THE secret to perfect baked sweet potatoes in a fraction of the time: cutting them in half! That's right, we roast sweet potato halves instead of full sweet potatoes. Not only do they take less time, they also have perfect caramelized edges and a soft fluffy interior.
OVEN: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large dark sheet pan with parchment paper or a silpat liner. Don't skip the parchment paper, it really helps the potatoes cook evenly without the cut side getting too hard.
CLEAN POTATOES: Throughly scrub the sweet potatoes in COLD water. Clean to remove all the dirt and any debris. Completely dry the potatoes. Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise.
PREP POTATOES: Place the potatoes flesh side down on the sheet pan. Pierce each back side of the potato 3 to 4 times with the tines of a fork. Flip the potatoes flesh side up. Drizzle the oil over all the potatoes and take your time to rub the oil into both sides of the potatoes so all parts of the potatoes are sufficiently covered. Evenly sprinkle 3/4 teaspoon of salt over all the potatoes (3/4 teaspoon for ALL potatoes not each). Add 1/8 teaspoon pepper to the flesh sides of the potatoes. Now flip again so the potatoes flesh side down. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt over all the skins of the potatoes and remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper on the skins.
BAKE: Bake for 30-37 minutes (depending on size of potatoes/personal preference for tenderness) until skin looks shriveled and potatoes are tender. A 5-6 ounce potatoes will cook in around 25-27 minutes, 6-8 ounce potatoes around 30 minutes, and 9-11 ounce potatoes around 33-37 minutes. Check for doneness by inserting a fork into the biggest potato. If it goes in easily, the potatoes are ready! If not, add an additional 5 minutes. Cook until fork tender, checking every 5 minutes.
ENJOY: Remove from the oven and serve with favorite toppings. We like a pat of butter and sprinkle of brown sugar with a little sea salt!