Go Back
+ servings
Perfect poached eggs and toast are great with almost any meal; here's how to make them perfect every time!
Print

Perfect Poached Eggs

If you’re an egg lover then you will definitely agree that there’s nothing more wonderful than a delicious and beautifully formed poached egg. It seems to be the simplest thing imaginable to make but for the longest time it was something that eluded me. Yes, it’s true, that anyone can make a misshapen scraggly looking poached egg but I like a beautiful and perfectly formed oval poached egg and if you agree with me then I’ve got you covered! My technique works beautifully and once I perfected it I made sure to prepare a few dozen poached eggs just to be sure before sharing it with you so here goes. Let’s start with a few basics.
Course Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch
Keyword eggs, poached eggs
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Total Time 23 minutes
Servings 6
Author Wendy

Equipment

  • small saucepan

Ingredients

  • 6 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar, white

Instructions

  • THE FRESHER THE EGG THE BETTER
  • Once an egg sits around for awhile the egg white gets a bit watery. You can still make a perfect poached egg but you first need to use a strainer to strain off the watery part.
  • A SMALL STAINLESS STEEL OR ALUMINUM PAN WORKS BEST
  • The pan I use is really small, just under 6 inches in diameter, but if you don’t have a pan that small just use your smallest.
  • HOW MUCH WATER?
  • Add water but only so it’s about an inch and a half deep. That way the water comes to a simmer quickly and the egg has less area to move around.
  • The water should simmer, but just barely: a sub-simmer. In other words when you see those little bubbles right at the edge of the pan before it moves into a full simmer and starts to boil. This matters because you want the egg to remain still and keep it shape as it cooks.
  • ADD WHITE VINEGAR TO THE WATER
  • Add 1 teaspoon of white vinegar to the water. In the small pot that I use there is about 1 cup of water in the pan. If you use a larger pan, and therefore more water, you might want to up the amount of vinegar slightly to 1 ½ teaspoons.
  • The vinegar is essential because this is what helps to tighten the egg white and form a perfect oval.
  • Don’t overdue the vinegar because it’ll affect the taste.
  • GET YOUR EGG READY
  • Gently crack the egg into something small like an espresso cup or tiny bowl. And remember to drain off the water first if the egg is not super fresh. Crack it into a small strainer (like a tea strainer), then gently pour the egg into the espresso cup.
  • TIME TO COOK THE EGG
  • Once you bring the water to the almost simmer stage very gently pour the egg into the water and set a timer for 2 ½ minutes. This might vary depending on the size of your egg. While the egg cooks get your next egg ready to cook.
  • DON’T STIR THE WATER!
  • Many poached egg recipes say that it’s essential to swirl around the water but guess what? That only serves to move the egg around and keep it from forming into a beautiful oval shape. It simply isn’t necessary.
  • Adjust the water temperature so you maintain it at just barely simmering. Once you reach 2 ½ minutes you’ll see that the egg white has cooked and it’s ready to remove from the pan.
  • USE A SLOTTED SPOON TO REMOVE THE POACHED EGG FROM THE PAN
  • Perfect Poached Eggs tips and tricks!
  • You can either eat the poached egg right away or set it aside while you cook the other poached eggs, or put it aside and refrigerate for future use.
  • You may need to top up the water if water evaporates, especially if you make a lot of poached eggs at the same time.
  • I eat a lot of poached eggs and usually make half a dozen or so at the same time. Once you remove your poached egg with a slotted spoon gently place it into a flat storage container.
  • I use a flat lidded container so that each poached egg can lie flat.
  • Keep the poached eggs in the refrigerator until you’re ready to eat them. You should use them within five days.
  • HOW TO WARM UP A POACHED EGG BEFORE SERVING
  • Don’t put a poached egg in boiling hot water because it will cook the yolk. Instead gently remove it from the storage container and place it in a bowl of hot water. Give it enough time to warm through and, if necessary, change the water if it cools down.
  • HOW TO SERVE POACHED EGGS
  • Poached eggs have a wonderful flavor and texture and can be served in so many wonderful ways. They are great served on a slice of buttered toast, used to make eggs Benedict, or served atop a bowl of soup or salad. Do you have any other ideas? Please share!
  • I’d love to hear your comments on how this poached egg technique works for you!