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.

No Poaching!

No Poaching!

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.
utensils needed to make a poached egg

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, https://whatscookingamerica.net/Eggs/PoachEgg.htm

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 a different rate. 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.


Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on February 06, 2019:

Fantastic eat. Saturday my boy will cook his own.

Chris I can't remember the name of the place but it was in Zona Rosa in Mexico DF.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on February 05, 2019:

Thanks, Doris. Coddled? Now I have to learn about that.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on February 05, 2019:

Liz, There are three ways to blow up an egg you are trying to poach. First, fail to poke holes in the yolk. Second, create a seal between the saucer on top and the cup beneath. Third, don't submerge the entire egg in the water. Happy microwaving.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on February 05, 2019:

Randi, I hope this works for your daughter. Tell her to experiment with the times until the whites and the yolk are both perfect.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on February 05, 2019:

Shauna, it is fun to hear how each person enjoys preparing their eggs. Humans have been eating eggs for a very long time so we've had time to perfect our favorite food.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on February 05, 2019:

Eric, I hope you had a happy breakfast. Seriously? A $30 poached egg?

Doris James MizBejabbers from Beautiful South on February 05, 2019:

Chris, your instructions look very easy to follow, but I like eggs cooked any way except poached or coddled. That's probably because the old folks used to have to eat them poached when they had ulcers. I do not like bare egg whites. They give me goose bumps. I do make a mean scrambled egg in the microwave though. We gals used to scramble our eggs in the microwave during morning break. They were very good with a little salsa or hot sauce whipped in. It takes about 45 seconds in my microwave of 1250 watts. I like powerful ones because they make better popcorn.

Liz Westwood from UK on February 05, 2019:

It's amazing what can be achieved in a microwave. Although I remember one of my children not poking holes in the yolk once. It took a long time to clean up the microwave.

Randi Benlulu from Mesa, AZ on February 05, 2019:

I'm looking forward to trying this! My daughter has been on the hunt for easy methods for cooking eggs.

Thank you for the tips!

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on February 05, 2019:

I love poached eggs on English muffins with fresh spinach and tomato. I'll have to try this microwave method, Chris. I think my nuke is 900 watts, so I'll have to reduce the cook time. I like that you had hot water to give the whites a head start. There's nothing worse than an over-cooked yolk. Unless, of course it's a fried egg sandwich. I actually prefer the yolk to be completely cooked in that dish.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on February 05, 2019:

Like I am not having this for my breakfast? No way!! Now I will use a full tablespoon of ACV. And also add butter. If I mess up. I will just do it again. And I can change this up with spices. A Mexican one, perhaps an Italian -- My boy will want a fish sauce Vietnamese on rice instead of bread.

I remember once when I was on a money roll I spent 30 bucks for one. Hmm.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on February 04, 2019:

John, check your microwave to see what the wattage is. If it is more than 750 watts, then follow the instructions I gave for that situation. I would appreciate hearing the results. I have not been able to try this with a more powerful microwave oven. I hope it works well for you. I don't want you to waste any cackleberries.

John Hansen from Gondwana Land on February 04, 2019:

I love eggs, Chris, poached, scrambled, boiled, as an omelette, but I haven’t tried poaching in a microwave. I will certainly give this a try. Thanks for sharing.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on February 04, 2019:

Becky, it sounds as though you found your favorite egg preparation a long time ago. I love the history and heritage in your account. Thanks for visiting my hub today.

Becky Katz from Hereford, AZ on February 04, 2019:

I have never cared for poached eggs cooked in water. My grandmother had a tiny egg poacher pan, and she would fill the bottom with water, and put butter in the little cup that sat on top of the water. She bought a big one for my mom, that would do 6 eggs. My mom got me a 4 egg poacher when I got married, and I have used it regularly. My husband used to make them in water, and I swore that they lost their flavor. I like the eggs cooked in butter, and will continue to use my little stainless steel pan to cook them in. This is my favorite way to cook an egg.

Related Articles