Baking Potatoes: Oven Or Microwave, Which Is Better?

  • By: VidJovanovic
  • Date: October 19, 2022
  • Time to read: 5 min.

It’s always best to bake your potatoes in the oven, but there are two ways.

You can either microwave your potatoes or bake them in the oven. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, but which is better?

Key Takeaways

  • Baking a potato in the microwave results in a drier, flakier potato with a more pronounced flavor. In the oven, a potato produces a moister potato.
  • Oven-baked potatoes take longer to cook than microwaved potatoes. Still, the extra time is worth it for the better flavor and texture.
  • Microwaved potatoes are easier to overcook, so they may be more suited for experienced cooks.
  • When baking a potato in the oven, it is important to preheat the oven and poke holes in the potato to allow steam to escape.
  • For best results, bake potatoes in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 minutes to one hour.
The microwave is on.
Baking Potatoes_ Oven Or Microwave, Which Is Better

Is It Better To Bake A Potato In The Oven Or Microwave?

There are two main schools of thought when it comes to baking potatoes. One is that they should be baked in an oven, which is slower but more likely to cook them evenly throughout.

The other method is to microwave them faster but not as even. Microwaved potatoes are renowned for being unevenly cooked: the outside can be crispy and browned while the inside still has some moisture.

This problem can be avoided by cooking at higher temperatures (i.e., around 450 F), but this will also shorten their lifespan—and they’ll lose some flavor too.

In contrast, baking potatoes in an oven means you need more time and patience on your side if you want them to come out perfectly baked through and through.

However, there are many benefits once you get the hang of it. Firstly, microwaves only heat from above rather than all sides like an oven does so, even though these don’t seem like major differences when looking at each individually.

It Is Better To Bake A Potato In The Oven Because It Will Be Cooked More Evenly

A few potatoes baking in an oven.
It Is Better To Bake A Potato In The Oven Because It Will Be Cooked More Evenly

The answer to the question of what’s better, the oven or the microwave? It is pretty simple. If you want an evenly baked potato cooked more slowly and evenly, it’s best to bake it in an oven.

However, if you’re looking for a quick way to cook a potato, then, by all means, go for the microwave.

The Oven Also Allows You To Cook The Potato At A Higher Temperature

There are two main differences between the microwave and the oven regarding baking potatoes. The first is that microwaves cook at a lower temperature than ovens do.

This means baked potato from your microwave may be cooked more evenly but not as crispy on its outside as baked in an oven at higher temperatures.

If you want your potato to be nice and crisp on the outside, who doesn’t?—then cooking it in an oven will give you better results than cooking with a microwave alone.

The Microwave Will Cook The Potato Faster, But It Will Not Be As Evenly Cooked

This is the most important part. If you’re using the microwave, you’ll be able to cook your potato more quickly than if you were using an oven.

But, even though it will be cooked faster, there’s a chance that the microwave won’t cook things evenly. This can lead to some parts of your potato being overcooked and others undercooked.

With some potatoes, this may not matter much—if one part of your potato gets slightly crunchy and another part stays soft and floury (which I like), then no harm is done.

But if an entire side of your potato comes out crispy while another side remains soft, then by all means: stop what you’re doing and throw it away immediately before anyone else gets sick from eating undercooked food.

The Microwave Will Also Make The Potato Softer And Not As Crispy On The Outside

So why would you want to use your microwave oven, you ask? Well, if you’re someone who likes the texture of a baked potato but wants it to be hot and ready for eating as soon as possible, then the microwave is your best bet.

You can also use your microwave oven for cooking other foods like meat, vegetables and more. I use my oven when baking multiple things at once because it helps me keep track of my time better than using my stovetop burners.

The only downside of using microwaves instead of traditional ovens is that they won’t give you as crispy results on the outside of whatever food item you’re baking—but this isn’t necessarily bad.

If anything else about this article has convinced me that eating less meat is better for our bodies (and the planet!), surely this should count as well—and both sides come out just fine with microwaves: soft inside and crispy outside.

How To Microwave A Potato?

A person operating a microwave oven.
How To Microwave A Potato
  • Place the potato directly on the microwave rack.
  • Do not cover the potato with anything (e.g., paper towel or plastic wrap).
  • Microwave on high for about 8 to 10 minutes, depending on your microwave’s wattage and power level settings. If you have a very powerful microwave and want to check if your potato is done before this time frame, cut open the spud after 5 minutes of cooking and see if it is soft inside; then continue microwaving until your knife can easily pierce its flesh without resistance (5 more minutes). If not done yet, cut open again and cook for another 2-3 minutes until fork tender or when a fork inserted into its center meets little resistance when twisting it from its center.


In conclusion, if you want to cook your potatoes in the microwave, then you should follow these steps:

Take a potato and wash it under cold running water. Dry off any excess moisture with a towel. Next, poke holes into the potato using a fork or paring knife (this will help steam escape during cooking).

Place the potato on its side and microwave for about 5 minutes until tender. You can also bake potatoes in an oven instead of microwaving them; however, this process takes longer than using this appliance.

So there you have it! Now that you know the difference between baked and microwaved potatoes, you can decide based on your needs. 

Take that potato to the nuke if you must. But if you’ve got time to spare, give your potato a chance to shine by popping it in the oven.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I microwave a baked potato?

Yes, you can microwave-baked potatoes. Just make sure to poke holes in it first to help steam escape and cook it faster.

What is the best temperature to bake a potato?

Generally, ovens bake potatoes best at around 375 degrees Fahrenheit. However, you can cook them slightly hotter or cooler depending on what type of potato you’re using and how thick they are.

Why is it important to preheat my oven before baking potatoes?

Preheating your oven will ensure that your potatoes cook evenly and don’t stick to the baking sheet.

Can I microwave potato slices without them getting tough or overcooked?

Yes, microwave potato slices without them getting tough or overcooked. Just cook them for shorter periods, and don’t overdo it on the power boost.


Vid Jovanovic

I’m Vid Jovanovic and I’m 36 years old. I’m a teacher by profession and my passion lies in baking. I have been baking since my early teens, when my grandmother taught me how to make a simple cake that you can find in any supermarket. My passion for baking grew as I got older and I started experimenting with different ingredients and recipes.