Eggs 101

How to Poach an Egg Like a Pro

Poached eggs get an unfair reputation for being hard to cook. The truth is, with the proper technique and a little practice, poaching an egg is an easy way to turn a salad into a meal or a breakfast into a memorable occasion.

The main problem people run into with poached eggs is creating wispy, thin whites instead of the perfect round container that you get at a restaurant. Follow our step-by-step instructions and you'll get a perfect poached egg every time.

Things You'll Need


  1. Step 1

    Boil the water, adding a tablespoon of vinegar. Meanwhile, crack your eggs into a small cup so they're ready to go when the water reaches the right temperature. Eggs poach quickly, so you have to move fast.
  2. Step 2

    When the water reaches a boil, reduce it to a gentle simmer. Dip the bowl with the egg into the water, and let the water cook the egg for a moment before you let it drop into the water. This will help prevent the wispy whites. Drop in the second egg in the same way, and try to keep track of the order they went in. The first egg in should be the first egg out.
  3. Step 3

    Gently keep the water moving with a spoon while the eggs cook. Take the eggs out after three minutes for soft poached, or let them cook to five minutes for a more solid yolk. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain as much of the water as possible - the egg should wobble, but just a little, if you move the spoon around. Place the cooked egg on a paper towel and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Step 4


    This one is optional—if you're cooking eggs for a crowd, don't stress. Poached eggs can be held in an ice bath for up to an hour. When it's time to serve, put them back in the hot water until they warm up (about 45 seconds) and serve.

Poached eggs are one of the most versatile ways to cook eggs. They make almost any dish a little fancier, and they're an easy, healthy way to start the day. Now that you're a poached egg expert, try our Freekeh Power Bowl with Dill Pesto recipe, add some oomph to a salad with our Wild Mushroom and Poached Egg Salad or try a new take on a classic with our Cajun Eggs Benedict.