What’s The Best Way To Cook A Sweet Potato?

We tested slow cooking, baking, air frying, and microwaving sweet potatoes to find the best way to cook a sweet potato. Here’s our verdict.

baked sweet potato split open with cheese, green onion, bacon bits, and sour cream on white plate with a fork; green onion in background

Baked sweet potatoes are arguably one of the best things that can grace your dinner table. Actually baking them in the oven is a tried and true method, but we wondered if the microwave and slow cooker could yield similar (or better) results. So we put all the techniques to the test to find out which appliance will give you the best baked sweet potato.

Oven Baked Sweet Potato

Our control sweet potato was pricked with a fork and baked in a 400°F on a foil-lined baking sheet oven for about an hour. The results were reliable: a soft, sweet interior, dry exterior. Pretty much what you’ve come to expect from a sweet potato.

Microwave “Baked” Sweet Potato

For our microwave sweet potato, we poked it with a fork a few times and popped it in the microwave on high for about 6 minutes. It could take several minutes longer depending on your microwave and the size of your sweet potato, but regardless, this is still the fastest way to get a sweet potato on your plate.

Unfortunately, the results were a bit lackluster. The interior is starchier, and the flavor is not as deep or sweet. Still, once you load it up with condiments, it’s completely edible. If it weren’t for comparing it to the other two potatoes, we would have liked it just fine. It’s a great way to make Sweet Potatoes with Marshmallows for an easy weeknight side dish.

Slow Cooker Baked Sweet Potato

The slow cooker method took a couple tries to perfect, but once we got the right technique down, it was superior to both the microwave and the oven. To get the most out of the slow cooker, you really need to wrap the sweet potatoes in foil. Leaving them unwrapped puts your sweet potato at risk for burning and drying out, whereas the foil will keep the moisture trapped inside.

You can cook them for 4 hours on a high temperature or 8 hours on low—perfect for if you want to come home to baked sweet potatoes right after work. The long and low method helps caramelize the starches in the sweet potato, creating a beautifully soft interior with a deep, sweet flavor.

So the verdict is, if you have the time, the slow cooker will give you the softest, most flavorful sweet potato around. But the oven and microwave are perfectly decent options, too, so don’t sweat it if you don’t have 4-8 hours.

Print

How to Cook a Sweet Potato in the Slow Cooker

Slow cooking sweet potatoes is an easy way to have a healthy side dish on the table after a long day at work.

  • Author: Maria Siriano
  • Prep Time: 2 minutes
  • Cook Time: 4 hours
  • Total Time: 4 hours 2 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 4 sweet potatoes

Instructions

  1. Wrap each sweet potato in foil. Put them in a single layer in your slow cooker. Cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours.

What\'s The Best Way To Cook A Sweet Potato?
What\'s The Best Way To Cook A Sweet Potato?

Maria Siriano

Somewhere among the towers of batter-smeared mixing bowls, you'll find a flour-covered Maria making unique seasonal desserts for her blog, Sift and Whisk. Although she never quite got the hang of the clean-as-you-go technique, she has still managed to elevate her baking skills far beyond “add oil, water, and eggs.” She makes a killer pie, if she does say so herself.