Large Batch Poached Eggs and Fried Eggs

My family loves eggs and they’re often at the center of our quick and easy weeknight dinners.  Sometimes when making things like poached or fried eggs for a crowd – whether it be just enough for a family dinner, or a really large amount for a luncheon or party- you are really limited by the touchy nature of eggs and cooking time.  It’s hard to cook that many at a time in a pan and get them all finished at the right time and manage to serve everything while it’s still warm.   

Many of my family’s most requested dinners involve fried or poached eggs and after getting frustrated with babysitting eggs on the stove top, I started experimenting cooking them in the oven and had fantastic results. 

poached egg in muffin tin

The trick is to use a muffin pan.  I prefer using a jumbo muffin tin because I like the finished size of the eggs more than I do from a standard tin, but either will work.   TIP: Use a non-stick muffin pan and you’ll want to rub a little butter around the inside of every well.   I’ve seen other people cook eggs in muffin tins an no one does this step and even with my nicest non-stick, I still get egg gunk stuck around the edges if I don’t use butter.  I’ve also found butter works much better than non-stick spray. 

cooking eggs in a muffin tin

Poached Eggs vs. Fried Eggs

The difference between a poached egg and a fried egg is just a tablespoon of water.  If you’d like to make poached eggs, after buttering the muffin tin, add a tablespoon of water to each one and then add your cracked egg. The water will rise to the top and gently surround your egg mimicking that water bath on the stove top.  If you want to make “fried” eggs, simply skip the water and add the egg directly to the buttered muffin tin.  Technically these aren’t “fried” and they won’t get those buttery-crisp edges that a traditionally fried egg gets, but it’s close and looks similar.

Here’s a visual of an oven poached egg (bottom) and a “fried” egg (top). 

eggs in muffin tins

Either way they only need to cook for about 10 minutes (give or take depending on how soft you like them) and it’s completely hands off, which I promise at some point in your life will come in super handy and you’ll be glad you know this trick!

poached egg in muffin tin

Large Batch Poached Eggs and Fried Eggs

5 from 3 votes
An easy solution to make large amounts of poached eggs ahead of time!


  • 1 dozen eggs
  • butter
  • water
  • salt and pepper


Poached Eggs:

  • Preheat oven to 350. Coat each well of a muffin tin (standard or jumbo, I prefer jumbo) with butter.  Add 1 tablespoon water to each one.  Crack each egg and add 1 egg per muffin cup. Do not salt and pepper (it will wash away with the water!) .  Bake for about 10 minutes, but watch them a few minutes before and after that in order to cook to desired doneness.  Keep in mind the water on top will be discarded- sometimes it makes it look like uncooked egg white on top, when it's really just water. 

"Fried" Eggs:

  • Follow steps above, only omit water and sprinkle each egg with salt and pepper before baking.
Author: Sara Wells
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Meet The Author

Sara Wells

Sara Wells co-founded Our Best Bites in 2008. She is the author of three Bestselling Cook Books, Best Bites: 150 Family Favorite RecipesSavoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites, and 400 Calories or Less from Our Best Bites. Sara’s work has been featured in many local and national news outlets and publications such as Parenting MagazineBetter Homes & GardensFine CookingThe Rachel Ray Show and the New York Times.

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Questions & Reviews

  1. I have used this recipe at least 5 times now with no issues. It is perfect! Thank you from this very very large household! Without you every special morning breakfast would not be great.

  2. What is the best way to remove the poached eggs from the muffin pan and not get the water too? My slotted spoon is too big, any ideas? I’m going to try this for a big crowd, but want a system in place. Thank you!

    1. Make sure you butter the cups well ahead of time and then use a small, flexible rubber spatula!

  3. 5 stars
    This worked great when I was making Egg McMuffins sandwiches for 7 people, most of which who wanted more than one. I used a standard size muffin pan so the cook time was a little longer (since the mixture is thicker). Very happy with the results!

  4. When rubbing butter around each well does it make a difference if you butter them with coldish butter like in baking, or can you melt the butter like when you make popovers.
    Can’t wait to try this!!!

  5. I just tried this but my egg yolk partially sunk in the middle when I removed the pan from the oven . Any idea why this happened. Thanks in advance.

    1. I’m not sure, but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that either, sounds like it’s just part of the cooking process!

  6. I tried this last night when I made Egg McFuffins for my crew–it worked perfectly!

  7. Thank you for posting this!! I tried this tonight for dinner. We had eggs Benedict. I think the part I love the most is that every egg comes out so easily and they are all uniform in size. I baked the eggs, Canadian bacon and then toasted the English muffins in my oven on the broiler setting on a big sheet pan. No more toasting four slices at a time! It all came together fast and we could all eat together without me tending the frying pan. Thanks again!

  8. Oh wow, thank you SO much for this! Can’t wait to try it-maybe this weekend! I consider myself a fairly accomplished “home cook” but I truly suck at eggs!!

  9. 5 stars
    Just tried this and it worked like a charm! I’m so happy to have found this recipe. I love poached eggs but have been intimidated by doing them in boiling water. They came out of the pan perfectly with the buttering. Thanks and yum!

  10. I feel like writing you a legit hand-written thank you note for this post. I have four kids and we have eggs nearly every morning (living on a hobby farm with 14 laying hens…) Everyone is totally over scrambled eggs (even me) so I have been a short order cook lately, pan after pan for each kid. This is amazing and I am so grateful for your creative thinking and sharing it with us!

  11. 5 stars
    Perfect. We have chickens so we have EGGS. Lots of them. This works like a charm. I prefer the poached over the fried. The friend white is too chewy for me yet the poached is soft and cooked through enough not to be squishy. And, best of all, the poached egg slips right out of the tin. Thank you!!

  12. Oh my goodness!!! Why haven’t I thought of this before, I broil bacon because I don’t want to “babysit” it. This is going to revolutionize Huevos Rancheros!!!

    1. I’ve never heard of boiling bacon! I cook mine in the oven. Load up 2 cookie sheets with bacon and cook at 400° until it’s as done as I want it. Love that the bacon lies flat too, for easier sandwich assembling.

  13. I have two teen boys so when I fry eggs, it’s two at a time, four times over. I’m totally going to try this!!

  14. This is a much needed short cut for poached eggs!! Thank you so much. I can’t wait to make them.

  15. Will 10 min likely make runny yokes but solid whites? And would the cooking time be different with a standard size muffin tins of vs the jumbo? I just want to know where to watch and adjust for my own preferences. ? I’m super excited to try this!

    1. You really just have to watch them the first time you make them since all ovens and pans are different. It doesn’t take long, so just keep an eye on them!

  16. Awesome! This looks so easy. And I just bought a silicone muffin pan from Target. I will try and see if it lets you skip the buttering part or not.