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Perfect Poached Eggs in the Microwave

Occasionally Chris will have something to say about food preparation, but only if he has tried it and had good results.

Check out my recipe for poached eggs on toast!

Check out my recipe for poached eggs on toast!

Achieving the Perfect Poached Egg

Perfect may be an absolute term when it comes to scientific experiments, but it is a relative term when it comes to preparing the food we eat. I've claimed that you can make the perfect poached egg in your microwave. I can say that because I'll provide some guidelines, and you will work out a few of the details. Together, we will achieve that perfect poached egg.

Poach: To cook by simmering in a small amount of liquid.

Description of a Perfectly Poached Egg

  • The yolk is mostly runny. Some of the yolk will be solid, but most will be runny.
  • White is fully cooked. The entire clear, viscous part will cook until it is totally white.
  • White is mostly solid. Most of the white will be solid, but some will still wiggle.
These are the utensils needed to make a poached egg.

These are the utensils needed to make a poached egg.

Necessary Utensils

  • Microwavable coffee cup: The diameter needs to be narrow enough so that the egg can be completely submerged in 1/3 of a cup of water.
  • Measuring cup: This will measure 1/3 of a cup of hot tap water.
  • 1/4 teaspoon measuring spoon: This will measure 1/4 teaspoon of white vinegar.
  • Small saucer: This will cover the cup while the egg is cooking.
  • Slotted spoon: You will use this to scoop the cooked egg out of the cup.

The Best Eggs for Poaching

If eggs are more than a week old, the whites thin out. Whites of fresh eggs will gather compactly around the yolk, making a rounder, neater shape.

— What's Cooking America,

Poached eggs on toast

Poached eggs on toast


  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup water (hot tap water)
  • 1/4 teaspoon white vinegar


  1. Pour 1/3 cup of hot tap water.
  2. Add 1/4 teaspoon white vinegar to hot water.
  3. Heat the water/vinegar solution in the microwave for 10 seconds.
  4. Break the egg into the water/vinegar solution. Make sure the egg is completely submerged.
  5. With a toothpick, poke two holes in the egg yolk to prevent a buildup of pressure.
  6. Place the cup/egg into the microwave with a saucer on top and a toothpick between the bottom of the saucer and the rim of the cup. This will prevent pressure from building.
  7. Cook the egg for 45 seconds. If your microwave is more than 750 watts, microwave for 30 seconds and check the egg. Continue at 10-second intervals until finished. Remember the total time for your next poached egg.
  8. Take the cup and egg from the microwave and scoop the egg up with a slotted spoon.
  9. Place it on a plate and season with salt and pepper.









Saturated fat


Egg in a little cup

Egg in a little cup

Why Is This the Perfect Poached Egg?

These instructions include two steps that other microwave poached egg recipes do not have. Step 1 says to collect 1/3 cup of hot tap water. Step 3 says to heat the water/vinegar solution for 10 seconds. You will begin cooking with preheated water. This is the difference between my recipe and others.

The yolk and the egg whites cook at different rates. The whites cook more slowly than the yolks. By beginning with preheated water, the whites of the egg get a headstart on the yolk so they are both fully cooked in the same amount of time.

Questions & Answers

Question: Why use vinegar when poaching eggs?

Answer: Vinegar causes the whites of the egg to firm up faster while leaving the yolk in its liquid state. Purists won't like this, but it does work.