It’s hard to believe that something as simple as boiling an egg can go wrong, but it can.
If you don’t know how to boil eggs in the microwave properly, you might end up with uncooked eggs that are too runny on the inside, leaving you with no choice but to throw them out. Or even worse, the eggs might explode all over the microwave.
That’s why I’ve put together this handy guide for making perfect microwaved eggs every time!
Can You Boil Eggs in The Microwave?
The answer is yes, you can boil eggs in the microwave, but you need to put salt in the water first or poke a hole in the eggs; otherwise, you’ll have an egg explosion.
Both methods can work, but I would recommend the salt method rather than the poke method because, when you poke the egg, you may accidentally crack the egg too much and create a big hole that sends the egg whites flowing out of the egg.
Aside from putting salt in the water, there is another important thing that is crucial to the success of boiling an egg in the microwave, and that is to submerge the egg in hot water after microwaving it.
The hot water will help cook the egg all the way through and ensure that there are no cold spots.
Lastly, don’t forget to consider how many eggs you will be boiling and the power of your microwave oven. If you want to boil more than two or three eggs at a time, you’ll need to adjust the cooking time accordingly.
Here are the short instructions for boiling an egg in the microwave:
Put an egg into a microwave-safe bowl. Add water to cover the eggs. Add a 1/2 teaspoon of salt for each egg you are cooking. Microwave the eggs on high for 4 minutes. Leave the egg in hot water for an additional 3-10 minutes. After they’re done, put them in ice water for 1-5 minutes.
I’ll explain these instructions in more detail below.
How Long Does It Take to Boil Eggs in The Microwave?
In general, it takes about four minutes to boil two eggs in a microwave. Add a minute to the total cooking time for every two additional eggs. For example, six eggs should cook for five minutes, and eight eggs get six minutes.
Do note that the cooking time may vary depending on the wattage of your microwave. For this instruction guide, I’m assuming your microwave is higher than 1000 watts. If you have lower wattage, increase the cooking time.
How to make Boiled Eggs in the Microwave
Here are the step-by-step instructions for making boiled eggs in the microwave:
- Take the eggs from the fridge 10-15 minutes before you begin.
- Place the eggs in the bottom of a microwave-safe bowl.
- Cover the bowl with hot water at least 1/2 inch above the eggs.
- Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt for each egg you make.
- Microwave on high for 3 to 4 minutes.
- Let the eggs stand in the microwave in hot water.
- Take the eggs out of the microwave and immerse them in a bowl of ice water.
- Drain and peel.
1. Take The Eggs From The Fridge and Let Them Rest at Room Temperature
The first step is to take the eggs from your refrigerator and let them rest at room temperature for about 10 to 15 minutes. This will get them to room temperature, making it less likely you’ll crack the shell while boiling.
2. Put The Eggs in The Bottom of Microwave-Safe Container
With your chosen container, you should be able to fit a single layer of eggs in the base and not have them roll around like they were in a pinball machine.
So, gauge the container carefully based on the number of eggs you want to make. Use a small bowl if you make just a few eggs, or use a larger bowl if you make more.
That said, there may be a time when you don’t have access to a bowl or a large enough container, such as when you’re on the road or camping, etc., but still want to make boiled eggs.
In that case, you can use a mug as long as it’s microwave safe and it’s large enough to cover at least 1 egg. Some articles that I came across recommended using a paper coffee cup, but obviously, that was a dumb idea that could potentially cause a fire.
3. Cover The Bowl with Hot Water
Add hot water to the bowl until it is about ½ inch above the eggs.
If you’re using older eggs, you may have difficulty knowing how much water to add as older eggs tend to float in the water. In this case, you can use a large plastic slotted spoon to hold the eggs down as you’re filling the bowl with water.
4. Add 1/2 Teaspoon of Salt for Each Egg You Make
Pay attention to this step because adding salt is what prevents the eggs from exploding in the microwave.
For each egg you put into the bowl, you will need to add ½ teaspoon of salt. So, for example, if you make 2 eggs, you will need to add 1 teaspoon of salt, 2 teaspoons for 4 eggs, and so on. After adding the salt, stir it so that it dissolves completely.
Some people may find it easier to add salt before adding the eggs. Feel free to do it either way.
5. Microwave on High for 3 to 4 Minutes
Now, with your bowl containing the eggs and salt covered with hot water in place, the next step is to start microwaving it.
If you just make one egg, 3 minutes are usually enough for it to be ready. For 2 eggs, microwave them on high for 4 minutes. If you add another 2 eggs, add 1 additional minute to your total cook time.
For instance, if you’re making 4 eggs, microwave it on high for 6 minutes.
Remember though all microwaves are different, you may need to increase or decrease your cook time depending on the wattage and condition of your microwave (older).
6. Let The Eggs Sit in The Microwave in The Hot Water
Your job is not yet done. Don’t take the bowls out of the microwave just yet; there still needs to be more time spent on them.
Depending on how you like your eggs, you can follow these time guides:
- If you want soft boiled eggs, let the eggs sit in the microwave in hot water inside the microwave for 2-3 minutes.
- For medium-boiled eggs, let them stay in hot water for 6-7 minutes.
- For hard-boiled eggs, let them sit for 8-10 minutes.
While you wait for your eggs to finish sitting in hot water, prepare a bowl of ice water ready for immersing the eggs once they are done.
7. Take The Eggs Out of The Microwave and Put Them Into a Bowl of Ice Water
Once the eggs have been left to sit for the desired amount of time, use a slotted spoon to take them out of the microwave and place them into a bowl of ice water.
By immersing the eggs into a bowl of ice water, you stop the cooking process and help to cool them down quickly. This also makes them easier to peel, as the icy water causes the egg to contract from the shell.
Here is how long you should let the eggs sit in the ice water:
- To make soft-boiled eggs, let them sit for 1 minute.
- To make medium-boiled eggs, let them sit for 2-3 minutes.
- And to make hard-boiled eggs, let them sit for about 5 minutes.
8. Drain and Peel
The last step is to drain the eggs and peel off the shells. Peeling eggs is a pretty simple task, but it can be done in a number of different ways.
Here’s the quickest way to peel an egg:
Crack the shell all around by tapping it gently on the kitchen counter and roll the egg on the counter so that tiny cracks are formed all around it. Then, you can start peeling the eggs from the widest end and keep stripping the peel in a circular motion until the egg is completely peeled.
Rinse the eggs under running water to remove any bits of shell still sticking on them. Wipe off the egg with a paper towel to dry it, and you’re done!
Why Does Salt Prevent Eggs from Exploding in Microwaves?
For a long time, I always wondered about why a simple solution of saltwater prevents eggs from exploding in the microwave. So I decided to put on my science hat and do some research.
It seems that the main reason saltwater prevents eggs from exploding is because microwaves are partially blocked by salt ions.
This means that the microwaves can’t penetrate the egg as easily, which reduces the chances of the microwave radiation passing through the shell and superheating the inside of the egg until pressure builds up and it explodes.
The second reason saltwater prevents eggs from exploding is because it heats more slowly in a microwave than pure water. So, the egg cooks more gradually, kind of like boiling an egg on the stove.
Can I Make Boiled Eggs in the Microwave in Large Batches?
Yes, you can make boiled eggs in the microwave in large batches.
The size of your microwave and container will determine how many eggs you can cook at once. As long as there is enough room in the bowl for all your eggs and none of the eggs are piled on top of each other, you can cook as many as you want at once.
I don’t recommend trying to cook too many eggs at once, though, as it could be difficult to cook them all evenly.
Other Ways to Cook Hard Boiled Eggs
There are a variety of ways to cook soft and hard-boiled eggs other than using a microwave.
Some of the most popular methods are on the stovetop, in the slow cooker, and in the instant pot. However, you can also cook hard-boiled eggs in the oven or air fryer.
How Do You Store Boiled Eggs After Cooking?
Storing boiled eggs after cooking is easy. Hard-boiled eggs can be stored for about 7 days while soft-boiled eggs can be stored for about 2 days.
To store hard-boiled eggs after cooking, make sure they are peeled first. After that, take an airtight container and place the eggs inside. Be sure to label the container and write the date of use on it to avoid any confusion. And then, place the container in the fridge.
Boiled eggs are one of the most popular dishes eaten around the world. Whether you like them soft, medium, or hard-boiled, microwaves can be used to make perfect boiled eggs every time with a few simple adjustments.
Just follow the steps in this article to see how easy it is. Bon appétit!