How to Choose and Cook Sweet Potatoes

How to choose sweet potatoes

Lucky for you, North Carolina sweet potatoes are available every month of the year. When selecting sweet potatoes, it is important that they are firm to the touch and no signs of decay. For even cooking, choose sweet potatoes that are uniform in shape.

How to store sweet potatoes

Avoid storing sweet potatoes in the refrigerator, which will produce a hard center and unpleasant taste. Instead, store your sweet potatoes in a cool, dry, well ventilated container, like a basket, for up to two weeks.

How to cut sweet potatoes

Larger sweet potatoes can prove difficult to cut. When cutting lengthwise, or into slices or wedges, use a large knife and gently apply your weight forward to thrust the knife through the sweet potato. Slices, wedges, sticks and slicing lengthwise are all suitable cuts for sweet potatoes. To avoid browning, rinse the flesh with cold water.

How to cook sweet potatoes


Sweet potatoes are delicious cooked whole. When baked, their thin skin puffs to a crisp finish and inside you’ll discover a sweet, pillowy flesh. While baking is the most traditional way to cook sweet potatoes, there are countless ways to prepare them and cash in on their heavenly sweetness.

  • When cooking whole sweet potatoes, pierce their skin several times with a fork and bake at 400 degrees for 40-50 minutes or until fork tender.
  • Sauté sliced or diced sweet potatoes in oil for about 10 minutes.
  • Quick boil by adding 1-inch thick slices to a skillet with 2 inches of boiling water; cook for about 12 minutes.
  • Steam 1-inch slices over simmering water.
  • Microwave whole sweet potatoes for 5 to 8 minutes rotating halfway through.
  • Micro-bake whole sweet potatoes: microwave 4 minutes, then bake at 450 degrees for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Grill or broil 1-inch thick slices for 10 minutes or cut sweet potato in half lengthwise and grill 20 to 25 minutes.
  • Grate raw into slaws and salads.
© 2014 North Carolina Sweet Potato Commission | Site created by: CRT/tanaka