jacket, pre-heat the oven to 450°F at the same time you put the potatoes in the microwave. After they are cooked, transfer the potatoes to the oven and check every few minutes until the skin is crisp.
2. Kid-friendly cheesy potatoes
I’m a cheese maniac, so I’m on board with any excuse to squeeze cheese in.
Microwave the potatoes, grate some cheddar cheese and sprinkle on top of the split potato.
Put the potatoes back in microwave for 30 seconds to melt the cheese. You can even smuggle in some extra vitamins by hiding a small amount of steamed broccoli under the cheese.
3. Leek, apple and bacon
Impress the everyone (and I mean everyone) with this easy recipe.
While the potatoes are microwaving as described above, cook the bacon. Grate one apple and some cheese. Cheddar is a good choice.
Now for the leeks. Discard the outer leaves of one leak and cut 4 inches off the green tops. Little grains of dirt are hiding between the stalks, so you need to separate the stalks to wash them thoroughly.
Slice the leek leaves in about half an inch pieces and place in a microwavable bowl. Grind some black pepper over the leeks and cover the with top with cling wrap, leaving a little space to let the steam out. When the potatoes are done, set them aside and move the leeks into the microwave. Cook the leeks on full power for about two minutes.
Chop up the bacon and add the grated apple and bacon to the leeks. Slice each potato in half and scoop out the potato into a bowl. Mix in the leeks, apple, and bacon and put the filling back in the potato jacket. Sprinkle the cheese on top and return to the microwave until the cheese has melted. So good, so impressive.
Those are 3 of our favorite ways to microwave a jacket potato, but there are countless topping ideas out there. What’s your go-to? Let me know in the comments below!