How to Poach Eggs in the Microwave

Every now and then I happen upon a shortcut that revolutionizes the way I eat. These microwave poached eggs are one of them.

I adoooore poached eggs. Whether on an english muffin, on a bed of sauteed greens, on a salad, on pasta as a take on carbonara, on a bare plate with some crusty bread to mop up the silky yolk… poached eggs make regular appearances on my table, and they don’t care whether it is breakfast, lunch or dinner.

But they are a big finicky – you have to haul out a deep pan, wait for the water to simmer, and they need to be babysat so as not to overcook them. A bit too much trouble when you only want one egg.

This morning, I had my water boiling for tea and I had my bread in the toaster when an intense poached-egg craving struck. It was unpleasantly early in the morning, I was bleary-eyed and in a hurry, but from this rough state, the microwave poached egg idea was born.

I ended up going through 6 trials and 6 eggs to get it right, plus 15 minutes of snapping photos (incidentally, all photos on this post were taken with my iPhone). So much for my hurry. But the outcome? Game-changing. A poached egg in 45 seconds with the teakettle and the microwave. Perfectly formed whites, and luscious, runny yolks.

White egg + white dish. Can you spot him?

The Secret to Perfect Microwave Poached Eggs

The egg cooks unevenly, so you need to gently turn it over part way through. If you don’t, the visible half of the egg will overcook, while the underside remains raw.

Take it out of the hot water with a big spoon as soon as it’s done cooking, as it will rapidly go from perfect to overdone if you let it sit in the water.

The vinegar is very important – it keeps the egg white intact. I did one trial without it and the white became a stringy mess.

More About Eggs

How to Boil, Poach, Fry and Scramble Eggs Perfectly, Every Time

How to Perfectly Soft Boil an Egg

The Best Substitutes for Eggs in Any Recipe

How to Poach Eggs in the Microwave



  • 1 egg
  • boiling water
  • 1 tsp white vinegar


  • For perfect microwave-poached eggs, pour boiling water into ramekin to 3/4 full, and add the vinegar. Crack an egg and gently slip it into the water. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave on high for 30 seconds. Use a soup spoon to gently turn the egg over. Cover again and microwave 15 seconds longer. Remove immediately from water and drain on a paper-towel lined plate.
  • This produces a runny poached egg. Increase cooking time to 60 seconds total for an egg that is fully cooked.
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2 years ago

hahahahaha my egg exploded!

2 years ago

How do you stop egg from exploding

Betty Collom
Betty Collom
1 year ago
Reply to  Gary

You need to pierce the yolk.

Kevin Roberts
Kevin Roberts
8 months ago

mmmh- I need egg, boiling water, vinegar and a microwave-Why not eliminate the microwave and just poach the damn egg?

6 months ago
Reply to  Kevin Roberts

5 stars
For me why I’m going to the microwave for poached eggs is 3 fold. Way quicker. Don’t dirty a pan (cup can go in the dish washer). And more intact egg whites – Personally I always struggle with the stringy whites with a normal poach…

This is the first one that I’ve seen that recommends flipping the egg part way through! Such a great idea, otherwise the egg gets too firm on top an underdone on bottom (as stated and from experience…).

2 months ago
Reply to  Kevin Roberts

, 👏👏👏👏🤗

7 months ago

5 stars
Thank you for your tip / I tried it and it worked out well. Much better to clean a small ramekin than having to clean a pan!

Jane Rininger
Jane Rininger
5 months ago

another post I saw said cook 1 min in microwave. This was too long. Tasted fine, of course but the yoke was hard as opposed to runny, and it kind of exploded (lucky I had it in a poacher with a top).

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