The Best (and Easiest) Way to Bake a Sweet Potato

Listen: Not everybody knows how to bake a sweet potato. Maybe you’ve been doing it wrong your whole life. And that’s fine! We’re not here to judge—we’re here to teach.

You’ll be thrilled to know that the best way to bake a sweet potato is also the easiest way to bake a sweet potato. Isn’t it nice when things work out like that?

Cooking dinner shouldn't be complicated

Here’s what you do:

  1. After you’ve washed your potato, pierce it several times with a fork. When potatoes cook, the water inside begins to boil. Poking tiny holes allows the steam to release during the cooking process. Otherwise, the potato could explode. Nobody wants that.
  2. Place it on a sheet pan lined with aluminum foil.
  3. Pop it in the oven at 400 degrees for 45 minutes.
  4. Once your potato has cooled slightly, use a knife make a slit in the top. Add butter, salt, and pepper—if you’re looking for something a tad sweeter, skip the pepper in favor of some brown sugar and cinnamon.

Easy peasy, right? Unlike white potatoes, you can even bake sweet potatoes in bulk and keep them in the fridge for later.

You should skip stashing white potatoes in the refrigerator for two very significant reasons:

  1. They’ll taste gross. Changes in the sugar content will make your potato gritty and sweet.
  2. More importantly, they could make you sick. Sugars in cold potatoes can develop into a dangerous chemical called acrylamide when they’re reheated later. Research suggests that this chemical may cause cancer.

So there you have it, baked sweet potatoes—so easy to make, totally fine to make in advance.

Looking for more sweet potato recipes? Look no further. Check out our best sweet potato recipes ever here.

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