Learn how to perfectly poached eggs every time! With firm whites and runny yolks, they’re delicious on avocado toast, cereal bowls and more.
Rarely does a week go by without my making poached eggs. In fact, “Put a poached egg on it” is one of my proven mottos. If I’m making toast, a salad, or a bowl of cereal and just need a little something extra (eg protein), I put a poached egg on top. Breakfast, lunch and dinner = resolved.
Poached eggs may sound fancy, but they’re actually really easy to make at home. My method of poaching an egg takes a few minutes, uses basic equipment, and requires 3 ingredients. Best of all, the eggs always come out with firm but delicate whites and mouth-watering liquid yolks. Try it once and you’ll be making perfect poached eggs in no time!
How to poach an egg
My method for poaching an egg is super easy! Here is how it goes:
- Start by breaking an egg into a small bowl or ramekin. This step will allow you to gently slide the egg into the boiling water later. You will also know that the yolk is intact.
- Then bring a medium pot of water to a gentle boil. Bubbles will form at the bottom of the pot and rise to the surface, and the water will smoke, but it will not bounce or bubble quickly. Adjust the heat to keep it simmering.
- Then add a tablespoon of white wine vinegar and stir. Stir the water in a circular motion to create a vortex in the center of the pot. Carefully pour the cracked egg into the center of the vortex and gently stir again.
- Finally, let it simmer. Set a timer for 3 1/2 minutes. A little egg white can rise to the surface of the water while the egg is cooking. It’s OK! Simply skim it on top and continue cooking. When the timer goes off, use a slotted spoon to remove the egg from the hot water and tap lightly with your finger to test doneness. Do not hesitate to put it back in the water if you prefer a firmer yellow. When the egg is cooked to your liking, it’s ready to eat.
Recipe tips for poached eggs
- Start by cooking one by one. Poaching the eggs is not difficult, but it does take a bit of practice to perfect the technique. I recommend cooking one at a time until you are really comfortable. Then try to poach two at once! I wouldn’t go beyond that, however. If you add more eggs to the pot, it will be too crowded.
- Don’t skip the vinegar. Believe me, I tried it. Vinegar is essential in helping the egg to clot in the simmering water. Without it, the white and yolk will separate while the egg cooks. No thanks!
- Filter the eggs, if desired. Have you ever noticed that an egg white consists of two parts? There is a thick circle or oval surrounding the yolk and a thinner, more watery section on the outside. This watery white is what gets wispy when you make poached eggs. I don’t mind, but if you want your poached eggs to have perfectly rounded whites, you can crack them in a fine mesh colander. Once the thin whites have fallen, gently transfer the egg to a small bowl and continue with the recipe.
- Sweetness is the key. I’m laughing at myself right now because I just realized that the recipe below contains the word “sweet” three times. I leave it though, because when learning how to poach an egg, it is essential to be gentle. Do not bring the water to an aggressive boil. Do not plop the egg in it, and born stir too hard. If you do, the egg may shatter. However, if you work gently, you will end up with perfect poached eggs without a hitch.
Suggested portions of poached eggs
With their delicate whites and rich, liquid yolks, poached eggs are delicious on their own. Sprinkle them with salt and pepper and enjoy them as is, with good crusty bread to baste the egg yolks.
But your options for serving them don’t end there! Here are some other tasty ways to use them:
- Garnish with avocado toast. Is anyone else hungry just because of looking at in the photo above?
- Prepare Eggs Benedict. Once you’ve made a perfect poached egg, you’re on your way to whipping Eggs Benedict! Take English muffins and find my recipe on page 41 of Love & Lemons Every Day.
- Add them to a salad. If I want to fat a portion of my avocado salad, my Brussels sprout salad or my panzanella, I slip an egg on it!
- Or a bowl of cereal. Poach the egg instead of boiling it in this Power Bowl recipe.
- Serve it over cereals and vegetables. For a quick meal, stack poached eggs on couscous, wheat berries, farro or quinoa, accompanied by kale, asparagus or roasted broccoli. The flowing yolk will act as a sauce, bringing everything together. Yum!
How do you like serving poached eggs? Let me know in the comments!
More Favorite Egg Recipes
If you enjoyed learning how to poach an egg, then try one of these easy egg recipes:
Preparation time: ten minutes
Cooking time: 4 minutes
- 1 tall Egg
- 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
- Water pot
Crack the egg into a small bowl.
Bring a medium pot of water to a gentle boil. Add the vinegar and stir the water so that it moves in a circular motion. Gently drop the egg into the water, gently stir the water again and cook for 3 1/2 to 4 minutes.
Remove the egg with a slotted spoon, test doneness and serve.