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Poached Eggs

  • Serves: 1
  • Prep Time: 5 min
  • Cook Time: 10 min
  • Calories: 63
Pink plate with a piece of toast and a poached egg with salt and pepper

Whether you’re making a poached egg for one or a whole mess-o-poached eggs for a crowd, we’ve got all of the tricks and tips you’ll need to ensure you end up with poached egg perfection!

Perfect Poached Eggs Are Easier Than You Think

After years of trial and error, we’ve decided (at last) that this recipe is hands down the very best way to poach eggs. A few simple steps and you end up with a warm, tender white and golden, runny yolk every time! If you’ve had bad experiences making poached eggs in the past, you’re not alone! They’re not incredibly complicated, but making poached eggs is a bit of a science and you do have to follow the directions closely, work carefully and pay attention. No, you don’t need to put vinegar in the water. All you’ll need is:

  • Cold eggs

  • Simmering water

  • A slotted spoon

  • A fine mesh strainer

a carton of eggs

Before You Ask, Here Are Three Things You Don’t Need to Do To Make Perfect Poached Eggs

Things that are not necessary, and possibly even detrimental to making a terrific poached egg are:

  1. Adding vinegar to the water. No need to do this! It’s possible that it makes the eggs firm up faster, but it’s just not necessary and you run the risk of making your whites tough instead of tender—no one wants that!

  2. Salting the water. Same issue as adding vinegar! In this case, it’s better to wait until the eggs are on the table to add any salt.

  3. The ‘vortex’ method. Some people swear by making a “vortex” in the cooking water by swirling the pan to help the eggs keep an egg-like shape (instead of spreading out into whisps). It does work fine if you’re only cooking one poached egg, but it’s also not something that you need to do and it won’t work if you need to make more than one poached egg at a time.

a pot of simmering water
2 eggs in simmering water

How to Poach an Egg

This simple, straightforward, nearly-foolproof method for making poached eggs works for making up to four poached eggs at a time. You can even make a few batches of poached eggs a day ahead of time if you’re cooking for a crowd.

  1. Bring the water to a very low, gentle simmer. Prepare a bowl of very cold water and set it next to your simmering pot.

  2. Crack the egg into a fine mesh strainer over the sink, and shake the strainer to get rid of any loose whites. These looser, watery bits of egg white are what unfurl in the water and make those unattractive, wispy bits that drive us all crazy. Voila! You’ve eliminated them before the egg has even touched the water!

  3. Move the strained egg into a little bowl or ramekin. If you’re making four poached eggs at once, strain all of them (one by one) and place them into four bowls or ramekins so that you can more easily place them in the water at the same (or same-ish) time.

  4. It’s show time! Slip the egg carefully from bowl or ramekin to simmering water, working as close to the surface of the water as you can.

  5. Let it cook for three minutes. If you’re cooking more than one, use your slotted spoon to adjust the eggs as they cook so that they don’t touch each other.

  6. Use that slotted spoon to move the poached egg from the pan to the bowl of cold water.

  7. Eat! Or, store the eggs in cold water in the fridge until you’re ready to use them.

2 eggs poaching in simmering water in a pot
2 eggs in cold water after being poached

Can I Poach 2 Eggs at Once?

Yes! You can poach as many eggs as you want in one work session and store them in cold water in the fridge for up to 48 hours. When you’re ready to use the eggs, fill a bowl with super hot water from the tap (or you can drop them in boiling water for a very, very quick re-heat). Just be careful not to overcook the eggs as you warm them. A slightly room temperature egg with a perfectly runny yolk is better than one that’s overdone.

Pink plate with a piece of toast and a poached egg with salt and pepper
Pink plate with a piece of toast and a poached egg with salt and pepper

Tools You’ll Need:

More Classic Egg Recipes To Try

Pink plate with a piece of toast and a poached egg with salt and pepper a fork and knife

Poached Eggs for All!

Once you’ve got the hang of this poached egg recipe, you’ll be making even more room for poached eggs in your life—serving them to your friends at brunch, making them on the fly to turn that simple green salad into a French bistro-style dinner, you name it! And we want to hear about your every success! Share a photo and tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper so that we can see your stuff! Happy eating!

Poached Eggs

  • Serves: 1
  • Prep Time: 5 min
  • Cook Time: 10 min
  • Calories: 63

Ingredients

  • 1 Egg, cold

Method

  1. Fill a large pot with 4-5 inches of water. Bring to a low boil.
  2. Working with one egg at a time, crack the egg into a mesh strainer over your sink. Shake the strainer to get rid of any egg whites that are already separated. Transfer egg to a small bowl.
  3. Carefully lower the egg into the simmering water by tipping to bowl sideways as close to the edge of the water as you can get, allowing the egg to slip out of the bowl.
  4. Cook egg for 3 minutes. Remove using a slotted spoon and transfer to a bowl of cold water or serve immediately.

Notes:

  1. You can cook up to 4 eggs at once. Just be sure each eggs goes in one at a time. Also make sure each egg is not touching the other.
  2. Eggs can be made up to a day ahead. Store in a container of cold water in the refrigerator. When ready to use, bring a pot of water to a rapid boil. Drop eggs in and remove after 30 seconds or serve cold.