Basic Poached Eggs

Follow this easy recipe for the perfect poach, every time!

Prep Time:
3 min
Cook Time:
3 min


Nutrition Facts
  • Water
  • 2 eggs


  1. Stovetop Method: Fill saucepan with about 3 inches (8 cm) of water. Heat until water simmers gently. Break cold egg into small dish or saucer. Holding dish just above simmering water, gently slip egg into water. Repeat for remaining eggs. Cook in barely simmering water until white is set and yolk is cooked as desired, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove eggs with slotted spoon and drain well.
  2. Microwave Method: Pour 1/3 cup (75 mL) water into small deep bowl. Bring to boil on High (100% power). Break eggs and slip into water, one at a time. Pierce yolk membrane with fork. Cover with plastic wrap, leaving small steam vent. Cook until white is set and yolk is cooked as desired, 40 to 60 seconds. Let stand, covered, for 1 minute. Drain and serve.


A shallow saucepan with large surface area is best for poaching eggs.

For poached eggs with a compact oval shape, use cold fresh eggs.

If desired, 2 tsp (10 mL) vinegar can be added to the poaching water to help the eggs keep a compact shape.

The poaching water should just barely simmer; rapid boiling will cause the eggs to break up as they cook.

Poached eggs can be made ahead of time and held for up to two days. Undercook them slightly so the yolks remain runny when reheated. Refrigerate in enough water to cover the eggs. To complete cooking, immerse in barely simmering water for 1 to 2 minutes.

Eggs can be poached in dry white wine, broth or tomato juice.

Serve poached eggs on cooked spinach, hot buttered noodles or rice. Top with grated cheese, a cream sauce flavoured with curry, mustard or onion, or a tomato sauce. English muffin halves, toast, pastry shells, or portobello mushrooms can also be used as a base.