Poached Eggs – Perfect Every Time! (VIDEO)
Perfect Poached Eggs are firm on the outside with golden liquid centers. Learn how to poach an egg without any fancy equipment or tools.
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Poached Eggs Video Tutorial
Watch Natasha make perfect poached eggs. The process is surprisingly simple and all you need are a saucepan, some ramekins, and a slotted spoon. You will be a pro in no time.
What Are Poached Eggs?
A poached egg is cooked without the shell. Poaching is a more delicate method of cooking eggs compared to Boiled Eggs since they are cooked in water that is hot but not boiling. There is no need for extra oil or butter when poaching which makes this a lower-calorie method for preparing eggs.
The KEY to Perfect Poached Eggs
Before sliding the eggs into the pot, the water should be barely at a simmer. You should see some movement or tiny bubbles being sent up from the bottom but the surface of the water should not be bubbling or disturbed at all. This is where I used to get hung up and ruined many batches of poached eggs.
Tips for Poaching Eggs
- Use Cold Eggs: this will keep your timings consistent. If using room temperature eggs, check the eggs earlier for doneness.
- Vinegar Substitutions: Use white vinegar or apple cider vinegar. Avoid dark vinegar like balsamic which will discolor the eggs.
- To Make a Bigger Batch: If using a larger pan to poach more eggs at once, you need to have all of your eggs cracked into individual ramekins then move quickly or they will be different degrees of doneness.
- Electric vs. Gas Stove: If using an electric stovetop with coils or a surface that retains heat, remove the pot to a cool coil during the 4 minute resting period so it doesn’t continue simmering. On a gas stove, you can simply turn off the burner, cover, and let it rest.
Using Fresh vs. Old Eggs
Fresh eggs work best for poached eggs because the yolk is more in the center and there is less liquid outside of the egg white sack (that excess liquid is what causes the threads of egg white in the water). Because the yolk is more centered in a fresh egg, it holds it’s shape better and produces less stringing in the pot.
Store-bought eggs (older eggs) will still work well. If you want less of that stringing in the water, crack the egg over a fine-mesh sieve before transferring it to a ramekin so you can strain off the free liquid outside of the egg white sack. This is not necessary however and will not impact your poached egg – it will just keep your water looking cleaner.
How Can I Tell When Eggs are Done?
The best way to tell when eggs are done is to set a timer. The eggs should be in water exactly 4 minutes off the heat for the perfect doneness.
To Test Doneness: remove one from the pan with a slotted spoon and push the yolk gently. If you prefer a firmer yolk, put it back in the water for another minute.
Do you Put Salt in Poached Eggs?
Salt increases the water’s density cause the egg white to break apart and look fragmented. After testing countless batches, we found all you need is a little vinegar and water for the prettiest and tastiest poached eggs. Instead, season the finished poached egg with a little salt and paprika.
Should I Swirl the Water?
Swirling the water can help the egg keep an oval shape but it really only works if you are poaching one egg (not practical) and we found it an unnecessary step.
Love Eggs? Try our Best Egg Recipes
Eggs are nutrient-rich and so satisfying. Thankfully they are also easy to cook. If you love eggs, these egg recipes are sure to become new favorites.
- Deviled Eggs with Bacon – these have a surprising ingredient
- Egg Muffins – an easy, make-ahead breakfast
- Instant Pot Boiled Eggs – perfect for making a big batch
- Egg Salad – a classic and easy side dish
- Deviled Egg Chicks – adorable Easter favorite
Poached Eggs - Perfect Every Time!
- 4 large eggs, (can use 1 to 4 cold eggs)
- 1 Tbsp white vinegar
- Fill a medium saucepan 2/3 full with water (about 3-inches deep). Bring water to a light boil then reduce the heat so water is barely at a simmer and add 1 Tbsp vinegar. You should see some movement or tiny bubbles being sent up from the bottom but the surface of the water should not be bubbling or disturbed at all.
- Crack eggs into individual ramekins with one egg per ramekin. Add the eggs to the pan one at a time, dipping the edge of your ramekin into the water and gently sliding the egg out. Add additional eggs in a clockwise pattern around the pan so you know which ones to take out first. Poach up to 4 eggs at a time.
- As soon as all the eggs are in, immediately remove from heat, cover with a tight-fitting lid, and let sit for exactly 4 minutes then immediately remove the eggs one at a time using a slotted spoon. Briefly let the extra water drain off from the spoon over a paper towel-lined plate then transfer to a serving plate.
- Use the eggs in any recipe that calls for poached eggs or enjoy them plain with a sprinkle of salt, paprika, or cracked black pepper.
Nutrition Per Serving
If you make this recipe, I’d love to see pics of your creations on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter! Hashtag them #natashaskitchen