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May 30, 2009 11:38 AM

The easiest perfect microwave green poached egg?

Saving the planet one toothpick and piece of plastic wrap at a time.

Yes, a poached egg can be produced in a microwave … but … what will get the perfect poached egg … the yolk runny … the white not rubbery.

What is your strategy … Add vinegar? Swirl water? Power level … full, half, on and off? Prick yolk? Special cooker? Spray dish with oil? Lot’s of water or a few drops?

Let me state this CLEARLY up front. I want to microwave it. I do NOT want the stovetop method … however superior some might find that.

It never occurred to me to poach an egg in a microwave until I read this in a separate topic.

That was ok, but I’d rather not use plastic wrap and deal with setting power levels unless it absolutely produces superior results

I tried this method next - Microwave Poached Eggs with balsamic vinegar.

What I liked about this was the stop and go process on full power … 20 seconds … stop ... 18 seconds … stop … 16 seconds. There’s a bit of voodoo, it seems to me, about placing the cup in the center of the microwave.

That recipe also states …

“In addition to providing a tart flavoring to the eggs, the vinegar helps to stabilize the white and speed the cooking process”

However, another site said vinegar was unnecessary in the microwave as it is just used to set the white when traditionally poaching in water.

This had five methods of poaching, one of which involves swirling water and another involves just wrapping in Saran Wrap … despite not wanting to you use plastic, the idea of just plopping an egg in a bowl lined with the wrap and not having to clean a dish has a certain appeal.

This is boil water first, add egg, reduce power level strategy

I don’t see any benefit to a special microwave egg poacher. This review seems to indicate the eggs don’t come out very good and you have to use two eggs for best results. I only want one egg at a time.
This just says to boil a cup of water, remove from microwave, add egg and let sit for 3-4 minutes. Well, that’s not very microwave specific and it seems that people would just do that with stovetop eggs if it worked.

This was interesting in terms of using reduced power levels and using room temperature eggs before nuking ... come to think of it the two eggs I used were room temperature. It also advise not to use salt and putting on a rack for more even cooking

"If they are cooked when chilled, the rapid change in temperature can cause them to cook unevenly and can also make them burst. Microwave energy is attracted to fat, and egg yolks have a higher fat content than egg whites ... . Cooking eggs on low power also helps reduce the risk of the yolk bursting . Delicate and high-protein foods (eggs are both) should be elevated on a microwave-safe rack or upturned plate or saucer when cooked in the microwave so that the microwave energy can penetrate them from underneath"
Do you think swirling water for microwave cooking matters?

Spraying the dish with oil is to allow easy removal from the dish and clean up. Do you think the small amount of oil might influence the heat of the liquid?

I know that pricking the yolk with a toothpick is to prevent it from exploding, yet the two eggs I’ve micro-poached to date haven’t exploded, so maybe the right timing could get around that. I guess I could use a knife tip rather than a toothpick and save a tree sliver.

I realize the variable is playing with the cooking times for my own oven. Still there must be some method that produces a very good microwave poached egg.

Any wisdom is welcome. There’s only so much cholesterol a girl can eat and extensive personal testing might not be kind to my heart.

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  1. Maybe check out these instructions from the MiracleWare Microwave Egg Poacher

    9 Replies
    1. re: monku

      What about this instruction ....

      - Break one egg into each section of the poacher.
      - Center the yolk

      I wonder how one would exactly center a raw egg yolk. Chase it around with a spoon. The part I like is that the picture shows eggs with yolks that are far from centered. I might give the instructions a shot. Don't see though how the poacher would be any different than any bowl with lid though.

      That is a new one about piercing the white as well as the yolk.

      1. re: rworange

        Doesn't matter where the yolk is when I make poached eggs in a pot of water.

        I don't think a microwave will ever give the results of an egg poached in water and you can tell the difference by looking at it. Think I have one of those microwave egg poachers in a drawer and never used it fearing a mess and an overcooked egg.

        1. re: monku

          Believe it or not my method in the water works. Agree with you, the egg poacher is just not the same thing. Had one that someone gave me. Used it once and got ride of it.

          1. re: kchurchill5

            Just a traditionalist.
            Pre-poaching dozens of eggs for Sunday brunch in the restaurant business made me an expert at poaching eggs and wouldn't do it any other way.
            There's an art to cooking eggs, even my hard boiled eggs have to have a "creamy" yolk.

            1. re: monku

              I do understand that. I use the pot or pan method, vinegar and traditional method when making a lot. I use the quickie method for just me or for 2. But understand.

              1. re: monku

                As I said in the OP, I am interested in microwave techniques. I'm sure you make wonderful traditional poached eggs, but that is not what I want to do. Use search and there are many many topics about poaching eggs traditionally. If you look to the right of the page, there is even a video by chow. I'd hope people will help me with the microwave method.

                1. re: rworange

                  My microwave is posted right below. I love using that.

                  1. re: kchurchill5

                    I gave that a try this morning and the method with the rack and damp paper towels. Both used room temperature eggs.

                    The bottom line seems to be if you like the texture of whites in a traditional water method, use water in the microwave.

                    If you like a firmer white, skip the water.

                    The key factor is the time on the microwave.

                    IMO, instructions should say 'when the white turns white ... remove from microwave. If you get that timing down for your microwave, that is the key.

                    Higher power vs lower power. Still TBD. Rack or no rack ... ditto ... TBD.

                    This started to slip into the superior method which I'm trying to divert. I will give anyone that. Ok, stovetop poaching is superior.

                    I won't give the number one reason I want to use a microwave because it will go back to slipping into traditional methods and if I want to do that there's plenty info on that.

                    A secondary reason is travel. Sometimes I just don't want to find a local breakfast spot. I want to sleep in, drink the crappy motel/hotel free coffee and eat something in the room.

                    Most places have a microwave these days and free cups. Eggs are easy to take on a trip, as is a loaf of bread. So that is another reason. I'll probably be driving down to Guatamala next year and who knows what will be along that route.

                    And no ... I don't want to know how to make poached eggs in the hotel coffee pot should anyone feel inclinded to go that route. I'd really appreciate keeping it to microwave methods.

                    Anyway, thanks for your microwave post. I seem to be getting more successfull keeping the whites from getting rubbery.

                    1. re: rworange

                      My method doesn't use a rack or dry paper towels. Mine are made in a bowl with water and with vinegar just like on the stove. Some saran and I vary the temp. Isn't that what you needed. I just made one this am. Perfect poached egg.

                      Mine was a perfect poached. As I mentioned the key is on medium 1 minute at a time.

      2. I do this a lot especially for just me. If I am making 4 or more for a hash or something I use a deep skillet. But this method works every time.

        1/8 teaspoon white vinegar, 1/3 cup water

        Add the water and white vinegar to a small cup, bowl or dish, add the egg and pierce the yolk with a toothpick and cover loosely with saran or plastic wrap. I like to cook on medium for 1 minute intervals. I don't like to cook on high. It usually takes 2-3 minutes until the desired doneness. Works every time. I drain the water, add s/p and a piece of toast and breakfast all in one bowl. Yes, to me the plastic is the key. Although I did use just top of a tupperware bowl and just set it on the top and it also seemed to work ok.

        1. When I was working outside the home, I used to make what I called "poached eggs" in this small 2 egg holder. I think I paid a buck for it at the grocery store. Simply break two eggs into each of the egg holes, poke the yolk with a fork, and the add 1 T tap water to each egg. MW for about 45 seconds. Depending on how you like your yolk, I prefer runny yolk, cooked white. Take a spoon and run it under the bottom of the egg to losen it, and then gently lift to a bowl. I drop some butter on the top, along with salt and pepper.

          Time? The length of time in the office mw was different from my home,but neither involves reducing or increasing the power level, just the time, and you'll need to figure that piece out.

          The little poacher is at most grocery stores, hanging in most any aisle, they are white plastic, and look like a bra, in a sort of cartoony like way. Lease we use to hold it up, and get laughs at the office. Oh- heck - no! HHHHHHHHH-RRRRRRRR!!!!!!

          1. Another version: take a soup bowl, make a little "bowl" in the middle with thick black beans, surround that with leftover rice and dampen rice, break an egg into the bean bowl in the center, cover with plastic wrap (here you have the possibiility of having one or both the eggs and beans explode), and MW for two minutes. The beans and rice get perfectly reheated; and there is a nice, runny poached egg in the middle.

            1 Reply
            1. just heard about this "microwaved poached egg" method and tried it this morning. LOVE IT! my DH hates poached eggs... i love them. So ~ making poached eggs for 1 in the traditional method is more effort than i care to exert! Most microwave methods call for covering the cup/bowl in plastic wrap. This creeps me out! Microwaving plastic wrap... ? ... yuck! all kinds of chemicals in my food ?... no thanks!
              My solution is to place a small (salad size) plate on top of the cup as the "lid", then I used that plate to serve my toast and perfectly poached egg. voila! perfect lid.. no plastic chems in my food, no plastic wrap in the landfill and.... a warm plate! ha! ;)
              oh, btw.. 1/2 a coffee mug of room temp water, no vinegar, no swirling, cold egg, 1 min + 20 sec. was my equation! perfecto!

              4 Replies
              1. re: kkobrien

                Cool thanks! I'll have to try this.

                I have come to believe that anything you steam or boil on the stove comes out just the same (if not better) in the microwave and you usually use way less water.

                I have had HUGE success with the Fasta Pasta microwave pasta cooker. And I am a total convert to the steam bags in the microwave.

                1. re: audreyhtx1

                  This month's Bon Appetit has a recipe for Seared Scallions with Poached Eggs that includes the following directions for microwaved poached eggs:

                  For 2 eggs: Pour 1/2 cup water into each of two 8-oz. microwave-safe coffee cups. Crack 1 egg into each cup, making sure it's completely submerged. Cover each with a saucer. Microwave 1 egg on high until white is set but yolk is runny, about 1 minute (cooking time will vary depending on microwave). Uncover; using a slotted spoon, transfer egg to top of 1 serving of scallions.

                  I tried it this morning and found I needed more time for 1 egg - more like 2 min + 20 seconds. Texture was great, tho' and it was easy to take egg out of oven, peek at it, and put it back for more cooking. I plan to continue experimenting - I love poached eggs and the easy cleanup with microwave method is a big plus. Wonder if starting with boiling water would work?

                2. re: kkobrien

                  So I just tried this. It took about 1:50 in my older microwave and when I took it out the white was still slightly uncooked. On a hunch, I left it in the hot water a few moments more and it solidified. It wasn't at all bad, but the problem was that the top of the yolk (tje part that was on top when I took out the cup) was more hard-boiled while the bottom was perfectly poached. Thoughts? Thank you for the tip. I LOVE poached eggs but HATE making them.

                  1. re: kkobrien

                    OK! I finally tried it, and it works well! Unbelievably easy and almost no cleanup.

                    I used 1/3 cup of water and a tiny splash (1/8 teaspoon) of white vinegar in a small glass bowl (8oz bowl). Dropped in the egg, made sure it was submerged. Pierced the yolk a couple of times with a toothpick. Covered with a china saucer right side up. Microwaved on high for 50 seconds. Remove and drain with slotted spoon.

                    The first one came out beautifully shaped. The white was perfectly done, the yolk a bit firm for my taste but exactly how my husband likes it - just soft and barely runny in the center.

                    The second one wasn't quite as pretty. I tried 45 secs so my yolk could be more runny. It popped a bit (why you need a top!) and that broke up the white just a bit. The white next to the yolk was a little jiggly, so I cooked it a few seconds more. So, I ended up with the yolk as well done if not more so than the first one! Still, once it was lifted out of the water and drained it looked pretty enough.

                    So, in general the white comes out very nice, the yolk tends to firm. General texture is excellent though. If you like a less runny yolk on your poached egg you'll love this. If you prefer more runny it might be tricky to get the whites cooked well enough and yet have the runny yolk.

                    I think adding the vinegar is worth the extra step because that helps the white adhere to itself, which is why it is traditionally used in the stove top method.