Tips for Making Baked Sweet Potatoes

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Cooking sweet potatoes has never been easier than with the help of this comprehensive guide. No matter what kind of oven you own, you'll be able to make the perfect baked sweet potato with these tried-and-true methods.

baked sweet potatoes on plate

The sweetness and flavor of sweet potatoes come through so strongly on their own that they are delicious in their naked state. Still, nothing beats a freshly baked sweet potato, slathered in butter, and sprinkled with a generous amount of flaky sea salt as soon as it comes out of the oven.

Served with a variety of condiments, sweet potatoes make a delicious main dish. They are versatile and can be used as a side dish or in a number of sweet potato dishes.

Sweet potatoes are a great food choice because they are tasty and nutritious. You can get some plant-based protein from sweet potatoes, in addition to the potassium and fiber they provide.  

My favorite way to prepare sweet potatoes is to roast them in the oven or air fryer until they are fluffy on the inside and crisp on the outside, but knowing how to cook sweet potatoes in the microwave is also useful. Read on to pick up all three approaches, and use them whenever you like!

A Look at the Table of Contents

sweet potato in microwave on paper towel

The easiest and quickest way to cook a sweet potato is in the microwave. Less than 10 minutes is all it takes to get a soft and warm sweet potato.

  1. Get the sweet potato clean and dry.
  2. Use a fork to stab it all over.
  3. Prepare the potato for the microwave by placing it on a microwave-safe plate or a paper towel.
  4. Set microwave to high for 4 minutes.
  5. In order to turn the potato over, you should use tongs or oven mitts.
  6. Leave in microwave for another 3 minutes, or until meat is tender enough to cut with a fork.
  7. Repeat microwaving in 30-second intervals until it reaches the proper doneness (fork tenderness).

A sweet potato weighing in at 12 ounces (34 lb) was used in this preparation. I would recommend cutting the cooking time by one minute if the sweet potato you are using is on the smaller side.

fork piercing sweet potato on cutting board

sweet potatoes on foil lined baking sheet

Recipe for oven-baked sweet potatoes

For a delicious cubed and roasted version, try this recipe for Honey Roasted Sweet Potatoes or this one for Sweet Potato Fries, but keep in mind that the method described here is for baking an entire sweet potato.

When cooked in the oven, potatoes take on a wonderful fluffy texture on the inside and a perfectly crisp exterior.

  1. Prepare 425 degrees Fahrenheit oven
  2. After washing, pat the potato dry.
  3. Staple it all over with forks.
  4. Arrange on a sheet of foil or parchment paper and bake.
  5. Put in the oven and cook for 40-50 minutes.

With a sweet potato that weighs in at 12 ounces (34 lb), you'll need to bake it for at least 50 minutes for it to be tender. A smaller sweet potato, of about half a pound, will be done cooking in 40 to 45 minutes.

uncooked sweet potatoes in air fryer basket

cooked sweet potatoes in air fryer basket

Air-frying instructions for sweet potatoes.

A similar result to baking in the oven can be achieved in a fraction of the time using an air fryer.

  1. Prepare the potato by washing it and drying it.
  2. Poke holes in the sweet potato with a fork.
  3. Place two or three half-pound sweet potatoes on parchment paper in the basket of an air fryer.
  4. Fork-tenderness can be achieved after 30 minutes in an air fryer set to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

When the potatoes have rested for 30 minutes, give them a gentle squeeze using tongs. They should be tender to the touch after 5 minutes out of the air fryer.

sweet potatoes on cutting board with text overlay on image

Methods for preparing sweet potatoes

  • Cooking a sweet potato in a microwave takes only 7 minutes, while doing so in an air fryer takes 30 minutes and in an oven it takes at least 40 minutes.
  • Both the air fryer and the oven produce equally satisfying results when it comes to texture. The flesh is juicy, while the exterior is slightly crunchy. The microwave causes a slight dryness on the inside and a complete lack of texture on the outside.
  • For the best results, I recommend baking the sweet potatoes in the oven rather than using an air fryer, as the interior texture turns out to be slightly softer.

In conclusion, using any of these techniques is a safe bet. Whatever baking method you use, your sweet potatoes will turn out perfectly cooked if you follow the advice in this post.

Pro tips

  • Test the potato's doneness by giving it a gentle squeeze with tongs or an oven mitt. If squeezing the potato reveals some firmness, more cooking time is required.
  • For the crispiest skin and fluffiest interior, keep the sweet potatoes as dry as possible while baking, air frying, or microwaving. If there is even a little bit of moisture, the potatoes will steam instead of bake.
  • To save time, I like to simply place the sweet potatoes on a sheet of foil and bake them that way. If you wrap the sweet potatoes in foil, you can prevent any moisture from escaping during cooking, and the result will be steamed potatoes rather than baked ones with a different texture.
  • Fork-piercing is mandatory whenever cooking sweet potatoes. Always prick the sweet potato skin with a fork before baking, and 10 slits should do it. This will keep the sweet potato from expanding too much during cooking and leaking its contents.

Keeping Foods Fresh and Reheating

  • Keep cooked sweet potatoes in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • Freeze: For up to six months, leftovers can be stored if sealed in a freezer-safe airtight container.
  • The microwave, oven, or air fryer are all suitable options for reheating sweet potatoes. You can cook it in the microwave for 2 minutes, in the oven for 10 minutes, or in the air fryer for 5 minutes.
baked sweet potatoes stuffed with sloppy joe filling

Methods for providing assistance

After the sweet potato has been cooked, cut it in half lengthwise, mash the inside with a fork so that it is slightly lumpy, and then fill with your favorite toppings.

  • Margarine, seasonings, and herbs
  • Mix in some maple syrup and sprinkle on some cinnamon and brown sugar for a deliciously autumnal treat.
  • Substitute sour cream for the sour cream.
  • As demonstrated up top, Sloppy Joes are filled with a variety of delicious goodies.
  • Yogurt, without any added sugar
  • Succulent, fragrant herbs
  • Whether you prefer traditional Buffalo or zesty Cilantro Lime Sauce, this dish is sure to please.
  • Tomatoes, onions, green bell peppers, and a dash of Taco Seasoning in your favorite ground meat. Alternately, if you're a vegetarian, you can make tacos with soyrizo or Vegan Taco Meat, topped with salsa, guacamole, and whatever else tickles your fancy.
  • Broccoli with melted cheese, steamed
  • Breakfast that includes fried egg, sautéed spinach, and crumbled bacon is a great idea.

Use them in place of the ingredients in any of these mouthwatering dishes.

  • Sheet for baking
  • Kitchen shears or a potholder
  • Wrapping the parchment paper around an air fryer
baked sweet potatoes on plate
Publish the Cooking Directions Pin Recipe Please rate this dish.

Learn the ins and outs of baking, pressure cooking, and microwave cooking sweet potatoes with this comprehensive how-to. Regardless of the type of oven you own, you can always count on a perfectly baked sweet potato when you follow one of these simple, tried-and-true recipes.

  • 2 The term "sweet potatoes" , weighing in at around a pound and a half

The Use of Microwaves

  • 8-10 fork pricks into the sweet potatoes should do it.
  • Put in the microwave on a paper towel or a plate.
  • For four minutes, heat on high in the microwave.
  • To flip the sweet potatoes, use tongs or an oven mitt.
  • Put back in the microwave for another 3 minutes, or until the food is tender enough to cut with a fork.

Cuisinart® Method

  • Turn on the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • 8-10 fork pricks into the sweet potatoes should do it.
  • Cook the potatoes in a 400°F oven for 40 to 50 minutes, or until they are easily pierced with a fork.

Use of an Air Fryer

  • Make 8-10 holes in the sweet potatoes with a fork.
  • Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and transfer to an air fryer.
  • Fork-tenderness can be achieved after 30 minutes in an air fryer set to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Gently squeeze the potato with tongs or an oven mitt to see if it is done. If you squeeze the potato and it's still firm, it needs more time in the oven.
  • For up to 5 days, baked sweet potatoes keep in the fridge when sealed in an airtight container. You can reheat it in the microwave for 2 minutes, in the air fryer for 5, or in the oven for 10 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • You can keep baked sweet potatoes in the freezer for up to 6 months if you place them in an airtight container.

Calories 194 kcal (10%) Carbohydrates 45 g (15%) Protein 4 g (8%) Fat 0.1 g Solid Fats 0.04 g Fatty Acids With a High Polyunsaturation Level 0.03 g Sodium 124 mg (5%) Potassium 762 mg (22%) Fiber 7 g (28%) Sugar 9 g (10%) Vitamin A 32063 mg (641%) Vitamin C 5 mg (6%) Calcium 68 mg (7%) Iron 1 mg (6%)

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