Microwave Poached Eggs
Microwave Poached Eggs

THE EASIEST way to poach eggs – all you need is a mug and a microwave! Ready in about a minute. Use this method with poached eggs to top a quick lunch salad, toast for an easy breakfast, or roasted veggies for dinner.

If we collected all the writings on poaching the perfect egg from every book, magazine, and website, this would be a multi-volume encyclopedia. It’s not that big of a deal, though—especially with this low-stakes microwave method. It uses far less water and is faster, so poached eggs can be a quick weekday breakfast or a topper for a lunchtime salad.

This can change your life! (To a small but comfortable extent.) What are you waiting for? Let’s atomize and poach.

Poach eggs in the microwave

You need: A cup, water, an egg – and of course a microwave!

There are a few caveats about the cup. You want it to be sturdy and tight. Have you ever microwaved a cup of water for tea and the cup itself was almost hotter than the water? Do not use this cup, mainly because it is easier to use.

No, you shouldn’t have to buy a mug just to nucleate an egg, but I’ll recommend these simple gift shop mugs with savory handles because they work pretty well.

Also, eggs poached in large cups will take longer to poach, even if the amount of water is the same.

You can skip adding vinegar to the water for this poached egg, although many stovetop poached egg recipes call for a little vinegar because it helps the egg whites to curdle.

Why give it up? Just to keep things simple and I’ve found it doesn’t make enough of a difference with microwaved eggs to be worth it. But you can add it if you like: use half a teaspoon per half cup of water.

performance and cooking times

Not all microwaves have the same wattage. For this reason, your microwave at home might only take two minutes to reheat leftovers, but the one in the break room at work takes nearly four minutes. (Is there an unwritten rule that microwaves in break rooms have to be slow?)

  • You’ll have to experiment a little to see how long it takes to poach an egg in it your Microwave. If you want, you can start by looking for the wattage. It’s usually on the information panel on the back, although you can sometimes find it in the microwave or on the side of the door.
  • I’ve poached eggs in a 700 watt microwave and it took me about 70 seconds to have one with runny yolks and solid egg whites. An 800 watt microwave took about the same amount of time. Use high power regardless of the wattage when you poach your egg.

If you have a few imperfect eggs (overcooked, undercooked), don’t freak out. It’s just eggs, after all. When you get your egg the way you want it, stick to this timing, but also continue to use the same cup whenever possible.

When the difference between a poached egg that’s perfect for you and a poached egg that disappoints can be 10 tiny seconds, it’s best to keep your variables constant.

Be sure to…

  • crack the egg Microwave an egg in its shell and it may explode.
  • First put water in the cup. Without water, it’s not a poached egg.
  • Pierce the yolk with a toothpick, then cover the mug with a microwave-safe saucer or small plate (or, if you don’t have one, plastic wrap). Very rarely, the yolk can explode and cause a mess. Pricking the yolk reduces the chances of that happening… and when it does, the saucer keeps the mess in the mug rather than the entire microwave.

How many eggs can you poach at once?

You can poach two eggs in two cups at a time, but I found it at least doubled the microwave time. Also, one egg can cook faster than the other even though they cook side by side.

For the most control over doneness, simply cook one egg at a time. It takes a minute and a half at most.

Tips and tricks for perfect poached eggs

Let the egg rest: For microwave eggs, letting the egg sit in the cup of hot water for a minute helps to ensure properly cooked egg whites and ideal yolks. Also, if the yolk is too runny, letting it sit in the wild water for a minute or more will help so that it stops being runny and becomes soft and creamy, but not sticky.

Say no to wet eggs: Soggy poached eggs don’t taste good. For the best poached egg experience, you need to drain the excess water before wetting everything else on your plate. Drain your egg on a piece of stale bread or on a paper towel.

How to season poached eggs

After draining the eggs, sprinkle them with salt and pepper. (This is a fun time to pull out fancy salt if you have any.) Or whatever you’d like! I like Furikake.

What to serve with poached eggs

Oh, that’s the best question ever. What can you Not Serve with poached eggs?

The classic is to put them on toast. You probably don’t need me to explain that. Butter the toast, spread an avocado on top, etc.

Like any egg lover, I put eggs on everything. Hearty salads! Reheated leftover enchiladas! Fried rice with shrimp. Easy pasta dishes! Or swimming a microwave poached egg in a soup (broth or savory) is the best.

More great egg recipes!

  • Omelet in a mug
  • Poached Egg and Bacon Salad – Lyonnaise Salad
  • Easy poached eggs
  • Soba noodle bowls with spinach and poached eggs
  • How to make Eggs Benedict


Learn how to cook poached eggs in the microwave

Poached eggs in the microwave

preparation time
1 min

cooking time
1 min

total time
2 minutes

1 serving

The cooking time here is highly dependent on the wattage of your microwave. Start with 30 seconds and increase the time in 20 or 10 second increments as needed.

Be sure to poke the yolk with a toothpick and cover the mug with a small plate or plastic wrap before microwave. Very rarely, the yolk can explode in the microwave. By piercing the yolk and covering the cup, the process stays safe and clean.


  • 1 big egg

  • 1/2 Cup room temperature water

  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Prepare cup:

    Pour 1/2 cup of room temperature water into a microwave-safe mug. Crack the egg into the water. Poke a hole in the yolk with a toothpick, then cover the mug with a small microwave-safe plate or piece of plastic wrap.

  2. Microwave the cup:

    Place the mug in the microwave and set the microwave on HIGH for 30 seconds. NOTE: Start by heating the egg in the microwave for just 30 seconds.

    Take out the mug, remove the plate or plastic wrap and take a look inside; You want the white to be opaque and the yolk to still be on the liquid side. If the whites are still clear, replace the lid and microwave for an additional 10 to 60 seconds. To avoid explosions, do not heat the egg for more than 30 seconds at a time and no more than 1 1/2 minutes total.

    How long it takes to cook the egg to your liking depends primarily on the wattage of your microwave. You have to play around a bit. The time can vary greatly!

  3. Let the cup sit:

    Let the boiled egg sit in the cup of hot water for 1 minute or longer if needed. This will help firm up soft parts of the egg white, giving you a more evenly poached egg.

  4. Drain egg:

    Using a spoon or fork, carefully lift the egg out of the cup and place it on a slice of stale bread or a paper towel. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then transfer to the plate and enjoy.

nutritional information (per serving)
72 calories
5g Fat
1g carbohydrates
6g protein
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Hello everybody, Even if you're limited on time and money, I believe you can prepare wonderful food with everyday products. All you have to do is cook cleverly and creatively!