SOP for microwaved potatoes

Ike_crosscountry_01This standard operating procedure was an assignment for Isaac’s biotech class, and I asked him if I could share it here because I loved it. (We couldn’t get the numbering system from his document to transfer over in a cut-and-paste, so just imagine a better numbering system than this one.)


    1. To delineate an exact method of baking red-skinned potatoes in the microwave.

  2. SCOPE:

    1. This applies to anyone who desires baked red potatoes, whether it be for dinner, a snack, or any other such time of consumption.


    1. Red potato: a variety of Solanum tuberosum with a reddish skin and round shape; usually approximately 3 inches in diameter.

    2. Fork: an instrument frequently used in connection with food; has a long, thin handle and four sharp tines on the other end. Usually between 5 and 8 inches in length. May be made of various materials: plastic or metal, usually.

    3. Eyes: in the context of potatoes, the beginnings of sprouts which would grow off of the edible tuber. Given enough time, these will become full-blown sprouts; the size and number of eyes increase slowly over time.


    1. Clean up after yourself. If necessary, refer to SOPs 7-10 through 11-10.


    1. Take care when using a fork not to stab oneself.

    2. Always be very careful when handling anything which has been heated. This applies here.

    3. If using a knife, take care not to put any appendages in the knife’s way when applying any force at all.


    1. Red potatoes, in whatever quantity is desired. Ensure that they are new enough not to be rotten.

    2. A fork; preferably metallic, although plastic will work.

    3. A functioning microwave (including a power supply).

    4. A tool with which small chunks of potato can be dug out. Many potato peelers have a sharp enough tip to do this; if nothing else can be found, a knife will serve well enough.

    5. A microwaveable plate. (If unsure whether a given plate is microwaveable or not, ask someone else who has more experience in the lab/kitchen being used.)

    6. A hot pad with which one can grab hot objects. Usually made of textiles; some may be made of plastic.

    7. A water supply; preferably a sink with a faucet. Must have enough volume of water for washing one’s hands and all of the potatoes to be used.

    8. Hand soap.


    1. Wash hands with water and hand soap. Refer to SOP 14-10.

    2. Rinse surface of potatoes thoroughly with water.

    3. Use sharp tool (6.4) to remove any undesirable parts of potatoes. This includes any eyes on the potatoes, as well as any especially dark-colored areas (which frequently indicate rotten areas).

    4. Rinse potatoes once more.

    5. Spear potatoes in several equivalently-space places  with the sharp end of fork (6.2). This ensures that the potatoes will not explode from the force of expanding steam while being baked.

    6. Put potatoes on plate (6.5). Arrange in a circle on the plate, leaving the center empty and spacing out the potatoes equally. Do not put more than 7 potatoes on plate. If more than 7 potatoes are being baked, split them equivalently among enough batches to ensure that no batch has more than 7. Set only one batch on plate at once.

    7. Open the microwave door. Put plate in microwave. Make sure that the potatoes stay roughly in place as arranged. Close the microwave.

    8. Set the microwave to bake for 2 minutes for each potato on plate, e.g. for 5 potatoes, cook 10 minutes. Consult SOP 30-11 or experienced technician if unsure of how to operate microwave.

    9. Once microwave has finished cooking, open microwave door. Using hot pad, remove plate and potatoes from microwave. Take care to ensure that the potatoes do not fall off of the plate. Put the plate on a surface which will not be damaged by heat.

    10. Give the potatoes at least 15 minutes to cool off. Once this time has elapsed, they may be relocated to wherever is appropriate given the circumstances.

    11. If potatoes will not be consumed for more than 3 hours, refrigerate them until time of consumption.

    12. Wash or otherwise clean up after anything used as appropriate.


    1. Anyone with prior experience in lab/kitchen; may or may not need to be consulted.

    2. SOPs 7-10 through 11-10.

    3. SOP 14-10.

    4. SOP 30-11.

  9. REVIEW AND APPROVAL (Signature required by the person who tested the protocol for clarity and

correctness.) _____________________________


    1. Potatoes may optionally be salted or otherwise seasoned at time of consumption. When seasoning, take care not to put an overly large amount of seasoning.

Isaac at a Ragnar trail race his cross-country team participated in. (Yes, there’s a watermark across his face, because I was too cheap to buy the photo.) On his forearms he’s wearing a pair of bracers, inspired by Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn books, that his talented friend Sierra made for him. Red potatoes help fuel his running.

This entry was posted in My kids actually are funny (and sweet and wonderful). Bookmark the permalink.

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