Is it possible to boil an egg in the microwave?

Ideally without having to pierce the shell first

  • Microwaving shell-on eggs is not something worth attempting casually. Please read comments to accepted answer. By the time you have taken all the precautions and calculated the required time, you are better off just boiling it in a pan. I cannot emphasise the risk enough. – user110084 Jun 7 '17 at 15:32
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    Thank you. This was 7 years ago and the only kitchen appliance I owned was a microwave, so "just boiling it in a pan" was not an option. I have more options now, but it was worrying that the answer I accepted was still YES. I've changed it. Please don't downvote @AttilaNYC's originally accepted answer – user208 Jun 7 '17 at 19:28
  • @user208 Thanks for updating! Just a note about the last bit of your comment: people can vote as they see fit, and if they agree that answer is dangerously wrong, that's a great reason to downvote. – Cascabel Jun 7 '17 at 21:49
  • @user208, thanks for the comments and updates. Glad you never tried it. It is stunning what damage a mere egg can inflict and how long the recovery took. I was lucky that it happened after I removed the shell. – user110084 Jun 7 '17 at 22:23

Be careful putting whole eggs in the microwave. A relative of mine was burned on her face (fortunately not severely). After removing the egg from the microwave it exploded.

  • Yes, it could also explode well after shelling from superheated moisture trapped between the yolk and white speaking from experience. Do not microwave shell-on or even cooked whole eggs even after shelling. If you must, cut a cooked one in half before reheating. If you are not concerned about a few blisters on your lips and face, think about your cornea. – user110084 Jun 7 '17 at 15:23
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    I asked this question a long time ago when the only appliance I had in my kitchen was a microwave. I accepted @AttilaNYC's (surely well-meaning) answer at the time because it was the answer I wanted. I didn't even try the method, because of all the other advice in the answers and comments. – user208 Jun 7 '17 at 18:57
  • From experience: Even putting a boiled and peeled egg back in (e.g. when heating leftover food) can lead to the egg exploding. – Jan Doggen Jul 3 '17 at 10:27

It's possible to blow open the door of your microwave if you try it on high for too long. For best results, watch it from about a foot away.

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    I did this by accident. Two eggs in a glass and some water for 5 mins. What a mess! – Curry Aug 16 '10 at 0:12
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    Just don't do this at all. – user110084 Jun 7 '17 at 15:53

I decided to post this as an answer instead of a reply to @AttilaNYC . I think you're better off just boiling it. I'm a big of fan of doing and cooking stuff fast; however, eggs are too perfect and to lean to do that. Boil the damn water, dump your egg in it until it's done. I don't love, but I like this site.


I've been using the Nordic Ware Microwave Egg Boiler for a few years. Depending on the size of the eggs, you'll need between 6.5 and 8 minutes at 1100 watts. Once you've settled on a brand and size of eggs, you can get them perfect every time - hard boiled, soft yolk etc. by tweaking the cooking time between those two values.

Fantastic gadget, 4.5+ stars on Amazon with over 1200 reviews.

Nordic Ware Microwave Egg Boiler





I feel especially strongly about the grossly understated and potentially life-changing danger of doing so, there is no exaggeration. I speak from personal experience, not it-happened-to-someone-I-know.

Don't risk serious burns and high speed flying egg shell fragments JUST DO NOT TOY WITH THIS at all; I had and it was just luck that I did not end up losing my sight, just blistered eye lids and face.

If you must use a microwave, heat a big bowl of water ALONE WITHOUT EGGS (put some baking beads in the water to minimise superheating). Then take the hot bowl of water out of the microwave and put the eggs into the hot water to cook. Wrap the entire bowl with a thick towel as insulation to preserve the heat. You do not need to maintain a boil or water at close to boiling point to cook eggs

Water makes up nearly 90% of egg white and nearly half of egg yolk. So an egg is >75% water. Microwave cannot distinguish between water in a container and water in the egg and just heat one part preferentially or selectively. Fats in the egg yolk also have dipoles capable of absorbing microwave for heat conversion too.


I have heard that you can wrap each egg in a piece of alum. foil, being sure all shell is covered. Put in a micro safe dish with water to cover fully or preheat a sufficient qty of water then add eggs. The foil prevents the microwaves from penetrating the shell and causing exploding eggs. The water is supposed to prevent arcing.

Timing would depend on amt of eggs and water, and whether you preheated.

*WARNING* I HAVE NOT tried this myself, but it sounds reasonable

  • So... you are using the microwave to cook the water and the egg gets boiled by the conventional heat transfer from water to egg, with not-perfectly-clinging alu foil in the way and the risk of arching if the egg floats above the water? I suppose it can be done... but why?! – rumtscho Feb 17 '14 at 20:46
  • If, for example, you had only a microwave available for cooking, as I did for a while (most other cooking equip. prohibited especially hotplates) – Carl D Feb 18 '14 at 16:51
  • I have now tried this method with excellent results: – Carl D Feb 21 '14 at 23:19
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    Also tried it, successfully. Why? 1) Once you get the timing right, you get consistently perfect (for you) eggs every time. 2) Office lunch - our kitchen has a toaster, 3 microwaves and a kettle. Not a stove top or pot/pan in sight. Yet I can still dip my toasted soldiers in my boiled egg :-) – mcalex Dec 16 '15 at 18:38

I admit I haven't tried this in the microwave, but it should work and avoid the exploding-egg possibility altogether.

What you would do is, take a large microwave safe container - the larger the better, really. Fill it with water, though leave room for the egg(s). Heat the water until boiling hot. Carefully add your egg, and leave it in the microwave, door closed, until it's cooked - how long will depend on your ratio of egg to water and how cooked you prefer it, but to give an idea four eggs would take about a half hour.

The hot water cooks the egg, and since, beyond heating the water, the microwave is never actively aimed at the egg it won't have an opportunity to explode. The technique would work even if the hot water is kept, say, on the counter - though the residual heat in the microwave, and the insulation of its walls, will help keep the heat up so the egg cooks faster, in the same way turning off the stove but keeping the pot on the still heated surface keeps the heat up a bit.

If you use the same container and roughly the same amount of water each time, you should be able to figure out pretty precisely what works in your microwave with a little trial and error.


Put a microwave safe bowl in the microwave with just enough water to cover the eggs, but don't put the eggs in yet! High setting for 1.5 minutes till it boils, Add about a tablespoon of vinegar and a tablespoon of salt. This will keep the eggs from cracking and will make them easier to peel. Add the eggs and cover with a dish, but leave a slight gap for steam to escape. Medium setting for 8 minutes (check after 5 minutes to see if there is still enough water covering the eggs, some microwaves are more powerful than others. Take out the bowl and let it sit for another 5 minutes or so and you should be ready to peel and eat...

  • This is obviously for hard boiled. – Chris Cudmore Aug 16 '10 at 13:34
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    It sounds like this is ummmm potentially deadly newscientist.com/article/… – intuited Mar 1 '13 at 18:47
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    Without stating numerical wattage setting AND mass of water and egg, suggesting cooking times for a shell-on egg in a microwave is bordering on being reckless. – user110084 Jun 7 '17 at 15:18
  • @jefromi, understood, I wasn't seeking a deletion but somehow this I believe is dangerous enough to have some warnings. More worrying is that OP accepted it as a valid answer. – user110084 Jun 7 '17 at 15:24
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    DO NOT DO THIS. From a painful personal experience, I did something almost identical as a work around knowing not to microwave a whole shell-on egg. I was lucky with a burnt face but nearly seared cornea too. The egg did not explode upon shelling, but as I bit into it, the superheated moisture trapped between the yolk and the hardened white erupted with a loud bang. Hot egg fragments covered my face and eye lids along with the ceiling and walls. DO NOT TRY THIS even as an accepted answer. – user110084 Jun 7 '17 at 15:29

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