In Search of the Perfect Microwave Egg

An Experiment in Coddled Egg Microwave Cookery 

Egg Coddler
I stopped having coddled eggs for breakfast when the ring on my Royal Worcester porcelain egg coddler broke off.*

Then I moved and now I can't find it, but it looked exactly like this one.

(What is a coddled egg? Imagine if you could inject some butter and other seasonings inside the shell of your egg, then soft-boil it to your exact taste... well, the egg coddler is just a replacement shell, and so to coddle an egg, you place it and your chosen seasonings inside the porcelain coddler, close it tightly, then submerge it in simmering water until it's just the way you like it.  A little miracle! [The ring is so you can grab it.])

I've cooked hard-boiled eggs in the microwave, but, I thought, why not coddled eggs? This morning, I decided to try.

Day 1

Chinese tea bowls make perfect little individual egg coddlers. I added a ruler so you can see how tiny they are -- they hold 1/2 cup when full. (If I were making two eggs, I would use one of my small glass custard cups.)

Put a tiny dab of butter in the bottom of the cup;

Microwave for 10-15 seconds to melt the butter;

Rotate the cup to coat the bottom and sides of the cup with butter (this is important both for the flavour and to keep the egg from sticking to the bowl);

Add the egg and pierce the yolk with the tip of a knife or a fork;

NOTE: this is essential -- otherwise the yolk will explode!

Add seasonings -- any or all of the following:
  • Salt and pepper;
  • Chopped chives or green onion tops;
  • Finely chopped cooked mushrooms, crumbled bacon or finely chopped ham;
  • Anything you would normally add to your eggs.
Add another dab of butter on top -- please don't skip this! It's amazing what this minuscule amount of butter does to the flavour of the egg!

Wrap the bowl in a paper towel (NOT plastic wrap);

Microwave on High-- I tried 45 seconds today;

Eat out of the bowl with a coffee spoon;


Flip over toast.

This is how I did it today, but as you may know, after you take something out of the microwave oven it continues to cook. That's why, in these last two photos, you can see that the yolk is beginning to solidify.

I like my yolks completely liquid, so tomorrow, I will try 40 seconds and a 10-second rest, and see what happens.

NOTE: if you decide to try this, you will have to experiment too, because as you know all microwaves are different, and of course you may like your eggs more or less cooked.


After several tries, I did settle on 40 seconds, and that time seems to work best in the smaller of the two cups, the one on the right. The walls are thicker, which may contribute to the whites setting better.

That's what works best for my taste and my equipment.

You're on your own: do your own tests; just remember that, oddly enough, if you get some water in the bottom of the cup, it's not from under-cooking, but from over-cooking. It's a chemical reaction, apparently.

 * Without some sort of "handle", it's impossible to get the coddler out quickly when the timer goes off (and believe me, I've tried).

1 comment:

  1. 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.