I Tried the No-Pan Egg Frying Trick and Was Surprised by the Results

published Jul 29, 2022
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
Credit: Rachel Reiss

I’m all for cooking elaborate meals, but when it comes to breakfast, quick and easy is the name of the game. My morning routine is often stacked with to-dos before I sit down at my desk for the day, so I’m always searching for nutritious options with a little more staying power.

Enter: the versatile egg. Perfect in a sandwich, as a toast topper, or on its own, I often lean on eggs to incorporate more protein into my morning meal. Sometimes, the thought of standing in front of the stove, dirtying pots, pans, and spatulas, is enough to deter me from making the effort, however.

According to TikTok, there’s an easier way. I was intrigued to come upon this video by @Akakasandra who shared her novel take on how to cook an egg without using a single pan. Like most people, I appreciate a good time-and-effort-saving TikTok hack, and decided to put it to the test. 

How to “Fry” an Egg in the Microwave Using Paper Plates

Akakasandra begins by greasing a paper plate with oil or butter. I chose nonstick cooking spray, which, in hindsight, probably was a mistake.

She then cracks the egg directly onto the first paper plate, and covers it with another plate. The second plate acts like a steamer, trapping in heat and moisture to rapidly cook the egg.

Credit: Rachel Reiss

While Akakasandra doesn’t specify the power setting, I followed her lead and nuked the egg for 50 seconds. Around the 20-second mark, I began to hear a snap, crackle, pop. Despite my concern, I decided to wait it out. This certainly took me back to my college dorm days when the microwave was my best friend. 

After 50 seconds, I removed my experiment from the microwave and lifted the top plate for the moment of truth.

Credit: Rachel Reiss

My Honest Review of the No-Pan Egg Frying Hack

Simple and straightforward, this hack worked as promised. The egg was thoroughly cooked, perhaps a little too cooked. As I gingerly nudged the egg open with a fork, I expected to be greeted by a delightfully runny yolk, only to find that it had already solidified. The white, on the other hand, was cooked to perfection. Any longer, it would have become rubbery. 

Like Akakasandra, I’d compare the final product to a poached egg more than a fried egg. Without even a spatula, I could slide the egg right off the plate and onto an English muffin. A dash of hollandaise and it could have posed as a satisfying eggs Benedict.

For an egg that’ll sneak its way into a sandwich or get soaked up by some bread, this hack is fine. I wouldn’t recommend this as a cooking method for stand-alone egg consumption, however, as it leaves much to be desired. My favorite part of fried eggs is the crispy outer bits, which is only achievable by frying it up on the stovetop.

Credit: Rachel Reiss

Tips for Making a Fried-ish Egg in the Microwave

  • Use uncoated paper plates. Using a disposable plate as a base imparted somewhat of a plastic-y taste into the egg. I would recommend opting for paper plates that aren’t coated in plastic, or using a salted butter or olive oil to mask the flavor.  
  • Cook at intervals. While microwave strengths can vary, I’d recommend starting with 30 seconds to achieve maximum yolk drippage. Then check, and continue nuking in 10-second intervals until your egg reaches desired doneness.

While I try to limit my paper plate use, let’s be honest — sometimes, convenience wins out. This hack likely won’t become part of my breakfast-making routine, but I’d lean on it for times where I’m truly in a pinch.