Poaching Eggs in the Microwave May Be the Best Breakfast Hack Ever

Poached eggs are a brunch favorite, but most people think they’re too fussy to make at home. Broken yolks and carefully calibrated pots of boiling water were enough to turn me off — that is, until I discovered microwave poached eggs. The process is foolproof, takes just one minute, and the poached eggs come out perfect every time.

You might say it’s the best breakfast hack since sliced bread. Sound too good to be true? Microwave-poached eggs are as simple as they sound. 

Read more: 7 Foods You’ll Only Make in an Air Fryer After You Try It Once

How to make poached eggs in the microwave

Step 1: Fill a ramekin with about half a cup of salted, room-temperature water. It must be enough to completely submerge the egg.

egg in water in ramekin

You’ll want enough water to submerge the egg but not spill over the top of the ramekin.

David Watsky/CNET

Step 2: Crack one egg and drop it into the water carefully, trying not to disturb its structural integrity. 

Step 3: Place the ramekin in the microwave and cook on high for about 45 seconds, or longer if you prefer a firmer yolk.

egg in microwave

Cook the submerged egg for 40 seconds for a runny yolk and closer to a minute for a firm one. 

David Watsky/CNET

Step 4: Remove the egg gently from the water with a slotted spoon or wire skimmer. 

egg in strainer

Lift your egg carefully out of the water with a slotted spoon or mesh strainer. 

David Watsky/CNET

Step 5: Serve over toast or a bed of greens with avocado, hot sauce, chili crisp and other accompaniments.

poached egg on plate.

In one or two tries, you’ll be able to fine-tune your poached egg to your perfect doneness, and then nail it every time. 

David Watsky/CNET

Note: The base temperature for any microwaves will vary and, thus, cook times may also. Try 40 to 45 seconds for your first effort, then add five-second increments for subsequent tries until you achieve the desired doneness.

What to do with a microwave poached egg

Stick that fluffy puff of protein on a piece of toast with some spinach, top it all with flaky salt, hot sauce or hollandaise and you have a cafe-quality breakfast in less time than it takes to brew a pot of coffee. You can also use them to top a salad or serve over rice with pickled vegetables chili crisp for a light lunc. 

Want more genius kitchen hacks?

The best kitchen hacks happen in the space between hungry and low on motivation. Cooking bacon in the oven is the cleanest method and results in even crispier strips with no greasy stovetop to clean after. A fast boil of water with these two pantry ingredients lifts stubborn stains from your best cookware without all the manic scrubbing. And are nine more cooking hacks that save time, energy and money

And if you don’t want to cook at all, this is my favorite prepared meal delivery service for 2024.

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