Intro: Microwave Potato
Here, I will outline the best way(s) to bake a potato in the microwave.
In order to get a good baked potato, one must start with the correct potato,
Nuke it for the proper length of time,
And then, a little patience, will pay off nicely.
Step 1: Identifying the Proper 'tator
The best potato, in my humble opinion, is the classic baking Russet or Idaho potato; one also hears of this potato being called a Chef's potato, or a baking potato.
It is a high starch potato, which will remain firm but not hard after baking. .
Step 2: Prepare That 'tator
Once you have the proper potato, you need to do a few things to it before popping it in the microwave.
Wash / scrub it well with water (NO soap or detergent of any kind). But you may use a clean brush (a tooth brush works well if you haven't bought a special vegetable brush).
Poke holes in it. This is so that trapped steam in the potato doesn't cause the skin to bubble and burst in places and so, even if it doesn't burst, it may overcook in those areas.
Raise above the microwave bottom. Place in a plate (microwave safe) and on a paper one also. This allows the microwaves to get underneath the potato.
I, personally, like to smear a bit of Olive oil onto the potato (some prefer bacon grease, but that is high in cholesterol ). But, even if you do not put oil on the potato, there is no need to dry it. Many actually recommend keeping it a bit wet to keep the skin from drying or wrinkling.
Step 3: Baking or Nuking As It Is Often Referred To
If it is available, find out the Wattage to your microwave.
Otherwise you will need to proximate the first few times to get it to come out just right.
Size counts in this case, both of the oven and the potato.
Assuming a normal 1200 watt microwave, one would place the potato on the plate in the oven (after scoring with the fork or knife) and microwave for about 8 minutes when placed on a rotating carousel. If you don't have one, then you must do it manually.
Set the timer for about 4-5 minutes, and then when done, flip the tator over and nuke it again for another 3-4 minutes.
Step 4: Don't Jump the Gun !
Now, once the microwave stops, test it with a thin knife or fork to see if it is tender enough inside.....it should be firm but not HARD. If it is fairly close to how you like it, take it out and let is set "without cutting it open just yet. It might even be sizzling, so let it finish cooking outside the microwave for a few minutes. Five should be sufficient.
If your potato is soft when the microwave shuts off, you have cooked it a wee bit too long, take it out and spit it open immediately.
If your tator has started to wrinkle, as pictured in the last picture below, it is overdone. Reduce the time and soon you will be baking potatoes like a pro.
Step 5: Now, Time to Garnish, But Not Ruin the Tator
Now you can cut it open lengthwise and place in what you like, things like butter (high in cholesterol), sour cream (high in fat content), margarine (high in trans-fats), veggies and a little olive oil (great for the heart), etc. can be use.
I was once at a restaurant in the south somewhere (southern USA) that served ONLY baked potatoes, and subsequent toppings. They had nearly everything except ice cream or peanut butter :-)
101 different toppings (I forget the name of the restaurant, as it was a few decades ago).