How to Poach the Perfect Egg
There are few things in life that get us more excited to get out of bed in the morning than brunch — and nowadays, brunch is pretty much synonymous with eggs Benedict and avocado toast. In theory, these two dishes seem like they would be super-easy to pull off if you are hosting a brunch at home, but poaching eggs is not as easy as it seems.
With a few simple tips, however, perfectly poached eggs can be yours. Besides the fact that they are delicious and look impressive, there's an added bonus: Poached eggs are healthier than most other eggs because there is no oil or butter required in their preparation.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when attempting to create your own perfect poached eggs:
- Start small. Practice making 1 or 2 poached eggs at a time before you attempt to feed the masses.
- Simmer on low. Keep your water at a low simmer throughout poaching.
- Use a teacup. Cracking your eggs directly into the water can cause the yolk to break or the whites to spread out in the pan. Always crack your eggs into a teacup (a ramekin or small bowl will work) before adding them to the water.
- Prepare other foods in advance. Poaching eggs takes 4-5 minutes, so finish cooking everything else you will be serving, including toast, before you begin.
Ingredients and supplies:
- Teacups, ramekins or small bowls (1 per egg)
- Pan (at least 4 inches deep)
- Slotted spoon
- Crack each egg into its own teacup, then set the eggs aside.
- Fill your pan 3/4 full of warm water. Add 1 tablespoon of vinegar and stir. Place the pan over medium heat and bring it to a low simmer. (A few bubbles should continually rise to the surface.)
- When the water reaches a low simmer, gently lower each of the teacups into the water and tip each egg into the pan. (Note: You can use a slotted spoon or spatula to nudge the whites toward the yolk if they spread out in the water.)
- Poach the eggs just until the whites are cooked through, for 4-5 minutes. Then turn off the heat.
- Using a slotted spoon, remove each of the eggs. Gently blot them dry with a paper towel before serving.
Originally posted January 2014. Updated August 2017.