Sweet potatoes are a versatile food that can be enjoyed in several ways. Whether they are baked, mashed, or fried, sweet potatoes are always tasty and can elevate several main dishes.
Sweet potatoes are also very filling, so you’ll often see leftovers lying around after dinner once everyone’s bellies are full.
If you’ve ever had sweet potato scraps taking up space in your fridge, you can reheat them to enjoy at a later date, provided that they haven’t spoiled.
There are several ways to reheat sweet potatoes, but the easiest and quickest method involves operating a microwave. The steps vary slightly depending on whether your sweet potatoes are mashed, baked, or fried.
We’ll cover how to reheat sweet potatoes in the microwave in this post, including advice on storing sweet potatoes later to avoid them spoiling too soon.
How To Cool And Store Sweet Potatoes
Reheating sweet potatoes with a microwave is easy, but before we get into the steps, it’s important to understand how to cool and store the potatoes first.
If you don’t know how to do this properly, your sweet potatoes may end up forming mold and losing their soft, fluffy consistency. The cooling and storing method varies slightly depending on how your sweet potatoes were cooked.
Sweet Potato Fries
If you want your sweet potato fries leftovers to remain crispy, make sure they have cooled down sufficiently before transferring them to the fridge.
This ensures that there isn’t any condensation or moisture left on the potatoes when they cool down in the freezer or refrigerator.
Moisture in the freezer leads to freezer burn. This affects the color of your food and makes it taste bad.
If you put sweet potato fries in the fridge when they are still hot, the fries will turn soggy instead of the crisp, fluffy, fries that you love.
Baked Sweet Potatoes
If your sweet potatoes are baked or steamed, place them in the refrigerator as soon as possible. These potatoes will need to cool down fast, so transferring them straight into the fridge will help with this.
An entire potato will take more time to cool compared to sweet potato fries, so they are more likely to develop mold inside.
Unless you’re intending to eat them soon, place your steamed or baked sweet potato in the fridge. Don’t allow them to cool on the kitchen counter.
If you want to place the sweet potato in the freezer, place it in the fridge to cool fully first. This will prevent freezer burn later on.
Chopped/Sauteed Sweet Potatoes
The difference between baked/steamed sweet potatoes and their sauteed form is that the latter is typically sliced into little pieces. The cooking method isn’t as relevant here, but the size of the potatoes is.
As mentioned above, whole, entire potatoes take more time to cool, which makes them a great environment for bacteria and mold.
Sauteed sweet potatoes, however, are much smaller. These will cool down quickly before mold has a chance to develop.
You won’t be able to leave them on your kitchen counter for a full day, but you can set them aside for a little while to cool, then place them straight into your fridge, or freezer.
Mashed Sweet Potatoes
To make mashed sweet potatoes cool down faster, give the mix a few stirs every so often, as this lets hot air escape.
Freezing mashed potatoes can lead to poor texture and consistency later on. This is why it’s better to keep mashed sweet potatoes in the refrigerator for no more than two days, then enjoy them as soon as possible.
Whenever you store sweet potatoes in the fridge, always use a high-quality, airtight container.
Can You Reheat Sweet Potatoes In The Microwave?
While it is possible to reheat sweet potatoes in a microwave, this method is best saved for when you are short on time.
Other than mashed potatoes, different reheating methods work better, particularly in the case of sweet potato fries, as the microwave can make the potatoes soggy.
You can still enjoy microwaved sweet potatoes, but keep in mind that this method may affect the way they taste.
How To Reheat Sweet Potatoes In The Microwave
Now that you understand how to cool and store different forms of sweet potatoes, we can get into the microwaving method.
Your potatoes will need to reach an internal temperature of 165°F before they are safe to eat again.
The reheating method will differ depending on whether your sweet potatoes are mashed, baked, or fried.
Reheating A Baked Sweet Potato In A Microwave
It can be difficult to reheat an entire baked sweet potato in the microwave, as you need to prevent the potato from drying out or turning mushy.
An important tip is to never thoughtlessly press the microwave’s start button. You’ll need to keep paying proper attention to ensure your sweet potatoes turn out fluffy and delicious.
- Use a fork to poke some holes in the top of the potato. This will allow its juices to escape as it heats up.
- Use a clean, damp paper towel to wrap the potato. This will prevent the spud from drying out. Transfer to a microwave-suitable plate.
- Microwave the potato on a high heat setting for roughly two minutes.
- Remove the plate and carefully stick a fork in the top of the potato to check for tenderness. If you like soft sweet potatoes, the fork should easily travel through the whole potato. If you prefer sweet potatoes with more bite, the fork should go through the potato with some resistance.
- Use a kitchen thermometer to measure the potato’s inside temperature. Once it has reached 165°F, it’s ready to eat!
Reheating Mashed Sweet Potatoes In A Microwave
The steps to reheat mashed potatoes with a microwave differ from a complete, baked sweet potato. Make sure you have some milk or butter around before trying this method.
- Begin by adding either a tablespoon of milk or a tablespoon of butter to your mashed potatoes, then stir to combine.
- Transfer the potatoes to a microwave-suitable bowl. Glass works best for this as it won’t affect the potatoes’ flavor.
- Place the bowl in the microwave, then heat at a high temperature for roughly two minutes, or until it’s fully warmed throughout.
- You can make sure your mashed sweet potatoes remain creamy by removing and stirring them from the microwave after every 30 seconds.
Reheating Sweet Potato Fries In A Microwave
Sweet potatoes are a tasty, simple-to-bake side dish that goes well with several recipes. They may be delicious, but it can be very difficult to reheat them with a microwave, as they can quickly turn soggy and wet.
The secret to pulling crisp and fluffy potato fries from the microwave is using the right settings. It’s best to use a lower power setting at 60% of the maximum power, or less.
Heat the potatoes for short intervals instead of a lengthy, continuous period.
You’ll only need a few minutes to reheat sweet potato fries in the microwave, but keep in mind that other reheating methods, like an oven or air fryer, work better for the fries (to learn more about reheating food in the microwave, read here).
You’ll also need to purchase a microwave crisper for this method.
- Transfer your sweet potato fries to a microwave crisper.
- Place the crisper in your microwave, then find the device’s medium heat setting.
- Heat the fries in short breaks, roughly 30 seconds long. After every interval, carefully turn the fries over to equally heat both sides.
- Use a kitchen thermometer to check the fries’ internal temperature. They are ready to eat once they have reached 165°F.
Preventing Sweet Potato Fries From Turning Soggy?
As noted previously, sweet potato fries can become soggy and wet in the microwave. Here are some tips that can help prevent this from occurring:
A microwave crisper works better than a regular microwave-safe bowl or plate. The crisper will help keep the fries crispy on the outside by transferring energy to the bottom of the dish.
Try to leave some space between the fries during microwaving. If the fries are all touching one another, they will produce steam that prevents them from turning crispy.
You can try coating your sweet potato fry leftovers with cornstarch before placing them in the microwave. The powder will soak up any moisture or steam within the microwave, preventing the fries from turning soggy.
If you are especially keen on avoiding soggy sweet potato fries, consider using another reheating method. An oven or air fryer will work better at maintaining the fries’ crisp-on-the-outside and fluffy-on-the-inside state.
The Bottom Line
Now you know how to reheat sweet potatoes in the microwave!
Whether your leftovers are baked, mashed, or fried, a microwave can reheat them in just a few minutes.
However, keep in mind that this method is best saved for when you are short on time. Baked sweet potatoes reheat better in the oven, as well as sweet potato fries which also do well in an air fryer.
Just remember to cool and store your sweet potatoes properly beforehand, as this will prevent the potatoes from spoiling in the fridge.
We hope you enjoyed learning how to reheat sweet potatoes in your microwave!
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