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No matter how you cook them, sweet potatoes are a delicious and nutritious side dish. However, getting your sweet potatoes to turn out just right can be a bit tricky. We've done the research and have found how long to bake sweet potatoes for the best results every time.
Sweet potatoes should be baked in a 400 to 425-degree oven for approximately 30 to 75 minutes, depending on the size of the potato. Regardless of size, bake sweet potatoes until they reach an internal temperature of 205 to 212 degrees.
Next, we'll look at exactly how to bake sweet potatoes regarding oven temperature and potato size and look at some tasty recipes along the way. We will also answer some questions and concerns that you may have, including how to cook sweet potatoes in the microwave. Keep reading to find out more!
How Do You Bake Sweet Potatoes?
Baking the best sweet potatoes starts with proper preparation. To prep sweet potatoes, pick potatoes that are all relatively the same size so that they cook evenly in the oven. Next, wash each sweet potato with water and scrub any dirt off thoroughly with a vegetable brush.
After cleaning, pierce each side of the sweet potato with a fork. Finally, you're ready to start cooking! Let's take a look at some amazing sweet potato recipes to make in your oven.
Whole Baked Sweet Potatoes
This perfect baked sweet potato recipe feeds a family of four and is super easy. These potatoes are baked in a 425-degree oven for 45 to 50 minutes. To see the full recipe, click here.
Sweet Potato Fries
These sweet potato fries are baked instead of fried, and the smaller pieces mean that they cook faster in a 400-degree oven. To have perfectly seasoned fries in 25 minutes, check out the recipe here.
Sweet Potato Casserole
Sweet potato casserole is a necessity for Thanksgiving, but you can enjoy this decadent dish year-round. The potatoes are cubed and boiled before being mashed and made into a filling. Then, this casserole is topped with a pecan streusel and baked in a 350-degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes.
Roasted Sweet Potatoes
These sweet potatoes roast in a 425-degree oven for 27 to 35 minutes. They are cubed, tossed with oil and seasonings, and baked on a large baking sheet. This recipe has directions for making plain or seasoned roasted sweet potatoes.
Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes
Twice-baked sweet potatoes are baked in the oven until done. Then, the filling is scooped out, mixed with delicious ingredients, placed back into the potato skin, and baked again. The total baking time is one hour in a 400-degree oven. This lighter-version recipe contains light butter and fat-free cream cheese.
Candied Sweet Potatoes
This rich sweet potato dish has caramelized sweet potatoes with a sweet maple syrup glaze. Sweet potatoes are cut into slices, placed in a greased baking sheet, and topped with a sauce made from maple syrup, brown sugar, vanilla, and more. This dish is baked in a 375-degree oven for one hour. To see the full recipe, click here.
Do Sweet Potatoes Bake Faster Than Regular Potatoes?
Sweet potatoes take about the same time to bake as regular potatoes. The cooking time will vary depending on the size of the spud you're baking. For example:
- Small potatoes under two inches in width will need to bake for about 30 minutes
- Medium potatoes two to three inches in width should bake for about 60 minutes
- Large potatoes three inches plus in width usually need to bake for around 75 minutes
Check to see if your potato feels tender after the recommended baking time by lightly squeezing with a potholder or oven mitt. If the potato still feels firm, bake for an additional 15 minutes or until tender.
How To Bake Sweet Potatoes In Foil?
Wrapping sweet potatoes in foil before baking can slightly reduce the baking time, and they will stay warm for quite some time after leaving the oven. In addition, foil traps moisture, giving the potato a steamed texture and a softer skin. If you're a fan of restaurant-style baked sweet potatoes, using foil will yield the best result. To achieve perfect foil-baked sweet potatoes:
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Prepare the sweet potatoes by washing, scrubbing, and patting dry.
- Pierce the skin of each potato multiple times with a fork.
- If you prefer, season the skin with olive oil and salt and pepper.
- Wrap each potato thoroughly in foil, making sure the ends are tightly secured.
- Place wrapped potatoes on a large baking sheet and put them in the oven.
- Bake for 40 to 60 minutes or until tender.
How To Bake Sweet Potatoes In The Microwave?
Luckily, sweet potatoes can be baked in the microwave in about five minutes! This method is ideal if you want to fix just one or two sweet potatoes and you don't want to use the oven. All you need is a microwave-safe plate, clean and prepped sweet potato(es), a knife, and toppings of your choice.
After cleaning and piercing the sweet potato:
- Place it on a microwave-safe plate and cook for five minutes.
- Check for doneness by inserting a knife in the middle. If still firm, cook for an additional minute or until tender.
- Top the potato with butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Or, go the savory route with sour cream and chives.
How Long To Cook Sweet Potatoes On A Charcoal Grill?
Sweet potatoes on the grill have a deliciously smoky taste. Try making foil packets filled with cubed sweet potatoes and spices like cumin and cayenne pepper. This recipe grills up in about 20 to 30 minutes.
You can also wrap whole sweet potatoes in foil and grill over indirect heat for approximately 40 minutes or longer, depending on how large your sweet potato is. If you prefer a crispier skin, ditch the foil and place the potato directly on the grate; just be careful not to let them burn!
Watch this helpful YouTube video on how to use indirect heat for charcoal grills:
Can You Overcook Sweet Potatoes In The Oven?
Overcooking sweet potatoes in the oven would be a difficult thing to do! It's much better to have a soft, fluffy, overcooked sweet potato than a hard, crunchy one.
If you prefer to boil your sweet potatoes before baking or grilling to cut down on cook time, you can overcook them this way. Since sweet potatoes absorb water, they will become too watery and mushy if boiled for too long. Boil whole sweet potatoes for 30 to 50 minutes and chunked sweet potatoes for around 20 to 25 minutes.
Do You Need To Pierce Sweet Potatoes Before Baking?
Yes, you should pierce all potatoes, including sweet potatoes, before baking. Piercing the potato's skin allows built-up steam to escape. Too much pressure inside of the potato can cause unsightly tears in the skin or even cause them to explode in the oven--talk about a mess! To prevent this from happening, pierce the potato's skin with a fork or knife several times on each side before baking.
How Do You Know When Sweet Potatoes Are Cooked?
Sweet potatoes are thoroughly cooked when they reach an internal temperature of 205 to 212 degrees Fahrenheit. For an accurate reading, be sure to insert the thermometer in the thickest part of the sweet potato.
After baking or boiling your sweet potatoes, use a fork or knife to see if they're ready. If the fork or knife easily glides through the center of the sweet potato, it's ready to eat.
Baking sweet potatoes takes a little time and patience, but the results are totally worth it! Whether you decide to dress your sweet potatoes up sweet or savory, there's really no way to go wrong with this tasty root vegetable.
Thanks for reading! For more kitchen wisdom on potatoes, be sure to read these posts: