How to Poach an Egg

Poach an eggLearning how to poach an egg is an art form. For me, a poached egg is all about the yolk. Don’t get me wrong. I’ll eat the whites, but even at their perfectly plump and supple best they can’t hold a candle to my precious yolks. There’s not much better – where food’s concerned – than a warm, buttery poached egg, yolk oozing like a river of creamy, golden lava over baby greens or a toasted English muffin.

How to Poach an Egg

Here’s how to make it happen:

  1. Fill a skillet with enough water to cover the eggs.
  2. Boil the water, then reduce it to a gentle simmer.
  3. Stir in a teaspoon of white vinegar. It will help the whites set faster.
  4. Crack a cold egg into a ramekin and gently slide it into the simmering water.
  5. Cover the pot and leave the egg alone to cook for three minutes.
  6. Carefully lift the egg from the water with a slotted spoon, draining any excess onto a paper towel.

It’s simple to poach eggs for a crowd. The instructions are largely the same with only a few adjustments. Poach the eggs for two minutes then carefully remove them from the simmering water. Place the partially-poached eggs in a baking dish filled with an inch of cool water. If the water is hot, it will continue to cook the eggs. Just before serving, carefully return the eggs to the pan of simmering water and cook for one minute to finish cooking them. Remove the eggs from the water, drain them and serve.

Get the basics on how to poach everything else here.


Make sure the water is simmering and not boiling. Vigorously boiling water may break your yolks.

Don’t skip cracking the egg into a ramekin before adding it to the simmering water. Pouring from the ramekin gives you more control as you add the eggs to the water.


Skillet with high sides and lid


Slotted Spoon

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