Why Do Potatoes Explode?Whether by oven or microwave, the potato is heated above the boiling point of water. The volume ratio of water to steam is approximately 1:1700. So, when the potato is heated; an unpleasant surprise can sometimes happen. If you are lucky, the explosion occurs in the oven or microwave during cooking; thus only making a ruined potato and a major mess. If you are unlucky; the thing explodes as you are removing it.
How to Prevent Exploding PotatoesBasically, one must vent the critters; purpose being to give the steam escape routes so there is no pressure buildup.
The method most folks use leaves a lot to be desired. They hold the potato steady with one hand
while repeatedly stabbing it with the other hand using a knife, fork, or ice pick. The statistics are not known as to how many people cut or stab themselves every year using this method. The potato then makes the round trip to the oven or microwave, after which they put on an oven mitt and cut the steaming thing in half, lengthwise. There's a better way...
Safe Way on How to Prepare Your Potato for the Microwave or Oven
- Wash the potato with just water.
- Then dry off with paper towels or whatever.
- Slice the potato in half, lengthwise.
- Place both halves flat side down on a microwave usable dish. If using paper plates, use more than one; otherwise the plate(s) might break through from the moisture when removing from the microwave.
- Slicing the potato in half obviously reduces the explosion risk, but putting a couple more holes in each half won't hurt. What with the potato halves laying flat side down, your potato situation is now much more stable. However, you probably still want to steady the potato and keep it from sliding when you poke the holes in it.
- When poking the holes, have the sharp side of the knife facing away from your other hand. An ice-pick would probably be safer. Instead of stabbing, just poke/push the knife or ice pick through the potato.
- Then, while still holding the potato, pull/wiggle the knife or ice pick out at an angle away from the other hand. Two equally spaced holes in each half should do it.
- Your spud is microwave or oven ready.
How Long? Potato Microwave Times, etc.
- With the potato halves still flat side down on your plate, put in microwave. Microwave for 5 minutes.
- Rotate a quarter turn. Microwave for 3 minutes.
It is possible to over-microwave a potato, so underestimating is always your best course of action. If it's not perfect on your first attempt, you'll have a pretty good idea of how to make it so on your second. And if you discover when slicing the potatoes they are not completely cooked, not a big deal; back in the microwave they go for another minute or so.
Microwaving Canned PotatoesMicrowaving those little potatoes that come in a can? Those little critters always explode, even when you cut them up beforehand. Always put a cover over them before microwaving the specified 2 to 2-1/2 minutes. Otherwise, you will very likely have a major mess to cleanup.
Potato Recipes – Things to Add to Your Potato
|A baked potato worthy of the name.|
List of Potato Toppings Making It All Worthwhile...
- Regular Salt
- Garlic Salt
- Sour Cream
- Bacon Bits
- Sliced/Diced Olives
- Sliced/Diced Green Onions
Other Toppings Folks Have Been Known to Add
- Other Onion Varieties
- Their favorite Meats
- Their favorite Vegetables
- Their favorite Spices
- Their favorite Herbs
- Their favorite Seasonings
- Their favorite Sauces
- Their favorite Dressings
- Pretty much their favorite anything.
May all your potato masterpieces be awesome.