At about 80 calories each and with 7 grams of protein, eggs pack a powerful nutritional punch. They are also a budget-friendly source of protein, and, depending on how they’re cooked, they can be easily poached, fried or served sunny-side up for breakfast, lunch or dinner. A quick, easy way to prepare them, especially for those with a small kitchen, is to use a microwave egg poacher.

Cook a Poached Egg in the Microwave

Traditional recipes for poaching an egg, especially those found in dusty old cookbooks, make it seem much harder than it actually is. Mom may have made eggs the old-fashioned way: She brought a giant pot of water to a slow simmer (never to a hard boil), added a dash of salt and vinegar, then slowly slipped the eggs in the hot water, hoping the yolks didn’t explode in the process. Today, thanks to the ease of egg poacher cups, you can crack a few eggs into a microwave egg cooker and have perfectly cooked eggs in less than 60 seconds.

How to Use Egg Poacher Cups

There are a variety of brands to choose from, including the Nordic Ware Egg Poacher, Norpro Silicone Microwave Double Egg Poacher and the Oxo Microwave Egg Cooker. While the materials and design differ slightly, the directions for making poached eggs in the microwave are all similar for each model.

  • Crack 1 egg into each cup of the poached egg maker (most brands feature a double cup design).
  • Gently pierce each egg yolk with a sharp knife and add 1/2 tsp. water to each cup (on top of the egg).
  • If you are only making one egg in a double cup poacher, fill the empty cup about 3/4 with water.
  • For one egg, cook for 30‒45 seconds. For two eggs, cook for 45‒60 seconds.
  • Let the eggs rest for about 30 seconds before removing them from the cups to allow the eggs to finish cooking.

Can You Make a Sunny-Side Up Egg in the Microwave?

The short answer is yes, and the result will be a chewier, crispy egg white and a firmer yolk. Use a microwave-safe browning dish ‒ it’s gets hot similar to a griddle.

  • Heat the microwave browning dish in the microwave for 2 minutes.
  • Add about 1 teaspoon of butter to the dish (it should melt quickly; the pan is hot).
  • Crack one or two eggs onto the hot dish and puncture the top of the yolk with a sharp knife to ensure it won’t explode while cooking.
  • Place the egg into the microwave and cook on high for 45 seconds. Check to make sure the egg white is solid and the yolk has set. Cook for another 10  to 15 seconds if you want a firmer egg.
  • Remove the plate from the microwave and allow the egg to cool for a minute before serving.

Eating All Those Poached Eggs

Once you’ve mastered the 1-minute egg, it’s easy to add these protein powerhouses to make nutritious meals. Eggs fit into most diets, and they are a staple in low-carb diets like keto. A few recipes to keep handy include:

  • Poached eggs on avocado toast
  • Eggs Benedict
  • Quinoa bowls topped with poached eggs
  • Frisee-lardon salad
  • Ramen with bacon, egg and kimchi
  • Lentils with poached eggs

Cleaning Microwave Egg Cookers

The nice thing about egg cookers is that all have lids, which makes microwave cleanup nearly nonexistent. If you’ve ever tried cooking eggs in a bowl in the microwave (without a cover), you’ve experienced cleaning up egg pieces that explode, covering almost every surface in the microwave. Cleaning the cooking cups themselves is pretty easy. Rinse them right after using them to keep any egg bits from sticking to the cups, and then wipe them down with a soapy sponge or put them in the top rack of a dishwasher. That’s it ‒ no scrubbing required.

About the Author

Kristin Amico

Kristin Amico is a travel and food writer who quit her full-time job in 2017 to travel the globe while freelancing. Her work has appeared in Hemispheres, Fodor's, The Independent and USA Today. She blogs at howtotraveltheglobe.com.