Can You Really Poach an Egg in the Microwave?

Poaching an egg, for me at least, is my culinary Achilles heel. I can never quite recreate the soft yolky cushions I’ve had atop toasts or beneath sauces or spilling onto beds of greens. There’s a delicacy that proves difficult to achieve, even with this Food52 video as a guide. So when this seemingly simple microwave egg poaching method surfaced on the internet, I had to give it a try.

The instructions are simple: fill a mug with water, stir in half a tablespoon of vinegar, crack an egg into the mug, cover with a top (I used a plate) and microwave for a minute. The vinegar is there to help the whites coagulate. So, like a diligent student, I followed the instructions in our office kitchen. The steps are… easy enough, so all together, I’d estimate it took me less than a minute. Plus the minute of cooking time.

All you need is water, vinegar and an egg. Oh, don't forget the microwave!

All you need is water, vinegar and an egg. Oh, don’t forget the microwave! Photo by

Valerio Farris

Because all microwaves are different, a minute alone wasn’t enough to get the yolk where I wanted it. So I threw the egg back in for 20 more seconds. Then, I took out the mug, removed the plate, and voila: what emerged was a surprisingly dainty pillow of a poached egg. The yolk ran just as I had hoped. A pinch of salt and a flourish of pepper made me forget that I had just prepared the egg in a box of electromagnetic radiation. I lacked a piece of toast, but would’ve loved to run a crispy edge through the molten, gold yolk.

Salt, pepper and a runny yolk are the keys to poach-ey perfection. Photos by Valerio Farris, Valerio Farris

The method is great for an on-the-go or in-office poach; it requires minimal effort and yields pretty seamless results. I’d recommend, however, playing around with the cooking time so as to yield your ideal consistency. Otherwise, run with this easy little hack. Your office lunch—or breakfast!—will thank you.

Have you given this a shot? If so, let us know how it worked for you in the comments.

This article was written by Valerio Farris from Food52 and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to