It is surprising that more food sites do not mention the time and money saving tip of using Chef Mike — the microwave — to cook potatoes.

I’ve been doing this for several years. Perhaps you have, too.

Here are five takes on potatoes à la Chef Mike.

Please note that these are instructions for medium-sized potatoes. Larger potatoes will require longer cooking time, but experiment by extending cooking time by one-minute intervals until you have found the perfect length of time.

Parboiling for roasting

Wash the potato(es), then dry with kitchen (paper) towel.

Using a knife, make a shallow slit in the potato so that it does not explode in the microwave.

Cook for 4 minutes.

Remove from microwave and let cool thoroughly before roasting, so that all the steam can evaporate.

Baked potatoes

Wash the potato(es), then dry with kitchen (paper) towel.

Using a knife, make a shallow ‘X’ in the potato so that it does not explode in the microwave. Place the potato ‘X’ side up in the microwave and cook for 5 to 6 minutes.

Alternatively, cook for 4 minutes and finish in the oven at 170°C (or 325°F) for 15 minutes.

The only downside with cooking the potato completely in the microwave is that the bottom can get a bit hard, which is unappetising.

Mashed potatoes

Follow the first two paragraphs of instructions for baked potatoes above, cooking for 6 minutes.

Let the potato(es) cool enough so you can peel it then break or cut it up in a wide-bottomed bowl. Add salt, pepper and enough butter (and/or milk) to mash with a fork. A fork works really well as a potato masher. It gets rid of all the lumps quickly.

Warm the potato up in the microwave for one or two minutes. Stir the mash again and serve.

Twice-baked potatoes

Clean and dry the potat(oes) as stated above.

Carefully cut a flap around the top of the spud but leave the flap on for cooking.

Microwave for 6 minutes.

Remove and let cool. Remove the flap and discard.

Carefully scoop out most of the potato, but leave enough in the bottom and around the edges to stabilise it.

Mash the scooped out portion in a bowl using butter or — my favourite for this recipe — mayonnaise. Season well and add herbs or Old Bay to the mix. Mash away any lumps. Some people like to add grated cheese and cooked bacon lardons.

Spoon the mash back into the potato and bake at 170°C (or 325°F) for 15 minutes. Serve immediately.

Sliced potatoes

The French cooking site I visit, which is part of JournalDesFemmes.com, has a recipe for sliced potatoes. My translation follows.

Wash and peel the potato(es). Finely slice it.

Arrange in a shallow dish, drizzle a little oil over the potatoes, season with salt and pepper then cover with cling film (plastic wrap). Make a few holes in the cling film. Alternatively, one can use a microwave cooking bag.

Microwave for 4 to 5 minutes. Remove and test with a fork or knife. If the potato slices yield easily, they are done.

If not, microwave for another minute and check again. It is better to microwave by the minute and recheck rather than wrongly overestimate cooking time.

You can top the potatoes with chopped parsley or chives and, if you like, a warm cream or cheese sauce before serving.

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