Skip to Content

How Long to Cook Sweet Potato in Microwave?

You wish to cook sweet potatoes but are short on time? No problem! All you need is to use your microwave oven. This method is the fastest way to quickly prepare an emergency batch of sweet potatoes, and many people are glad to know about it. Plus, it’s easy, uses less energy, and you still end up with nicely done potatoes with enough fluff.

Cooking Tips for Microwave Sweet Potato

Unlike using the regular oven, your microwave is a smaller appliance, which means it’s best used for small-scale cooking and only takes so much. Even when you have those gigantic models that sit on the countertop, they still don’t have the same power and carrying capacity as your oven does. So, to make sure you don’t feel disappointing when using your microwave for cooking sweet potatoes, follow these handy instructions to the letter;

Size ‘Em Up!

One good way to make sure using the microwave for cooking sweet potatoes doesn’t become a hassle is to check the tuber size. This applies not only when you’re cooking a large, single tuber but also in cases where you want to make more than one or two. If it’s a fairly large one, you’ll need more cooking time and attention, so it comes out fully done. And if it’s multiple tubers you’re cooking, make sure they’re the same size.

Wash Them

Sweet potatoes are grown on the ground, so there’s bound to be some grit and dirt clinging to them. Wash them thoroughly with a soft sponge under running water to clean them up. Don’t use a brush or hard sponge, so you don’t peel the skin off.

Poke Them

Potatoes have firm, slightly elastic skin, and when cooked, they stretch. In a sealed environment like the microwave, the heat causes steam to form inside the sweet potato, building pressure between the starch and the skin. If this continues, the potato will burst to release some of this pressure. This can cause quite a mess and may even lead to injury, so to prevent this, poke the sweet potatoes several times around the body with a fork. The hole allows the steam to escape so the tubers can cook well. To stay safe when you poke, place the tubers on a surface, hold with one hand and poke with the other.

Set Them

If you’re cooking just one, place it at the center of the microwave plate. For multiple tubers, arrange them to be close to the center but slightly spaced from each other. This way, more surface is exposed for each sweet potato, and when they swell as they cook, they won’t push against each other. Also, consider how many potatoes your microwave plate can hold at a time, and stick to it. It’s better to cook them in batches than overload the plate, as the latter may affect the doneness.

Microwave Sweet Potato- Perfect Timing

A typical-sized sweet potato will be done in 6 minutes. Larger tubers take longer, so to be sure they’re ready, take them out, pierce through and if the fork doesn’t go straight in, put them back and keep cooking for an extra 1 minute until they’re ready.

For multiple sweet potatoes, set the timer at 5 minutes, then for each additional tuber, another two minutes. Be sure to check the softness after the 5-minute benchmark, and take out any potato that’s fully done. Once ready, simply pierce through the center and slit to reveal the fluff.

You can eat your microwave sweet potato plain or serve with some additional toppings. Some add a bit of olive oil, kosher salt, and black pepper to the skin before cooking. Others cook it plain, top with this favorite butter, peppers, sour cream, granola, diced fruits or meat, and even spices like cinnamon.

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
How Long to Cook Sweet Potato in Microwave

Easy Microwave Sweet Potato Recipe (3 servings)

Save Recipe


  • 6 sweet potatoes, 8 oz, washed
  • Olive oil
  • Black pepper
  • Kosher salt


  1. Place each potato on the countertop and hold it in position. Gently poke it around at 5 to 6 places with a fork.
  2. Smear all over with olive oil and generously rub in the salt and pepper. Place in the microwave and set the timer for 5 minutes. For microwaves without rotating plates, flip the sweet potatoes at the 2-minute mark.
  3. The potato should easily let the fork in up to its center if properly done. If it doesn’t, place it back in the microwave and cook at 1-minute bursts till it’s ready.
  4. Set down, cut open, and serve as you please.

You can also check out this microwave sweet potato video recipe.

  • Author: Bobby