A few weeks ago I saw an article floating around about making poached eggs in a microwave. Skeptical, I saved the article on Facebook, pretty sure I would never dig it up to try for myself. Growing up with a barn full of chickens, I eat fresh eggs pretty regularly. I put eggs on top of almost anything. I cook eggs just for fun. But every time I make eggs, it’s in a pot or pan on the stove — the only possible way to cook eggs. Or so I thought.
The other day, left without any groceries besides dozens of eggs, I decided to try to poach an egg in the microwave. And then I decided to bake an egg in the microwave. And then I was so shocked I hopped onto Google and typed “egg hacks” and tried everything I could find. Then I compiled everything that worked into these easy instructions for making eggs in under two minutes from the comfort and laziness of your dorm.
Fill an oven-safe mug with half a cup of water. Carefully crack an egg into it. Cover the mug with a small plate and microwave on high for about a minute and a half, depending on the strength of your microwave and how runny you like your eggs. Use a slotted spoon to remove the egg from the mug (or, if you don’t have one, any large spoon will work if you’re careful not to scoop up any water). Put it on top of toast or an English muffin and top with salt and pepper or whatever else you’re feeling.
When I first opened my microwave and saw the set whites and runny yolk, my jaw dropped. I didn’t think there was any way a microwave could make non-rubbery eggs and leave the yolk intact and viscous. You’re halfway to an eggs Benedict and it took basically zero effort.
This preparation is basically the same as poached, but without the water. Take your mug and spray the inside with non-stick cooking spray (or crisco, or butter, or whatever your heart desires — the point is don’t let it stick). Crack an egg inside the mug. I then added shredded cheese to the egg, but you could add in whatever you want to essentially make a mini omelet: tomatoes, spinach, mushrooms, etc.
Microwave on high for 45 seconds in 15 second increments. Use a large spoon to remove the egg. Or eat it right out of the mug — you’re lazy enough to bake eggs in a microwave, might as well be lazy enough to not use a plate.
Spray a plate with non-stick cooking spray (or, alternatively, heat the empty plate in the microwave for two minutes and then swirl some butter on it). Crack your egg onto the plate. Microwave on high for about 45 seconds.
The sunny-side up egg didn’t go quite as well as the poached and baked preparations; it fell apart a little trying to remove it from the plate and tasted slightly rubbery. But the yolk was runny and it took less than a minute out of my life, so I’ll accept the cons that came with it.
Even though I had eaten many successfully cooked eggs by this point, I was still dubious that eggs could scramble in the microwave. Chefs spend years developing their sworn-by methods for cooking the perfect scrambled eggs. Was the real secret a microwave and a lack of ambition?
Crack two eggs in a bowl and beat with a fork. Add a couple splashes of milk, along with salt and pepper. I added cheese, too, because I add cheese to almost everything. Mix it all together with the fork. Microwave on high for 45 seconds, stir; another 45 seconds, stir again; and a final 45 seconds.
Look, these are no Gordon Ramsay silky British egg concoctions. They’re a little rubbery and not very fluffy, but they’re about as good as any bad roadside diner scrambled eggs and you can make them in the middle of a mental breakdown because they’re that easy.
So overall, am I going to be switching from my decades-long commitment to correctly cooking eggs just to save myself a few minutes? Almost definitely. I’m a senior now, and I’m looking for just about any way to cut corners in my life. For all you new freshmen trying to make it on seven meal swipes a week (“I’ll have plenty of time to cook and my roommate definitely won’t mind me storing my pots and pans in our dorm!”), maybe you should wait a couple years before trying to take the easy route, or maybe you should cut time off cooking so you can add time studying. Who am I to say? But now I’ve armed you with the knowledge of all your options. Just don’t set off the fire alarm.