Poking Holes

In the old days before baking a potato in the oven, you would prick holes in it with a fork. (I guess the heat would be evenly distributed)

My question is: Now that microwaves are around, should you still poke holes in the potato?


Wow. I would guess “No”. Microwaves use the food vibration to generate the heat, so you’d be cooling the potato that way, slowing cooking time.

I believe that in a convection oven you are letting the heat reach the inside of the potato by poking holes. Potatoes are pretty well insulated, so a convection oven might heat the outside too fast, so you poke holes to get some heat inside and break the insulation.

In a microwave, you wouldn’t want to do this, unless the microwave was cooking the inside too fast. If that’s the case, and the potato might explode, then put holes in it.

Food like Hot Dogs do better when they are split or have holes because they tend to get too hot inside and explode.

Hole method in a convection oven speeds heating internally, while the hole method in a microwave slows heating internally.

The manual for my previous microwave said to poke holes in the potato, presumably to prevent high pressure steam from building up.

I’d guess the heat loss from a few fork holes is pretty small compared to the very large amount of heat being transfered into the potato via microwaves.


DEFINITELY poke holes in a potato if you’re cooking it in a microwave. They can make an incredible mess if you don’t.

Yup - I found this out the hard way

Do not poke holes in the potato if you want a little potato bomb to go off in your microwave. otherwise, poke some holes for the steam to vent through.

Hmmm, I just throw in a spud and hit the “potato” button, no explosions in the last 15 years. Maybe you got a bad microwave.