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Miranda is a contributor at Food52.
There is no need to microwave a potato before baking. I hope this is helpful!
No, there is no need to ... but it's a nice technique if you want it to taste oven-baked but also want to speed up that process.
Either microwave or bake. Depending on the size of the potato: In microwave prick with fork to allow steam to escape and microwave for 10 - 15 minutes or until the potato feels soft enought to eat. In oven, also prick with fork and back at 350 for 30 40 minutes.
You can also do both - microwave to start it off (3-4 minutes, as Sam 1148 says below) and then finish in the oven. I like this method because I think potatoes taste better when oven-baked, but starting it in the microwave speeds up the process.
Sam is a trusted home cook.
I think the starting method is just fine. Just 3-4 mins. Then finish up in the oven after coating them with some oil and salt. 10 mins on 'high" would make a very bad potato. Most microwaves have a 'potato' setting. I use that and then crisp up the skin with the oven. Using the setting for 1 potato, if I'm making two. Depends on your microwave/the power level/ and the programed settings, so there's really no hard answer.
I'm with Sam. If in a hurry, you can significantly speed up cooking time (with just a little textural loss) by cooking in the microwave for about 5 minutes for a largish potato then putting into a conventional oven for about 20 - 30 minutes to crisper (depending on size). After the microwave part, you want the potato to yield a little to the touch but not be mushy.
No need to microwave. After washing potatoes, rub with olive oil, pierce on the top with a fork and put in the oven for about 45 - 60 min at 400 degrees. Your bakes potatoes will be super fluffy! Enjoy.
There's nothing like a true baked potato; microwaving doesn't come close. A little oil, salt and about 1 hour in a 375 degree oven. Umm umm.
Microwave the Potato with a knife deep cross cut in the top, for 3-5 minutes (depending on size) until the outer skin feels bouncy to the touch. Then bake in a oven preheated to 180 degrees. In the middle shelf the Potato should take anywhere from 30 mins to 1 hour to crisp the skin up and cook the Potato through. I don't think Microwaving first compromises the texture/flavour of the Po', it just helps it on it's way. Keep checking the Potato in the oven, when a small knife penetrates easily, Po' is done.
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