How to Cook Sweet Potatoes

A sweet potato is a starchy root vegetable that can be used in all kinds of dishes. It is shaped like a potato and is white, yellow, orange, or brown. The flesh of the sweet potato is either orange or yellow.

Sweet potato is usually associated with yam, but the two plants are not related. You can cook sweet potatoes by baking, frying, boiling, or broiling. Sweet potatoes are also used in savory dishes and desserts. Dishes that use sweet potatoes vary from casseroles to pies.


Selecting Sweet Potatoes


Look for smooth, sweet potatoes with no bruises and wrinkles. It should be firm and have no decaying parts. You can choose the orange sweet potatoes, which are moist in texture, or the dry yellow ones.




Sweet potatoes spoil quite easily, especially when bruised and wet. Keep them fresh for weeks by storing them in a cool dry place like a pantry or cellar. Do not wash before storing since moisture speeds up spoiling. Do not refrigerate as well.


Cooking Methods



Boiled Sweet Potatoes


  1. Wash the sweet potatoes well to remove dirt and soil. It is best to cook them whole and with skin so you don’t lose nutrients, but you may cut the sweet potato into big chunks, peeled or unpeeled as desired.
  2. In a pot, boil enough water to cover the potatoes.
  3. Drop sweet potatoes into the boiling water carefully. Boil at medium-heat for a few minutes, then reduce the heat and cook until tender.
  4. Drain all excess water and peel off the skin.
  5. Boiled sweet potatoes are now ready to be eaten with a little salt and butter, or they may be used for other dishes like pies and other desserts.


Baked Sweet Potatoes


  1. Wash the sweet potatoes and pat them dry.
  2. Pre-heat oven at 376 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Arrange unpeeled sweet potatoes in a baking tray and pierce with a fork.
  4. Bake for 30-45 minutes until tender.
  5. Remove from heat and carefully peel off skin.


Another Way of Baking


  1. Slice potatoes thinly with a knife or vegetable peeler.
  2. Place in a baking pan with a sprinkle of olive oil.
  3. Bake until tender.


Sweet Potato French Fries


  1. Peel the outer skin of the sweet potato.
  2. Cut into lengthwise strips or wedges of about ½ inches thick.
  3. Pre-heat vegetable oil in a fryer to about 375 F.
  4. Carefully drop the sweet potatoes in oil or use a fryer basket. Cook until brown and crispy.
  5. Remove from oil and drain in paper towels. Serve hot with a dusting of salt or sugar.


Microwave Sweet Potatoes


  1. Wash sweet potatoes and pierce with a fork.
  2. Place sweet potatoes in a microwave-safe dish or paper towel. Put them inside the microwave and cook on high for 4-6 minutes per potato.
  3. Turn sweet potatoes in the middle of cooking time. Always check if your potatoes are done using a fork.