How to Boil Potatoes in the Microwave: A Quick and Easy Guide


When it comes to cooking potatoes, boiling is one of the most popular methods. Boiling potatoes in a microwave is a quick and convenient way to get perfectly cooked spuds without much effort. Whether you want to prepare mashed potatoes, potato salad, or a side dish, using a microwave can save you time and energy. In this article, we will guide you through the step-by-step process of boiling potatoes in a microwave, ensuring they are cooked to perfection.

Selecting the Right Potatoes:

Before you start, it’s essential to choose the right type of potatoes for boiling. Russet potatoes or Yukon gold potatoes work well due to their starchy texture, which makes them soft and fluffy after boiling.

Preparation: Washing and Peeling:

Thoroughly wash the potatoes under cold running water to remove any dirt or debris. Depending on your preference, you can either peel the potatoes or leave the skin on for added nutrients and texture.

Cutting the Potatoes:

Cut the washed and peeled potatoes into evenly-sized chunks to ensure they cook evenly. Aim for bite-sized pieces, around 1 to 2 inches in diameter.

Adding Water and Salt:

Place the cut potatoes in a microwave-safe bowl and add enough water to cover them completely. Add a pinch of salt to enhance the flavor.

Covering the Bowl:

Cover the bowl with a microwave-safe lid or a microwave-safe plate. This helps to trap steam and speeds up the cooking process.

Microwaving the Potatoes:

Set the microwave to high heat and cook the potatoes for 5 minutes. Then, carefully remove the bowl (it will be hot) and stir the potatoes to ensure even cooking. Place the bowl back in the microwave.

Checking for Doneness:

After another 5 minutes, check the potatoes with a fork. If they are tender and easily pierced, they are done. If not, continue microwaving in 1-minute increments until they are fully cooked.

Draining the Potatoes:

Once the potatoes are cooked, carefully remove the bowl from the microwave. Use a colander to drain the excess water from the potatoes.

Seasoning Options:

Now that your potatoes are perfectly cooked, it’s time to add your favorite seasonings. You can go with classic butter and salt or get creative with herbs, garlic, or cheese.

Mashing the Potatoes:

For creamy mashed potatoes, use a potato masher or a fork to mash the boiled potatoes. Add milk or cream for a smoother texture.

Making Potato Salad:

If you’re making potato salad, allow the boiled potatoes to cool down before adding the dressing and other ingredients.

Using Microwave Safe Cookware:

Ensure you use microwave-safe cookware to avoid accidents or damage to your microwave.

Tips for Best Results:

  • Avoid overcrowding the bowl to ensure even cooking.
  • Stir the potatoes during the cooking process for uniform heat distribution.
  • Use a microwave-safe lid to retain moisture and speed up cooking.

Safety Precautions:

  • Always use oven mitts when handling hot bowls.
  • Be cautious when removing the lid to avoid steam burns.
  • Keep a close eye on the potatoes to prevent overcooking.


Boiling potatoes in the microwave is a convenient and time-saving method that delivers perfectly cooked spuds for various dishes. By following the simple steps outlined above, you can enjoy delicious boiled potatoes without the need for a stovetop. Experiment with different seasonings and methods to find your perfect potato dish.


  • Can I boil whole potatoes in the microwave?

Yes, you can boil whole potatoes in the microwave. However, make sure to pierce them with a fork or make small cuts to allow steam to escape and prevent them from bursting.

  • How long does it take to boil potatoes in the microwave?

The cooking time can vary depending on the size and quantity of the potatoes. On average, it takes around 10-15 minutes for diced potatoes to cook in the microwave.

  • Can I use any type of potato for boiling in the microwave?

While you can use different potato varieties, it’s best to choose starchy potatoes like Russet or Yukon gold for optimal results.

  • Do I need to add salt to the water when boiling potatoes in the microwave?

Adding a pinch of salt to the water enhances the flavour of the potatoes, but it’s optional. You can skip it if you prefer a low-sodium diet.

  • Can I reheat boiled potatoes in the microwave?

Yes, you can reheat boiled potatoes in the microwave. Cover them with a damp paper towel to retain moisture while reheating.

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