I Tried the Microwave Bag That’s Supposed to Save Time When Making Baked Potatoes — Here’s How It Went

published Jan 16, 2020
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Credit: Joe Lingeman

You may already know that I love a baked potato and, perhaps even more, I love anything that can help cook one faster. I recently tried baked potato nails and got meh results (see: The Baked Potato Gadget We Wanted to Love — But Didn’t), so my search continues for a super-speedy method to get my spud fix. Onto the Potato Express!

The Potato Express is a microwaveable bag that claims to cut cooking time from microwaving potatoes. But making a baked potato in the microwave is already a pretty quick process compared to making one in the oven. (Around 10 minutes, give or take, versus one hour in the oven!) Do we really need this bag? Can it save enough time to make buying one worth it? Let’s find out!

The bag is well-made, and feels kind of like an oven mitt. On the outside of the bag, there are instructions for how much time you will need to bake however many potatoes you are cooking, all based on the wattage of your microwave. The wattage on my microwave is 1,000 … of course, that wasn’t listed as an option. Guess I’ll have to guess!

Credit: Janet McCracken

The directions didn’t say to pierce the potatoes, so I took a gamble and didn’t. (If you pierce a potato before cooking, it helps release pressure from inside the potato, reducing the risk of the potato from bursting. I figured if the potato ended up bursting, at least the bag would catch the mess, and my microwave would be spared.) 

I tested two potatoes, each about 8 ounces, both the same shape to keep things even. And I got to work microwaving them separately — one in the bag and one without the bag — so each would have its own space in the microwave and there’d be no interference.

The potato out of the bag cooked in six minutes. I began checking the one in the bag after three minutes, and it was still hard as a rock. Four minutes, a little better. Five minutes, and it was perfectly cooked. And I am happy to report that the potato didn’t burst!

Credit: Joe Lingeman

Potato Express Pros: There’s no need to pierce the potatoes before baking, as the potato didn’t burst. But if it had burst, the bag would keep the mess contained. 

Potato Express Cons: Microwaving potatoes is so fast and easy. Even if it HAD saved me three or four minutes, would it be worth it? Probably not. To save one minute? Definitely not. 

Have you tried this? Do you agree with our findings? How do you make baked potatoes?