How To Poach an Egg in the Microwave

How To Poach an Egg in the Microwave

Faith Durand
Aug 25, 2010

I don't usually use the microwave to poach my breakfast egg, but it can come in very handy for a lunch egg. Lentils, brown rice, or a salad can be elevated from a side dish to a main dish with a tender, gooey poached egg on top. Here's how to make a quick, freshly poached egg in the office microwave.

Huge caveat, before you try this: Remember that microwaves come in lots of different configurations. This is a basic set of instructions but you will probably need to tweak it a bit to adjust to your microwave.

My microwave oven is a 700 watt oven so I usually microwave my eggs at 80% power. However, if using a higher-powered microwave I would recommend starting at 50% power.

What You Need

1 egg
1/3 cup water
Approximately 1/2 teaspoon vinegar (optional)

Microwave-safe mug or small bowl
Microwave-safe small plate
Slotted spoon


1. Gather your ingredients. The vinegar is optional, but it will help the egg coalesce a little better.

2. Crack the egg into a microwave-safe bowl or mug.

3. Pour in about 1/3 cup water.

4. Add a bit of vinegar. (You can also add this directly to the water before pouring it in.)

5. Cover the bowl or mug with a microwave-safe plate. Place in the microwave and cook on 50% to 80% POWER for 60 seconds. Carefully remove the plate and check the egg. If it is not done yet, return to microwave and cook on 50% POWER in 20 second bursts. (I usually cook mine for a total of 80 seconds.)

6. Remove from the water with a slotted spoon, and enjoy!

Additional Notes:
• This method will give a rather wobbly egg. If you like a more hardboiled-style egg, microwave on HIGH for 60 seconds.
• Do note that, unlike when poaching eggs on the stovetop, the microwave tends to cook the yolk even faster than the white. So if you like gooey yolks, it's best to take the egg out when the white is still a little wobbly.

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(Images: Faith Durand)

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