The Yolk Tip To Prevent Your Eggs From Exploding In The Microwave

You're hungry and decide to cook a whole egg in the microwave quickly — that seems simple enough, right? But within seconds of starting the microwave, a loud "pop" breaks the silence in your kitchen, and you're left with the messy yellow aftermath of what would have been your snack. So what went wrong? Why did your egg explode?

The culprit behind this messy dilemma is the yolk. As a microwave heats an egg, the water inside the yolk turns to steam. Without a proper vent, the steam and moisture build up pressure until there's nowhere else to go but to break out in an eggy explosion. But there's an easy trick passed down through generations to prevent this when cooking raw eggs in the microwave: Use a toothpick, bamboo skewer, or sharp knife point to (carefully!) pierce a tiny hole in the yolk to create a small vent. 

This simple act creates a tiny escape route for the expanding steam within the egg as it cooks, thus preventing a messy explosion. And we all know how hard it is to clean dried egg yolk from the microwave!

Mastering microwave egg dishes with a simple trick

As you might imagine, this principle isn't only applicable to plain eggs — you'll also want to use the poke-a-vent-hole technique to safely cook other eggy dishes in the microwave, such as oeufs cocotte, a classic French dish where you bake whole eggs in a ramekin with cream and other seasonings. Microwaving oeufs cocotte can save time without compromising the texture, provided you pierce the yolks first.

Similarly, when you're making a microwaved breakfast burrito and crave a runny yolk, add the yolk to the burrito and create a tiny vent hole. The egg will cook evenly to your desired runniness without a messy explosion in your microwave. For a quick and easy rice bowl, add an egg yolk to a bowl of rice, poke a vent hole into the yolk, and microwave; drizzle soy sauce over the egg yolk and enjoy an umami-full, rich, egg-over-rice dish.

Even classic recipes, such as poached eggs or eggs benedict, can be safely and deliciously prepared in the microwave. You'll enjoy effortless, perfect eggs every time by simply remembering to pierce the yolk — so arm yourself with this knowledge to prevent a messy microwave and the inevitable cleanup drama that follows.