I probably underuse my Microwave, and every now and then I’m astounded by how well it works on some items – Poached Eggs in the Microwave are one of those.
While I’ve poached eggs for years in simmering water, I have to admit that they always turn out better in the microwave. And it’s so easy! As soon as you get your timing down, you’ll be turning out perfectly poached eggs that look like they were cooked by a pro! And in the fraction of the time of stovetop poached eggs.
About Poached Eggs in the Microwave:
Probably the biggest drawback to poached eggs in the microwave is that they have to be done one at a time. I’ve tried multiple eggs and it seems to be pretty much a crapshoot with some done before others and a lot of uneven cooking.
The plus side is that they are very fast and really easy to do. Poached eggs in the microwave take about a minute per egg, so you can turn out several in less than the amount of time it takes to bring water up to a simmer and poach them the old-fashioned way unless you really need a lot of eggs.
I’ve used Poached Eggs in the Microwave on this site in my Classic Eggs Benedict, Salmon Asparagus Hash, Eggs Florentine and my Grilled Asparagus and Quinoa Salad. (I overcooked the eggs on the last! Hey, it happens, even to food bloggers! lol!) All of these recipes are favorites for special occasion breakfasts or brunches, or when you just want to feel a little pampered. Of course, you can’t go wrong with the classic Poached Egg on Toast, especially if you’re a dipper!
Making Poached Eggs in the Microwave:
The method couldn’t be simpler. Add cold water to a Pyrex measuring cup, a teensy bit of vinegar and the egg. The vinegar helps the whites set up faster so the egg white will stay together a bit better. Then loosely cover the container. A small plate works well and microwave.
It’s worth noting that there is no standardized setting for the power on microwaves and that can affect how fast or slow your egg cooks. I imagine the size of the microwave can be a bit of a factor, too. So you might just have to experiment to get your perfect timing. Eggs are cheap and I think it’s well worth it.
I have only made my Poached Eggs in the Microwave in a one cup Pyrex measuring cup, so I haven’t tested them out using different containers. Do use the same container every time so you won’t have a lot of variables. If your yolk does cook all the way through before the whites are done, double check to make sure you have added the vinegar. If you did, you might have one of the more powerful microwave models, so try backing off and cooking at 70 percent power (or a similar setting.)
Warning About Poached Eggs in the Microwave:
Just recently, August 2018, I heard of a poached egg that exploded shortly after being removed from the microwave. It seems eggs can also explode in the microwave. While normally this doesn’t happen with eggs removed from the shell, do be very careful and keep your face away from the egg, just in case and beware of the possibility of a safety risk.
Poached Eggs in the Microwave
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup cold (from the tap) water
- 1/4 teaspoon vinegar
Place water and vinegar in a microwave-safe container – preferably a Pyrex measuring cup, but a mug, glass or bowl work well, too, as long as the egg is covered with water. This may affect timing.
Gently crack egg and add the egg to the container. Loosely cover with a saucer. Microwave on high for approximately 50 seconds to 1 1/2 minutes.
Remove immediately with a slotted spoon as the egg will continue to cook if left in the water.
To cook additional eggs, start with fresh water each time or the timing will be off because the water starts off hotter for each egg.
To hold poached eggs, simply place them in warm water or on a damp plate.
Note: Depending on the strength of your microwave, size of your egg and container, the cooking time can vary. The first time you make the poached eggs with this method, you’ll probably need extra eggs. Experiment until you find the exact timing that works for you. (Then, if you’re like me and have no memory for such things, jot it down somewhere!)
Note: I made a slight change in the timing and mentioned to use cold tap water, primarily because someone noted on Pinterest this didn’t work out for her. I’m hoping that this will solve the issue. Mine, in the Pyrex cup shown take 53 seconds.
Raw or undercooked eggs may pose a safety risk.