Eggs in the microwave usually spell disaster — there’s nothing like cleaning molten egg yolks out of the microwave — or, for the very unfortunate, out of your hair — to get the day started. Surprisingly, you have to bend a golden rule of microwaving — using aluminum foil — to soft-boil an egg proper. Submerging the egg in water prevents the foil from arcing, and the foil protects the egg from the microwaves that cause it to explode. These methods are based on a 700-watt microwave set at 80 percent power.

Tips

  • Holding eggs under a slow stream of cold water makes peeling easier.

Bring 1 quart of water to a boil on the stove. Wrap 1 to 3 eggs in aluminum foil.

Place the eggs in a microwave-safe container with sides deep enough to allow the eggs to be covered by at least 1 inch. Pour the water over the eggs, covering them by at least 1/2 inch.

Microwave the eggs on high for 3 minutes. Take the egg out of the microwave and peel it.

Check the egg’s doneness. If the white is loose, set it in a bowl and cover it with water. Microwave the egg for 20 seconds at 60 percent power.

Crack the egg on a flat surface and open it into a wide microwave-safe mug or bowl. Pierce the yolk with a toothpick. Add 1/3 cup of water to the mug.

Cover the mug or bowl with microwave-safe plastic wrap or a saucer. Microwave the egg for 1 minute.

Check the doneness of the egg. If it needs more time, microwave it for 20 seconds at 60 percent power. Remove the egg with a slotted spoon or, if using a mug, a regular spoon and serve.

Tips

  • The egg white will wobble a bit when you take it out of the microwave, but will set by the time it cools.