Apparently, You Can Make Poached Eggs In a Muffin Tin—So We Tried It

Did we actually find an easy, hands-off approach to poached eggs?

CROP Grits Cakes with Poached Eggs and Country Gravy
Photo: Alison Miksch

It's good to be open to trying anything once, within reason, I tell myself before embarking on any trick or hack I hear about from friends or see on the Internet. Whether it's testing if avocados stay ripe better when kept submerged in cold water or if flowers stay alive longer in a vase when you include a tipple of Sprite in the water, I'm game to poke around and find out. This time around, it's eggs. Poached eggs.

When I heard that there was a way to poach eggs other than boiling water, swirling water, cracking the egg, and hoping for the best—but actually just watching the egg spontaneously combust in the water—my interest was piqued. Previously, I kept poached eggs in the "only allowed when out to brunch at a restaurant" category, due to how difficult they can be to master at home. However, there's a trick that says you can actually poach eggs in the oven using a muffin tin. No hassle required. Does it work? Here's how my experiment went.

The Experiment: I decided to make four poached eggs, just in case some didn't pan out, and scoured many oven egg recipes online to create my own how-to test. I set the oven to 350 degrees, poured about one tablespoon of water into four spaces in the muffin tin, cracked an egg into each space, and seasoned them lightly with salt and pepper. Make sure the yolk is still intact after you crack them into the muffin tin to ensure you can achieve a runny yolk.

For two of the four eggs, I greased the muffin tin before adding water to see if the results varied at all. After popping them in the oven and setting a timer, I took the muffin tin out of the oven after around 12-13 minutes and let the eggs sit for 3 minutes. When I initially took the eggs out, they still looked a little underdone and had a small amount of water sitting on top (which trickles off into the muffin tin when you take the poached eggs out). As they sat, they finished cooking, so don't be afraid to pull them out if they look underdone.

The Result: While the appearance isn't quite as fluffy as a traditional poached egg, I did like that each egg was uniformly shaped and round, which can be ideal when putting on an English muffin, bagel, or piece of toast. After dishing them out onto a plate, I cut them open to see how runny they were—and was impressed with the result. Bright orange yolks came spilling out onto the plate. Upon taste-testing, I loved the texture. Each had a bouncy, tender egg white and a delicious yolk that was half-runny and half-jammy. If you desire a super runny, not-jammy-at-all yoke, I'd recommend taking the eggs out after 10-11 minutes, but I actually preferred this texture. There didn't seem to be a difference between the eggs that I had greased the pan for and the ones I didn't.

Poached Eggs in Muffin Tin
Kaitlyn Yarborough

While you can't ever totally mimic the texture, taste, and appearance of a traditional poached egg, this option rendered a really tasty and versatile egg, especially if you want a much easier, more hands-off way to achieve a soft, yolky egg. I'd say it was a perfect cross between a poached egg and an over-medium skillet egg, which both happen to be fabulous forms of cooked eggs in my opinion. (It also received rave reviews from my fellow taste-tester who said "we need to make Eggs Benedict ASAP." Success!) I'll definitely be using this method again.

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