How to Poach Eggs Perfectly


Poached eggs are a popular brunch order at Ree Drummond’s restaurant, The Merc. After all, the little golden yolk packets are perfect for eggs Benedict or other popular egg recipes. But when was the last time you made them at home? For some reason, cooks seem to be afraid to poach eggs. Their silky, yet firm whites and runny centers may seem intimidating, but here’s the truth: poached eggs are surprisingly easy to make! In fact, if you can boil water, then you can poach an egg. All it takes is a little know-how and our tips to make perfect poached eggs every time. Read on for the quick and easy 5-step recipe.

Before you start, check the freshness of your eggs with the floating egg test: the fresher the eggs, the easier they’ll be to poach (and the better they’ll taste!). Next, grab a pot of water. That’s all you need. With this method for poached eggs, there’s no need for vinegar or fancy egg tools. And once you’ve mastered the basic poaching technique, you’ll have endless healthy breakfast recipes for every occasion. Try them on sauteed greens, avocado toast or a breakfast salad. Or, better yet, enjoy them on a toasted and buttered English muffin with Canadian bacon and hollandaise sauce. Yummy!

How do I poach an egg, step by step?

Bring water to a gentle boil in a large pot. Then add salt to the water.
Break your eggs into small individual cups so that they are ready to be poured into the water.
Using a spoon, start stirring the water in a large circular motion (like a tornado).
Once the tornado is really moving, add the eggs. The movement of the water will wrap the egg white around itself so that the egg stays together while cooking.
Cook the eggs for 2 1/2 to 3 minutes, then remove them with a slotted spoon.
How long does it take to poach the eggs?

Poaching eggs takes only a few minutes. Once the water is boiling, cook the eggs for 2½ to 3 minutes. They will be firm on the outside, runny on the inside, and deliciously delicious every time.

Does the water have to be boiling for poached eggs?

This method for poached eggs requires a gentle boil. If you’re wondering what a gentle boil is, simply bring the water to a boil, then lower the heat so the water is boiling, but not too much.

Do I need vinegar to poach eggs?

Adding a small amount of vinegar to the boiling water is a trick some people use to help egg whites rise faster. It’s completely optional and not even necessary, but if you want to try it, mix a tablespoon of distilled white vinegar into the boiling water before adding the eggs.

Can you poach more than one egg at a time?

If you’re hosting a brunch or feeding a crowd, you may want to poach more than one egg at a time – and you can! Just be sure not to overfill the pan. You can prepare these poached eggs ahead of time, then simply plunge them back into the hot water to reheat.

YIELDS: 1 serving(s)

COOK TIME: 3 mins

TOTAL TIME: 3 mins


  • 1 egg


  1. 1 Bring a pot of water to a gentle boil, then salt the water. Meanwhile, crack an egg (or two, or three!) into a small cup.
  2. 2With a spoon, begin stirring the boiling water in a large, circular motion. 
  3. 3When the water is swirling like a tornado, add the ;eggs. The swirling water will help the egg white wrap around itself as it cooks. 
  4. 4Cook for about 2 1/2 to 3 minutes.
  5. 5Using a slotted spoon, remove the egg (or eggs) to a plate.