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I want to empower your health with the steps that freed my life of chronic pain and medications.

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168 Comments

  1. Interesting!
    I have been baking my sweet potatoes in a shallow pan with water and covering them with parchment (I found parchment paper with foil on the other side). I bake about 450 for 40 minutes or so and then leave cover on after I take them out of the oven. Will try your way as well!

  2. i would not recommend putting a sheet of aluminum foil on the bottom of the oven– it covers the vents. when i did this the carbon monoxide detector went off and the next thing i knew i had a fire engine worth of men come over to check my roasted veggies. i usually put the foil on the rack below now. 🙂

      • Lisa already mentioned this, but I believe it bears repeating. I put my Sweet Potatoes directly on the oven rack and then place a cookie sheet on the next rack down to catch the potato juices/syrup that drip out during cooking. As I use a convection oven, my cooking time is shorter than yours, otherwise it sounds like our mothers passed down the same technique.

    • Vents only matter with a gas oven. Electric ones don’t have them. If you have a gas oven you can still put foil now, I do all the time, you just put it int he center of the oven and not over the vents, though as long as you are not making it firm on the vents it won’t do anything to the oven. I can’t imagine NOT putting foil now to help with easy clean-ups!

    • You do not cover the vents obviously BUT Those of you with this issue I found a description of why it occurs.

      The overs have a special coating that gets super hot.

      From the following site –> http://www.howtocleanstuff.net/how-to-remove-melted-aluminum-foil-from-the-oven/

      To all those who think this problem description couldn’t be true, you’re wrong. You’re right that the aluminum did not get hot enough to melt though. What happens is that the non-stick Teflon coating they put on the aluminum gets too hot and bonds with the oven bottom, like a crazy epoxy!

      Furthermore, this isn’t a problem in older, conventional-type ovens… this is more so a problem with ovens that have a hidden bottom element. The bottom element is actually directly below the oven bottom, and lining the oven bottom with foil is basically like putting it directly on the element. And that part gets extremely HOT!!!
      ——

      Put the above link in your browser and it explains how to clean the part. Additionally they claim the bottom pan is inexpensive but I bet that is not true for those that have this problem. The plate is likely cheap for the ovens that don’t need replacing.

      I hope this helps some of you.

      Doug

  3. I will have to try this with the 2 sweet potatoes in my pantry. I found another method that is very easy lady year and it works wonderful. I’ve never had a bad baked potato of any kind since. But this sounds intriguing so thank you for sharing can’t wait to test it out! 🙂

  4. Lauren, I’m sorry for putting this in the wrong area perhaps, or even if you have already answered this question somewhere else in your blog, but I wanted to know why nuts were excluded from Empowered Sustenance? I truly want to know for my optimal health! Thanks for your reply! Merry

  5. “Perfect” was the first word that came to mind when I cut into my sweet potato this morning after following your cooking instructions. I don’t think I’ve ever cooked a perfect one at home. Thank you so much!

  6. Thanks, Lauren! I’ve done this method twice in the last week and it really is soo quick & easy! I love how papery the sweet potato skins get, it makes them such a breeze to peel. It’s a way better method than the oil-coating/foil or boiling methods I used to employ. Cheers!

  7. Absolutely! Been cooking them this way for about a year and I don’t know why but they taste better. The piece of foil to catch the drippings is key!

    It is quick and easy. Plus, any leftover makes great sweet potato pancakes YUM

  8. Hi Lauren, Thanks for the tips! I vaguely recall my mother piercing the skin prior to baking, but I have not been doing this. The result was sugar drippings burnt onto my stoneware baking sheet. Not really a problem as clean up on a stoneware sheet is pretty easy, and I never need parchment paper.

    A word of caution regarding your recommendation to put foil on the bottom of the oven! The GE Appliances website and Consumer Reports state that using foil on the bottom can cause trapped heat, fire hazard, and void the warranty. The safer recommendation, by “Lisa” above, is to place foil on the rack beneath to catch drips. Safe baking! 🙂

    • Hmm, i skip some steps and still have great sweet potatoes. I don’t poke my sweet potatoes either…I rinse the skin, dry them and throw them in the oven, top rack, foil on rack under potatoes. Never had a problem with separating the skin from the flesh. I also cook them at 450…hmmm got one left in the fridge now, think it’s time for a snack, yumm.

  9. I just put one of my racks at the very bottom and covered that with foil. My guess is not all ovens have vents in the same place, but if you want to be safe, that’s your best bet. Then the other rack goes in the center. Now, I did put a little piece of foil directly under the sweet potato (I was cooking two regular potatoes at the time, too) because I was worried about the sweet potato oozing that sticky stuff out onto the rack it was sitting on (and that stuff is a pain to get off). I literally just started this, so I’ll come back later to tell you how it turned out (including how the russets stacked up using this method… which I’m just doing because I’m lazy!

  10. This worked perfectly! Per my previous comment, I also used this method to do a couple of russets that were about the same size of the sweet potato, and that seems to have worked really well too. I put those in the fridge for a quick lunch later, so it wasn’t until the next day that I opened them. Thank you!

  11. I use this method, with foil on the rack below, but I don’t peel them. Once they finish cooking, I slice them, put a little coconut oil, brown sugar and cinnamon inside and close it back up. Then either eat once cooled enough or store for lunches. I find they are better this way after they have had time to absorb the flavors.
    Side Note: I saw coconut cane sugar in the store recently. Does anyone know if that is a healthier/ better alternative to other more processed sugars?

  12. Made these last night for dinner. I followed your directions, no mess no fuss. just perfect sweet potatoes.
    This is a first for me, never could get them just right.. Looking forward to Thanksgiving cooking.
    Thank you Lauren!

  13. Hi Lauren,

    I just want to say thank you so much for sharing this recipe, it turned out so perfect, just like the street vendors who slow roast it in charcoal ovens in China, where I grew up. I never knew that I can recreate this in an oven. I just ate it with kimchee, in the Korean style.

    Thanks and Happy Thanksgiving!

    Best,

    Jo

  14. Congratulations! Your post came up first for me in a Google search for baking times for sweet potatoes.

    I am considering trying sweet potatoes dishes for breakfast. I’ve recently cut back on steel cut oats, as well as other grains, with some interesting results in terms of digestion. (I could eat steel cut oats every day if they didn’t cause some symptoms for me.)

    I am considering mashing up the baked sweet potato then topping with pecans, hemp seeds, and cinnamon. I also make a breakfast ‘mousse’ from a seed mixture that’s been soaked overnight.
    I may try using that as a topper as well.- http://www.shelbysguide.com/blog/2014/11/17/breakfast-or-dessert-strawberry-crunch-mousse

  15. It works! It works! Itworks! I have never been able to bake a sweet potato that it was done at the same time as my other food. Your method totally works! My sweet potatoes were cooked perfectly. The mess was contained in the alimunum foil. I’ve added your method to my recipe file and I’ll never try baking sweet potatoes any other method. Thank you for this wonderful tip.

  16. I LOVE a really good sweet potato, but they are so hard to get right that I have been cutting them small, coating them in oil and some herbs, and then roasting them. I tried this way and….. WOW! DEEELISH!!!! I will always bake them this way. Yummy and wayyyyyy healthier than any other way. Thanks for the recipe. Do you have any advice on my other hard-to-cook but favorites- acorn or butternut squash???

  17. I have to say this was the BEST sweet potato I have ever had! 🙂 It turned out perfectly, just like you said. Thank you SO MUCH for the ease of making one of my favorite vegetables 🙂 You rock!

  18. I followed the recipe exactly and the sweet potatoes turned out perfectly. I placed a pan with foil on the bottom and it did not affect the quality of the sweet potatoes. My grandmother, whose parents emigrated from Denmark to the US and then Canada, would have loved these I am sure.

  19. Thanks so much for sharing this. I have always hard so much trouble cooking sweet potatoes and getting them completely done. Thanks to your recipe, my boys are having sweet potatoes for a late snack, instead of chips, cookies, etc. Thanks for helping the WHOLE family!

    • Hi Evelyn. Thanks for your reply. I googled this issue as I was concerned about the foil. Seems this is a problem with newer ovens because of heating element being on bottom underneath, and not visible. I was able to remove a little more, but majority is still stuck on my oven. Iit like u need a scrapper and something to burn it off. It is really stuck. I am going to try a few solutions that I found online and see if any of them will work.

  20. You are SO right: this way produces absolutely without a doubt the best sweet potato I’ve ever baked. The only problem was waiting that long to pull it out of the oven & devour it. I kept saying to myself, “Waiting builds character…waiting builds character…” =D

    Thanks for your terrific blog!

  21. I have used your method twice and I have gotten PERFECTLY Cooked Sweet Potatoes both times! Thank you thank you!!!! This is so easy and I have cooked 3 at a time and all perfect!!! I have taken the skin off and stored in a container for the next couple of days and pulled one out, warmed in the microwave and bam wonderful sweet goodness!

  22. I used this method the other night on a very large sweet potato. Ended up cooking for 1 hour and 15 minutes then sitting after the oven turned off for 30 minutes. It was pure perfection! I had never baked a sweet potato so well before. Thank you so much for posting this fabulous tip!

  23. Well Thank You Ms Lauren, this past summer I grew 9 sweat potatoe slips in a 2′ by 10′ raised bed. By August the vines were taking over (they made beautiful ground cover) and I could not wait for late fall to harvest them. Mid Oct. I dug them out and got about 35lbs of them. They were used for all the usual Thanksgiving dishes and have plenty left.
    Soooo, 4 months later I decided to bake some for supper but had no idea how to prepare them, till I found you.
    They turned out GREAT!!!! What was left I sliced like pickle spears and browned them in butter for breakfast.
    Thanks again for take something so easy to do and making it easy to do.

  24. Mine are in the oven now. After 45 years of smoking I recently quit and am trying to improve my way of eating. Sweet Potatoes have always been something I love, but like many others, I was always told to wrap them in foil…. what a pain that was when they were done. Can’t wait to see how these turn out, sounds so logical now that I think about it, lol. Thanks

  25. This is the best recipe! I put my sweet potato in at 5:30 and turned the oven off at 6:30. Then I forgot about it until bedtime. I took it out and the skin came right off. I sliced a few bites from the end and found it was nice and creamy – so sweet! I am trying to get off sweets at night (well, all the time) and I am going to keep these in the fridge as a “go to” for my evening snack. Thank you!

  26. Your recipe says it’s for sweet potatoes, but the photos look like yams to me. Will your recipe work for BOTH sweet potatoes and yams? Or do I need to cook sweet potatoes (uncooked or cooked, sweet potato skin is lighter in color than a yam and flesh is much more pale, closer to a regular potato than the orange-y color of yam flesh).

    Thanks!

  27. This was so easy and the sweet potatoes were delicious even without adding anything to them. This has to be the best kept secret in the world of sweet potatoes. I will never cook another sweet potato any other way again!
    THANK YOU!!!

  28. Baked the sweetpatatoe for about an hour. Turned off oven let set for 30 minutes. Placed butter, cinnamon and a sprinkling of brown sugar. Mixed up inside the potato. Ate. So good. I want another. Best ever

  29. Just wanted to let you know that I did what you said with the foil, and the sweet potato juice actually melted through the foil and made it all stick to the bottom of my oven! Anyone else have this issue or did I some how mess this up? haha

    • Just wanted to comment again.. DO NOT PUT FOIL ON THE BOTTOM OF YOUR OVEN! There is even a warning on my box of foil. As I mentioned, it stuck to the bottom of my oven – like melted on it. There is no way to get it off and it looks like I am going to have to replace the bottom on my brand new oven…

  30. I bake sweet potatoes quite often just as you suggest and they are perfectly delicious. However, I have a question and need an answer: How long can you wait to bake a sweet potato after purchasing it from grocery store and leaving it in basket on kitchen counter before cooking? How many days? Or by feel???

    • Before it starts growing? As long as it isn’t soft and mouldy and growing green roots, it’s all good. Also leave the skin on after cooking, that’s where all the nutrients are!

  31. I have a new JENN-AIR oven. The technician was very specific to me regarding putting foil on the bottom of the oven. He said it can damage a lot of newer models, and it absolutely affects the warranty. I just thought you would be interested in sharing this info.

  32. Delicious! Best sweet potato I’ve ever had!!! I line a cookie sheet w foil and place it on the rack below the sweet potatoes to catch the drips. Worked great/tasted awesome!

    Do you have a post for baking regular potatoes?

  33. I don’t often make comments, but I had to let you know how wonderful this worked and Thank you for Sharing. These turned out Beautifully, fluffy, moist, sweet and yummy! I come from a line of amazing southern cooks, but it seems that sweet potatoes were often a hit or miss. I will have to share with my mother. Also I was surprised that only a couple of little drops fell on the aluminum foil, because when cooked on a pan they always seemed to seep all over. Thanks again!

  34. What a wonderful method! I always botch sweet potatoes — I know baking them seems so simple, but they have always ended up overdone on the ends and not very tender in the middle. Using your method was PERFECT. These are delicious for eating on their own, and if I never need to use mashed sweet potatoes in a recipe, I’ll use this method — they slide so easily out of the skins. I have a one-rack oven and was concerned about placing foil directly on the heating element, so I simply placed them on a baking sheet to catch the two tiny drippings. Absolutely perfect. Thank you!

  35. So far I have used this method about 4 times and the potatoes come out perfect every time. I was a little nervous about putting foil on the bottom of the oven, so I have been cheating and putting the potatoes in a roasting pan that has rack in it. They still come out perfect! 🙂 Thanks for this easy foolproof method!

  36. I’m ready to try. I bake potatoes for eating though out the year by freezing. Right now I have at least 40lbs large ones to go with your method . I do wrap them in foil when freezing.

  37. Thanks so much for this Lauren! I used this method to bake six sweet potatoes to make baby food for my twins. The skin peeled away so easily and the flesh was delicious! I had previously been peeling and steaming them but no matter what I did they seemed to turn brown. Your method is wonderful and allows me to do several at a time. (I did place the foil on a rack right below the cooking rack, worked great.)

  38. I tried this and it solves the worry of blocking vents.:
    Place a portable wire rack over a foil-lined 2″-high baking sheet. The rack should fit the sheet so that the top surface (where the sweet potatoes will go) rests on the upper surface of the baking sheet. (Or if the rack has feet, just place it inside the sheet.) Place the potatoes on the wire rack. Any drippings will land on the bottom of the wire rack. you’ll have to clean the rack, but I’ve found that a not-too-difficult chore, a lot easier than cleaning a large oven rack. Would appreciate your feedback.
    Thanks,
    Harold

  39. This is truly the best way to do it, the potatoes always come out sweet and velvety smooth. I cook sweet potatoes every week, and this is easy breezy. I have a gas oven so iput the foil on the rack below.

    Just in case anyone else has trouble with stringy sweet potatoes, which I unfortunately do often, I came across a tip to use a potato ricer, and it works like a charm. If sweet potatoes are a regular dish for you it is absolutely worth the investment! All of the strings get caught in the ricer, and the result is super smooth fabulous sweet potatoes.

  40. Perfection!!! I’m delighted to have googled best way to bake a sweet potato and find this method! No more oil and foil wrap and preheating for me!

    I have a silicone coated oven liner, so no drip worries, but I noticed there were none anyway. It does make sense to simply place the ‘catch foil’ on the rack below to be safe.

    I highly recommend this method and have adopted it starting this evening!!

    Thank you for publishing this!!! 🙂

  41. This was easily the best baked sweet potato iv ever had ! Although I did do one thing differently , instead of placing foil on the bottom of my oven , I used a baking tray on the bottom rack with some foil on that 🙂 thanks for sharing this method with the world !

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  43. It turned out with a sweet caramelized taste plus the syrupy burnt stuff in between my oven racks! But it was a success 🙂 I made an opening and then the yam slide its way out

  44. Ok I never comment on anything but I just had to on this because it’s the best way I’ve ever baked a sweet potato. It is perfect and I’m telling everyone I know! Thanks for your “foolproof” method!

  45. Thank you very much for sharing this recipe! I brought some sweet potatoes to my family in Russia (where it is next to impossible to source any), and was looking for an easy, but effective recipe in order to introduce them to the taste.
    The sweet potatoes have turned out great! Thanks again!

  46. yes it is true you can ruin your oven by putting foil on the bottom. About 8 years ago I opened the oven and the foil had bonded with the oven. So we got to replace the bottom of a brand new oven. The ovens in the last 8-10 yrs have the elements under the floor of the oven. It is actually printed on the oven floor stating do not use foil. I just wasn’t in the habit of reading the inside of the oven. But had I read instructions I would have seen that. 🙁

  47. I’ve been following this technique for a couple months now, at least 2 times a week. It’s great! Thank you for sharing it. Have you ever tried this with a toaster oven? I’m just wondering if it’s doable with consistent results. I’m looking to buy one, but I’ve never owned one, so I’m not familiar with how this recipe might differ from a regular oven. Thanks again!

  48. I tried following these directions tonight, and I’m astounded. The baked sweet potatoes were amazing–turned out more perfectly than they have ever turned out before.

    This is my new favorite way to cook sweet potatoes and I will pass the recipe onto my children, and my children’s children and so on.

    Absolute perfection. Thank you!!

  49. Thank you so much for posting this method. I’ve been using it for over six months with great results. It really allows the potatoes to caramelize.

    About the foil, just line a cookie sheet and put it on the grate that is under the one with the potatoes. Or, if you don’t want to have to clean the oven grates, you can just throw the potatoes on a cookie sheet lined with foil. Personally, I think the results are almost as good as the other method.

  50. followed your instructions. potatoe came out great. I like eating the skin so I rubbed a little unsalted butter on the skin before baking. mmmmmmm crispy brown sweet potatoe skin with salt!

  51. Foolproof is right. I’ve made sweet potatoes this way several times now, and they always come out perfectly. I’m about to put some in the oven for Thanksgiving dinner. Yum! Thanks!

  52. Thank you so much for posting this! I had to make sweet potato casserole this year for Thanksgiving and had no idea how to cook the ideal sweet potato. We cooked exactly as instructed, the house smelled amazing and they turned out perfectly!

  53. I have found that organic sweet potatoes are naturally sweeter and darker orange (more vitamin rich) and just taste better! Also if there is still a stringy texture, they just need to bake longer 🙂

  54. Thanks for sharing this method. I have used it several times with great success. After the first time, I modified it by placing the sheet of foil directly on the rack and the potatoes on the foil. Works great and my racks stay clean and free of any caramelized bits.

  55. Thanks for this recipe. I make a batch of sweet potatoes every week or two for my 18 month old son. After trying several different recipes I found online, yours was the clear winner. I use a baking sheet covered in foil to cook them on, and this doesn’t seem to make a difference. I think what works is that the temperature is a bit higher than what’s usually recommended, and they come out extremely moist after sitting in the oven. I’ve only have forgotten them in there once 😛

  56. My parents and my grandmother had their own restaurants in the small town I grew up in. Foil was never used for any type of potato baking. The whole baked potato in foil idea got started with hotels and any large establishment that did banquets. After cooking the potatoes, on the rack, without any foil, they would later be wrapped in foil and put inside large, rolling warming boxes. This kept the potatoes perfect until time to serve at the banquets.
    Ordinary people who had no real professional experience cooking potatoes would see this when/if they attended some “fancy” banquet, and thought, “Oh wow! I should do that!”, and ever since, people have mistakenly baked potatoes of all types in foil.
    Foil traps moisture inside tubers and root vegetables. When you bake any type of potato in foil, it comes out gummy, and never flakes.
    For regular potatoes, one should coat the washed skin in vegetable oil, then sprinkle it liberally with salt. Again, some type of drip tray should be placed underneath. I agree with this post about not coating the sweet potato; the skin will turn out fine without it.

  57. OMG! I baked two sets of 2 sweet potatoes this past week as recommended. And boy did they turn out perfect!

    I always liked Long Horn’s sweet potatoes (w/o the sugar; butter and cinnamon only). I wanted to bake them at home,

    I’m so glad you posted this recipe. And I’m glad I found it.

    Although my wife wasn’t happy the other night since there was still a little sweet potato drippings hanging off the rack and she wanted to bake cookies.

    I just put two more potatoes in the oven, I’m drooling (ok not quite) thinking I’ll be enjoying one of those potatos for dinner.

    Ed

  58. I asked my boyfriend to follow this when I was on my way home, as I did last time, and they came out perfect. But he didn’t wash the potatoes first. So it kinda tasted like dirt last night LOL

    I asked him why he didn’t rinse them off before cooking and he said washing them wasn’t in directions. I said it’s common sense. (the man is an engineer by the way hahaha) Maybe you can add that into the directions for people without common sense ? Lol.

  59. Tried this method this morning for first time and they came out so perfectly! I love sweet potatoes cooked any way at all, but these were the best baked ever. Thank you! (and btw, put the foil on the rack below to catch the few little drips)

  60. Made this recipe yesterday–turned out great! Thanks!

    Based on some of the comments on this post, it may be a good idea to revise the following statement towards the top of the post: “Place a sheet of foil over the bottom of the oven.”

    Although you clearly explain that the foil shouldn’t be placed directly on the bottom of the oven later in the post, if people just read the first part of the post, they might end up ruining their oven.

  61. This is the best baked potato recipe ever. I’ve used this several times in my toaster oven…..perfection! I just make sure to place the potato in between the coils to prevent boiling. I can now have restaurant quality potatoes at home. Thanks!

  62. There is a difference in taste & texture between Sweet Potatoes vs Yams. I don’t buy Yams. Also never buy big thick Sweet Potatoes because they take longer to cook. If baking, I use a baking tray with a raised rack. Easier to clean a small rack than the oven rack.

    I scrub the skin thoroughly and eat the skin as well, all the nutrients are in the skin. Then other times I steam them 20-30 mins which is even faster than baking. Don’t like to bake at such high heat in the summer.

    Lauren, love your healthy recipes. Thanks very much.

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I’m Lauren Geertsen, an author and Nutritional Therapy Practitioner. When doctors told me that surgery and medication were the only answers to my chronic health issues, I decided to use the power of nutrition and a natural lifestyle instead.
My mission at Empowered Sustenance? To show you the simple steps on your path to vibrant health.

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