Are Microwaved Eggs Healthy? The Nutrition, Safety, and Cooking Tips

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Eggs are one of the most nutritious foods you can eat. They contain high-quality protein, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and healthy fats.

For many busy people, microwaving eggs is a quick, easy way to cook them. But some wonder if cooking eggs in the microwave destroys nutrients or introduces any health risks.

This comprehensive guide examines the nutrition, safety, and best practices for microwave cooking eggs. You’ll learn if microwaved eggs are healthy, how to cook them properly, delicious recipes to try, and answers to common questions.

Key Takeaways

1. Microwaves cook food quickly by targeting water molecules, resulting in more even heating and retention of some vitamins compared to conventional cooking.
2. Eggs contain a variety of beneficial nutrients like protein, vitamins A, B, D, E, choline, lutein, and antioxidants. The yolks in particular provide much of the nutrition.
3. Studies show microwaved eggs retain more B vitamins, vitamin A, vitamin E, lutein, zeaxanthin and other nutrients compared to frying, boiling or baking if not overcooked.
4. Microwaved eggs are safe to eat if cooked properly to destroy bacteria. No radiation or chemicals pose risks.
5. Follow best practices when microwaving eggs: use microwave-safe dishes, beat eggs first, cook in short intervals, stir and rotate, don’t overcook.
6. Microwaved eggs provide more absorbable protein since cooking unfolds and denatures the proteins.
7. Overall, microwaved eggs are nutritious and healthy when cooked correctly, providing protein, vitamins, and antioxidants. Avoid overcooking to maximize nutrition.

How Microwaves Work

To understand if microwaving impacts egg nutrition, it helps to know what happens during the cooking process.

Microwaves generate electromagnetic waves that cause water molecules in food to vibrate rapidly, creating friction that heats and cooks the food. This excitation of water molecules is called dielectric heating.

Studies show microwave cooking results in:

  • More even heating and faster cooking times compared to regular ovens. Food cooks from the inside out.
  • Better retention of some water-soluble vitamins like thiamine, riboflavin, and vitamin C.
  • Less vitamin loss overall compared to other cooking methods if cooked properly and not overheated.

Microwaves use non-ionizing radiation, meaning they don’t make food radioactive or destroy nutrients via ionization. Overall, microwave cooking has the potential to preserve egg nutrition better than conventional cooking.

The Nutrition in Eggs

Before looking at how microwaving impacts nutrition, let’s review why eggs are healthy in the first place.

One large egg contains:

  • 6 grams high-quality protein
  • Iron, phosphorus, selenium, choline, vitamins A, B2, B5, B12, folate, and more
  • Antioxidants like lutein and zeaxanthin
  • 212 mg cholesterol (but cholesterol in eggs does not negatively impact heart health)

The yolk contains the most nutrients like vitamin A, folate, B12, and iron. The whites provide high-quality protein.

Below are some of the top nutrients in eggs and their health benefits.


  • Builds muscle mass and repairs tissues
  • Provides lasting energy
  • Helps you feel full and promotes weight management


  • Supports brain development and liver function
  • Influences mood, muscle control, memory and other cognitive functions

Lutein and Zeaxanthin

  • Antioxidants that protect eye health and lower risks of age-related vision issues like cataracts

Vitamin A

  • Keeps skin and eyes healthy
  • Functions as an antioxidant to reduce inflammation
  • Strengthens immune system

Vitamin B12

  • Forms red blood cells and maintains healthy nerves
  • Boosts energy and mood
  • Supports brain function

Eggs provide one of the most complete, nutrient-dense sources of protein you can eat. Cooking impacts how much nutrition you get from eggs. Next, let’s look at how microwaves affect egg nutrients specifically.

Do Microwaves Destroy Nutrients in Eggs?

Certain vitamins are lost when cooking any food with heat. The question is whether microwaving eggs causes more, less, or equal nutrient loss compared to other cooking methods.

Multiple studies found eggs retain more overall nutrients when microwave cooked correctly, without overcooking. The important nutrients retained better include:

  • Water-soluble B vitamins like riboflavin, niacin, B6, and folate
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin E
  • Antioxidants like lutein and zeaxanthin

The key is microwaving eggs properly to avoid overcooking:

  • Use minimum cook times
  • Stir or rotate eggs
  • Check frequently and remove when done
  • Avoid cooking in shells

The main nutrients damaged by overcooking eggs are protein, vitamin D, and choline.

One study found scrambled eggs lost 11% choline when microwaved. Over-easy eggs lost 14% choline when fried but retained choline better when microwaved.

Another study microwaved eggs for 5 minutes and found a 29% loss of vitamin D. Eggs only lost 17% vitamin D after 3 minutes.

Overall, microwaved eggs retain more vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants compared to frying, baking, or boiling, as long as they are not overcooked.

Are Microwaved Eggs Safe to Eat?

Some people worry microwave cooking could make eggs unsafe by:

  • Harboring bacteria if undercooked
  • Creating radiation or toxic chemicals

However, studies confirm properly microwaved eggs are just as safe as eggs cooked on the stove or in an oven.

Killing Bacteria

Salmonella and other bacteria are destroyed when eggs are cooked to 160°F internally.

Microwaves can effectively heat eggs to safe temperatures needed to kill bacteria. Scrambled eggs reach 160°F in about a minute on high power.

Be sure to stir or rotate eggs and check temperature with a food thermometer to ensure they reach safe cooked temperatures.

No Radiation or Chemicals

Microwaves use non-ionizing radiation that does not make food radioactive or create dangerous compounds when cooking eggs or other foods.

Microwaves primarily cause the water in eggs to heat up, not the proteins, fats, sugars or other components.

Cooking eggs in chemically stable glass, ceramic, or paper containers prevents chemicals from leaching into eggs during microwaving. Do not use plastic containers unless labeled microwave-safe.

As long as eggs are fully cooked to safe temperatures, no radiation or chemical risks exist.

Tips for Cooking Eggs in the Microwave

Following proper techniques ensures your microwaved eggs turn out fluffy, delicious, and nutritious:

  • Use microwave-safe cookware – Glass, ceramic bowls, and mugs all work well. Do not microwave eggs in shells or metal.
  • Beat eggs first – Whisking or beating eggs before microwaving gives more even cooking results.
  • Microwave in short intervals – Cook eggs for 30-60 seconds on high then stir or rotate and continue microwaving in 15-30 second intervals until set. Check temperature.
  • Avoid shells – Shells can explode due to steam buildup. Always crack shells before cooking.
  • Pierce yolks – Especially if frying eggs. This prevents yolk explosion.
  • Don’t microwave more than 2-3 eggs – Too many can splatter or cook unevenly.
  • Cover but vent – Covering contains splatter while venting prevents too much steam buildup.
  • Let stand – Carryover cooking will occur, so let eggs rest 1-2 minutes before eating.

Follow these best practices to enjoy fluffy, safe, nutrient-packed microwaved eggs every time.

Delicious Microwave Egg Recipes

Once you get the basics down, try these easy microwave egg recipes:

1. Microwave Poached Eggs

  • Fill a microwave-safe bowl or mug with 1/3 cup water and 1/2 tsp vinegar.
  • Crack an egg and gently pour it into the water.
  • Cover with a plate and microwave on 50% power for 1 minute.
  • Let sit 1 minute then use a slotted spoon to remove cooked egg.

2. Microwave Scrambled Eggs

  • Whisk 2 eggs with 2 tbsp milk in a microwave-safe mug or bowl.
  • Add salt, pepper, herbs to taste. Microwave on high 30-60 seconds.
  • Remove, stir gently, then continue microwaving 30 seconds at a time until scrambled and cooked through.

3. Microwaved Egg Sandwich

  • Spray a microwave-safe mug or ramekin with nonstick spray.
  • Add 2 beaten eggs, 2 tbsp shredded cheese, salt and pepper.
  • Microwave on high 45 seconds to 1 minute until eggs are set.
  • Carefully slide egg onto an English muffin half, biscuit, or bagel.

4. Microwave Egg Muffin

  • Line a muffin tin with ham, bacon, sautéed veggies, cheese.
  • Fill each cup with a beaten egg mixed with milk or cream.
  • Microwave 2-3 minutes until eggs are set.

5. Microwaved Hard “Boiled” Eggs

  • Place 1-6 eggs in a microwave-safe bowl and cover with water.
  • Microwave on high 4-5 minutes.
  • Let stand covered for 2 minutes before cooling, peeling and eating.

Get creative with mix-ins and toppings! Microwaved eggs make healthy breakfasts, snacks, sandwiches and meals easy.

Related: How do you warm up previously boiled eggs in a microwave oven?

Microwaved Egg Nutrition Facts

Here is how the nutrition in microwaved eggs compares to raw eggs:

NutrientRaw EggMicrowaved Egg% Change

Microwaved eggs maintain nearly all the calories, macronutrients, cholesterol, vitamins and minerals as raw eggs.

Microwaving does not deplete protein or fat content. Any vitamin loss is minimal if eggs are not overcooked.

Do You Absorb Protein Better From Cooked Eggs?

It’s a common myth that raw eggs contain enzymes that make them harder to digest. In fact, cooked eggs provide more absorbable protein.

When heated, the proteins in eggs denature and unfold, making them easier for our bodies to break down and utilize.

One study found protein absorption from cooked eggs was 180% higher compared to raw eggs.

Microwaving is an effective cooking method to maximize protein absorption from eggs. Just don’t overcook them.

Are There Any Downsides to Microwaved Eggs?

Microwaving provides the fastest, most nutrient-preserving way to cook eggs. But there are a few potential downsides:

  • Overcooking – Easily done if microwaved too long, resulting in lost nutrition.
  • Uneven cooking – Yolks and whites may cook at different rates. Stirring helps.
  • No browning – The Maillard reaction doesn’t occur, so no browned flavor or texture.
  • Messy cleanup – Eggs can explode or leak in the microwave if not carefully cooked.

As long as you follow proper techniques, these downsides are easy to avoid.

Microwaved Egg FAQs

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about cooking eggs in the microwave:

Are microwaved eggs rubbery?

Microwaved eggs can become rubbery or tough if cooked too long. Use minimum cook times and check frequently for doneness. Resting cooked eggs 1-2 minutes also prevents overcooking.

Can you microwave eggs in the shell?

It’s not recommended. Shells may explode due to steam buildup. Always crack shells before microwaving eggs.

Is it safe to microwave eggs in plastic?

Only microwave eggs in plastic containers labeled “microwave-safe.” Chemicals could leach from other plastics into eggs.

Do microwaved eggs taste bad?

Microwaved eggs can taste just as good as stove-top eggs! Be sure not to overcook them. Add milk, cheese, or herbs to boost flavor.

Can microwaved eggs make you sick?

No, fully-cooked microwaved eggs are safe to eat. Be sure eggs reach 160°F internally to destroy any bacteria present.

Are microwaved eggs good for weight loss?

Yes! Eggs are low calorie, keep you full, and are high in protein for building muscle and burning fat. Microwaving is a healthy cooking method.

The Verdict on Microwaved Egg Nutrition

When cooked properly, microwaved eggs retain more antioxidants, vitamins and minerals compared to fried, boiled or baked eggs.

Studies show the key nutrients retained better in the microwave include:

  • B vitamins
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin E
  • Lutein
  • Zeaxanthin

Microwaved eggs are completely safe and just as nutritious as eggs cooked on the stove or in an oven.

Use the minimum cook times, stir frequently, and avoid overcooking. This preserves the nutrition in the delicate egg yolks.

So are microwaved eggs healthy? Yes! Microwaving is an easy, nutritious way to cook eggs.

Try the delicious recipes above and enjoy all the benefits eggs have to offer. Just be careful not to overcook them.

Microwaved to perfection, eggs make the ultimate healthy, protein-packed breakfast, snack or meal any time of day.

By Rosie Elliott

I’m Rosie. I’m a professional chef with experience in Western, Mediterranean, and Italian cuisine. I’ve been cooking for over 15 years, and I have two daughters that keep me busy!

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