For The Best Baked Sweet Potatoes, Skip The Oven

In recent years, sweet potato fries have grown in popularity, being added to restaurant menus across the U.S. and even sold in the frozen food aisle. But, in your search for convenience when making sweet potato fries, don't skip over the baked sweet potato.

Recipes abound for sweet potatoes that involve roasting, mashing, grilling, air frying, and microwaving them. Betty Crocker says that no matter the method you choose, you can't go wrong when preparing a sweet potato. One of the most classic sweet potato dishes that grace dining room tables on the holidays, is candied sweet potatoes, which includes brown sugar, butter, heavy cream, cinnamon, and nutmeg, (and the optional marshmallows), per a Southern Living recipe. 

A great bonus to the delicious taste of sweet potatoes is that, as starches go, they are quite healthy. A medium-sized sweet potato contains vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C, potassium, and fiber, according to Healthline. If you are looking for a way to keep sweet potatoes as nutritious and tasty as possible, while also keeping the process simple, baking them is a great option. But what if we told you the oven might not be the best place in which to do that? 

Use a common kitchen appliance

The best and easiest way to make out-of-this-world baked sweet potatoes is in a slow cooker, advises Forks Over Knives. Not only is this method great because it is fairly labor-free, but the kitchen appliance is also especially good at drawing out the sweetness from these potatoes' natural sugars.

To prepare them, simply clean the exterior of four or five sweet potatoes, use a fork or other utensil to poke holes in the skins, then place them in a slow cooker in a single layer. Allow them to cook on high for about eight hours or until you can pierce the skin easily.

Top with caution

After you have perfected your sweet potato using a slow cooker, you'll want to make sure you're topping them the right way. As stated above, the cooking method draws out the natural sugars of sweet potatoes, so you may have to adjust your go-to seasonings.

Skinny Taste suggests going simple with butter, salt, and pepper to taste; For a bit of a more cozy flavor, you can also use cinnamon and pumpkin spice butter; If you want to go all out, Bon Appétit suggests decadent toppings like hot honey, cashews, and sausage.

If you do want to lean into the sweetness, we suggest opting for maple syrup — as we did in our Hasselback sweet potato recipe — and consider additions like red pepper flakes and sage to help the dish from being too one note.