Cooking Eggs 101

See how easy it is to make a light, quick-n-easy, and healthy meal in a jiffy!        

COOKING EGGS IN THE MICROWAVE OVEN                                                                                                       

With a microwave oven at home, school, and work, it's so simple to make eggs a part of your day – anytime, anywhere, any way you like them!

Important tips when cooking eggs in the microwave:

  • Always use approved, microwave-safe cookware.
  • Ask at your local grocery store for special "microware" specifically designed to prepare eggs in your own microwave oven.
  • Cooking times can vary from one microwave oven to the next. It's best to experiment at first to determine the right cooking time for your particular microwave oven. Cook eggs in 15-30 second intervals to check for the cooking progress. Times will also vary based on other ingredients added to the eggs (e.g., cheese, potatoes, vegetables).
  • If you are cooking the egg whole (poached and without the shell), be sure to pierce the yolk with a fork before cooking.
  • Whether you are poaching, scrambling, or making an omelette in the microwave, it's always good to add several drops of water to the eggs. This provides additional steam and helps with more even cooking for best results. Cover the eggs, leaving some venting space.
  • Always let the eggs stand for 30 seconds before uncovering and serving.

Scrambled

Crack as many eggs as you want into a regular bowl sprayed with a little veggie or olive oil. Microwave on HIGH for about 15-20 seconds to partially cook the eggs. Remove from microwave oven and stir (scramble) the eggs. Put eggs back into the microwave and cook for another 15-20 seconds. Repeat the cooking/stirring process until the eggs are done to your liking. You may need to add a few drops of water each time you return the eggs to the microwave to ensure there is some steam.
 
Poached

Use a special microwave egg poacher or substitute with a small microwave-safe ramekin or bowl and cover with microwavable plastic wrap or glass lid with a small opening to allow a vent for steam.

Put 1/2 tsp water in the bottom of the egg cup or ramekin (the additional steam will slow the cooking process for better, more even poaching). Add several grains of salt. Crack an egg into the cup. Pierce the yolk with a fork a few time. Microwave on MEDIUM-HIGH for 30-45 seconds. Check for doneness.
 
Hardcooked

Specialized microware is available to make hardcooked eggs in the microwave in minutes. Ask your grocery store or home supply store for their availability. We do not recommend trying to hardcooked eggs in the microwave without this specialized microware.
 
Omelettes & Frittatas

An omelette represents the opportunity to use what's in the fridge for the filling. If it sounds good, it probably will be!

Lightly beat the eggs and water (or milk) together. Pour half of the mixture into each compartment of a microwave omelette pan (inquire at your local grocery retailer).

Microwave on MEDIUM-HIGH for 2-3 minutes, until eggs are partially set. Move the eggs from the outside to the centre and cook for another 30 seconds or until the eggs are cooked to your liking.

If you are using fillings (cheese, potatoes, parsley, veggies, mushrooms, etc) add them after you have stirred the eggs and then microwave for another minute. Check for doneness. Garnish with parsley and serve with toast and fruit.

STOVE-TOP METHODS TO COOK EGGS

Scrambled eggs         

Heat a non-stick skillet (or a regular skillet greased with a small amount of butter, margarine or cooking oil) at medium heat. For one serving, beat 2 eggs, 2 tbsp. (30 mL) milk, salt and pepper (to taste) together in a bowl until well combined. Pour into skillet and immediately reduce heat to medium-low. As mixture begins to set, stir eggs from sides to centre of skillet. Cook, stirring gently, until set but still moist.

Recipe suggestion -  Scrambled Breakfast Burritos
 
Poached eggs  

Pour 3 inches (8 cm) of water into a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a gentle simmer. Carefully crack eggs, one at a time, into a dish and gently slip into the water. Cook in simmering water for 3 to 5 minutes until as done as you like. Remove eggs with a slotted spoon and drain well. Season with salt and pepper.

A coddled egg is similar to a poached egg, but is cooked more slowly and tends to be more tender (i.e., a very soft cooked egg). There are a couple of ways to coddle eggs on the stove:

(1)  Place whole, shelled eggs into water that is not quite boiling for about 5-6 minutes, depending on egg size. The point is to cook the eggs more slowly which explains the "not quite boiling" water.
(2) Use a proper "egg coddler" which is a ceramic or porcelain cup with screw lid. The sides and bottom of the coddler can be lightly buttered or rubbed with olive oil or other light cooking oil, crack an egg or two (depending on size of coddler) into the coddler, secure cap, and immerse into boiling water. Again, length of cooking will depend on how much you like the eggs to be cooked. This take experimentation.
 
Hardcooked eggs  

Place eggs in a single layer in a saucepan. Add enough cold water to cover the eggs by at least 1 inch (2.5 cm). Cover and bring to a boil. Immediately remove the saucepan from the heat and cover. For soft-cooked eggs, let eggs stand in the hot water for 3 to 5 minutes, then run cold water over eggs to stop the cooking. For hardcooked eggs, let eggs stand in the hot water for 20 to 25 minutes, then run cold water over eggs to stop the cooking.

For easier peeling of hardcooked eggs, use eggs that have been in the fridge for at least a week. If a hardcooked egg is hard to peel, it's because it's really fresh from the farm!!  Tap the egg shell all over to crack it, roll the shell between your hands to loosen it, and start peeling from the large end. Hold the egg under running water or dip it in a bowl of water to help ease off the shell.
 
Omelettes & Frittatas                                       

Omelettes are a great way to use leftovers for delicious meals. Depending on which ingredients you add, omelettes and frittatas can range from simple to exotic. Omelettes fall into three categories:  

  • French omelette – The basic omelette made with beaten eggs that are cooked in an omelette pan and then usually folded around a filling.
  • Puffy omelette – A light, fluffy omelette made by folding beaten egg yolks into stiffly beaten egg whites before cooking in an omelette pan until it is puffed. The omelette is then baked in the over for a few minutes.
  • Frittata – An open-faced omelette with ingredients added to the eggs before the frittata is cooked in an omelette pan. The omelette is not folded before serving.

Image source: Kykyru2 via Flickr Creative Commons
 
Learn how to make a Frittata
 
Tips for the perfect omelette:

  • For best results, use a proper omelette pan with sloping sides. It makes it easier to slide the cooked omelette out.
  • An 8 inch (20 cm) omelette pan is the best size for a 2 to 3 egg omelette.
  • A spatula is best for pushing cooked egg from sides to the centre of the pan and also makes folding the omelette in half easier.
  • It is easier and quicker to make several individual omelettes rather than one large one. They cook faster and are easier to handle.
  • French omelettes are best made with water instead of milk. Water turns to steam to give the omelette a light texture.
  • Heat the omelette pan to medium-high heat before adding the egg mixture. The egg mixture should set at the edges soon after it is poured into the pan.
  • Fillings for omelettes are usually spread over half the omelette before it is folded. The filling ingredients can instead be added to the egg mixture before cooking so they are spread throughout the omelette.
  • Have the filling ready, and heated if necessary, before beginning omelette preparation.
  • Cook the omelette until it is set but still moist on the surface. It will continue to cook from its own heat so slip it out of the pan before it is completely done.
  • Don't forget that omelettes can also make great desserts. Skip the salt and pepper, add a sweet or fruit filling and sprinkle icing sugar over the finished omelette.

Baked eggs                               

Preheat oven to 350 F. (180 C.) For each serving, lightly butter an individual baking dish or custard cup. Break 2 eggs into each dish. Season with salt and pepper. Bake, uncovered, for 16 to 22 minutes, until yolks reach desired doneness. Chopped cooked meat, diced vegetables or grated cheese can be placed in the dishes before adding the eggs.

Fried eggs

Heat a non-stick skillet (or a regular skillet lightly greased with a small amount of butter, margarine or olive oil) at medium heat. Break eggs and gently slip into skillet. Reduce heat to low. Cook to desired doneness, turning eggs gently to cook both sides or add a small amount of water and covering with lid to cook tops of eggs. Season with salt and pepper.

Looking for more cooking ideas and inspiration? Find simple ways of making light and healthy meals