Can You Microwave Sweet Potatoes? [How To Microwave Them?]

Image of a man placing sweet potato in a microwave

Do you ever crave a yummy tender sweet potato but don’t want to turn on the oven or cook it on the stove? Well, we have been there too, and while searching for alternate methods to cook a delicious yam, most of us get the question; can sweet potatoes be microwaved?

Yes, you can microwave sweet potatoes pretty easily. Pierce a fork through the sweet potato a few times all around, and rub olive oil over it. Enclose it in a paper towel, and place it in the microwave for 10 minutes, turning it after five minutes. It’s easy and quick to do and saves electricity.

Even though you can microwave sweet potatoes, there are specific steps you should take when microwaving them to ensure they get done correctly without entirely deflating and losing meat. You also need to take care so that your sweet potatoes don’t explode in the microwave. Let’s discuss this in detail below.

Can You Really Microwave Sweet Potatoes?

Whether you want a quick fix, don’t own a stove, or it’s too hot to turn the oven on, or you’re simply looking for an alternative cooking method, you can cook your sweet potatoes in the microwave.

It’s a quick, easy and efficient technique that provides you with tender, meaty, delicious sweet potatoes that you can add to any meal or enjoy with a sprinkle of salt and pepper or cinnamon if you like.

There are specific ways to cook sweet potatoes in the oven and stove and when using the microwave as with any food.

Not using the proper methods can lead to exploded, deflated yams – sometimes undone and tasteless.

How To Microwave Sweet Potatoes?

Microwaving sweet potatoes is one of the easiest cooking techniques you will find, and there are so many things you can do with a microwaved yam.

Here’s how to microwave a sweet potato:

  1. Wash and clean your sweet potato well.
  2. Take a fork and pierce it through the sweet potato several times all around. You don’t want to skip this step. It lets steam to penetrate and make the potato tender while preventing the skin from swelling and bursting open.
  3. Rub olive or any other oil you prefer all around the sweet potato. This step is optional.
  4. Sprinkle seasonings of choice like cinnamon or salt. This step is again optional.
  5. Put the sweet potato in a paper towel and fold it closed.
  6. Place it in the microwave for 10 minutes until tender. A fork or knife should easily penetrate through.
  7. Remove, cut, season if preferred, and serve or use as desired.

Note: You can avoid seasoning the sweet potato if you don’t want it. Rubbing oil on the potato helps to add flavor and soften it further. You can omit using a paper towel if you prefer and place the sweet potato on a microwave-safe plate.

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How Long Should You Microwave Sweet Potatoes?

Sweet potato kept on kitchen table

Depending on the size, you can microwave sweet potatoes from 5 minutes to 10 minutes.

Small yams will require only 5-6 minutes.

Larger sweet potatoes need at least 10 minutes, and sometimes longer if they don’t get soft in the stipulated time or the microwave is not high-powered.

It’s also essential to remember to turn the sweet potato onto the other side halfway through the microwave-cooking process so it gets soft evenly throughout.

If you find that the yam isn’t soft right through and slightly undone after the time has passed, put it back in the microwave for 1 to 2 minutes at a time on each side till a fork or knife easily penetrates through the potato.

Should You Add Seasoning Before Microwaving Sweet Potatoes?

You can add seasoning over your sweet potato before microwaving it if you want the seasoning to somewhat cook into the potato and provide more flavor.

However, this is entirely optional. It also depends on how you plan on using the sweet potato.

If you want to make a pie or mashed sweet potato, it may or may not require seasoning before cooking.

If you’re going to season it on the inside after cutting, you can avoid the seasoning before.

It’s all about what you want and how you plan to eat the potato after cooking.

Can Sweet Potatoes Explode In The Microwave?

Sweet potatoes can explode in the microwave, especially if you don’t pierce them before cooking.

When the potato gets hot in the microwave, along with the heating pressure, the skin can burst open, and the meat that has already softened can spit out, creating a mess in the microwave.

This happens because, without poked holes in the sweet potato, there’s no place for steam that gathers in the fleshy inside to escape.

Can More Than One Sweet Potato Be Microwaved Together?

You don’t have to limit yourself to cooking only one sweet potato at a time in the microwave.

The plates in a microwave are large enough to hold 2 to 3 yams at a time and sometimes more if they are tiny.

The best way to microwave more than one sweet potato at a time is by ensuring you place equal-sized ones together.

Otherwise, they will not cook evenly.

If they’re different sizes, particular potatoes might get done before others, and you will end up with either overcooked or undercooked sweet potatoes.

Try to place the yams separately by preventing them from touching and overlapping.

That way, heat surrounds the potatoes properly, and they can cook evenly.

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Is Microwaving Sweet Potatoes Unhealthy?

Microwaving is relatively safe as well as time-efficient.

Using a microwave for sweet potatoes helps retain water-soluble vitamins and doesn’t destroy all its nutrients.

Because it’s time-efficient, it doesn’t overheat the potatoes as an oven would, nor does the potato lose many natural juices like cooking on the stove.

Boiling also causes the vegetable to lose nutrients into the water, whereas microwaving a sweet potato prevents that because it gets done properly yet quickly.

People are often concerned about radioactive enzymes and cancerous properties from the microwave.

According to science, there’s no difference between pan-frying a diced potato or microwaving it because the enzyme affects all cooking methods.

Microwaving a sweet potato might not be the healthiest option available, but it isn’t considered unhealthy compared to other methods.

However, you have to choose what works best for you.

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