Perfect Poached Eggs are firm on the outside with golden liquid centers. Watch the easy video tutorial and learn how to poach eggs without any fancy equipment or tools.

Poached eggs are wonderful served in Eggs Benedict or over Avocado Toast. They also make an incredible Breakfast BLT.

Poached Eggs served on a plate seasoned with paprika

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.

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.

If you’re ready to change up your Scrambled Eggs routine or want more breakfast ideas, this may just become your new favorite way to prepare eggs. Surprisingly it’s my kids’ favorite egg breakfast. It always feels luxurious, like we’re dining out and it doesn’t get any fresher than pulling them out of the pan right onto your plate.

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.

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 ruin several batches of poached eggs.

up close poached egg draining over paper towel

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.
Poached egg recipe served on blue plate

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 its 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 to Poach Eggs

This process is easy but the steps and timing are important for perfectly poached eggs. If you want to eliminate egg white strings in your water, crack the eggs over a fine sieve, but that’s optional.

  • Fill a medium saucepan 2/3 full with water, or 3 inches deep. Bring to a simmer then add vinegar. Reduce the heat until the water is no longer boiling or moving. You’ll just see tiny bubbles sent up from the bottom.
  • Crack eggs into ramekins – add them to the water one by one, moving in a clockwise pattern so you know which one to remove first. Gently tip the ramekin into the water for the egg to slide out.
  • Poach the eggs – as soon as your eggs are all in, cover with a tight-fitting lid, remove from heat, and set a timer for 4 minutes. Remove the eggs with a slotted spoon. I like to tap the spoon over a paper towel to remove excess water before plating.
Step by step how to poach eggs in a saucepan

How Can I Tell When Poached 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.

Removing finished poached egg with a slotted spoon and draining

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.

Perfectly cooked poached eggs on a plate with fork

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.

Natasha's Kitchen Cookbook

Poached Eggs – Perfect Every Time!

5 from 40 votes
Author: Natasha Kravchuk
Poached eggs seasoned with paprika served on blue plate
How to make the best Poached Eggs that are firm on the outside with golden liquid centers. You'll have perfect poached eggs every time without any fancy equipment or tools.
Prep Time: 4 minutes
Cook Time: 4 minutes
Total Time: 8 minutes

Ingredients 

Servings: 4 poached eggs

Instructions

  • 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

64kcal Calories1g Carbs6g Protein4g Fat1g Saturated Fat164mg Cholesterol63mg Sodium61mg Potassium1g Sugar238IU Vitamin A25mg Calcium1mg Iron
Nutrition Facts
Poached Eggs – Perfect Every Time!
Amount per Serving
Calories
64
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
4
g
6
%
Saturated Fat
 
1
g
6
%
Cholesterol
 
164
mg
55
%
Sodium
 
63
mg
3
%
Potassium
 
61
mg
2
%
Carbohydrates
 
1
g
0
%
Sugar
 
1
g
1
%
Protein
 
6
g
12
%
Vitamin A
 
238
IU
5
%
Calcium
 
25
mg
3
%
Iron
 
1
mg
6
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: how to make poached eggs, poached eggs
Skill Level: Easy
Cost to Make: $
Calories: 64

Natasha Kravchuk

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the blogger behind Natasha's Kitchen (since 2009). My husband and I run this blog together and share only our best, family approved and tested recipes with YOU. Thanks for stopping by! We are so happy you're here.

Read more posts by Natasha

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating




Comments

  • Fronk
    April 14, 2024

    My Grandma used to use Vinegar and I have tried in the past with mixed results. This recipe should get me where I need to be. Egg-cellent tips and thanks!

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      April 14, 2024

      You’re welcome!

      Reply

  • Tony
    April 3, 2024

    Great info and understandable to the novice kitchen mouse…

    Reply

  • Phaedra Culley
    March 22, 2024

    Eggs did not cook enough, and did not stay together. I suspect the egg to water ratio needs to be more precise.

    Reply

    • Natasha
      March 22, 2024

      Hi Phaedra, it sounds more like the water was too cool or too many eggs were added which will cool the water down more. That said, not all eggs are the same, and you do want to check for doneness before removing from the water. I hope that helps for next time.

      Reply

  • Sandra
    February 20, 2024

    I’ve always been too intimidated to try making poached eggs myself, but your directions made it easy and they turned out absolutely perfect. Thank you!!!!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      February 20, 2024

      I’m so glad, Sandra! Thank you for sharing your experience!

      Reply

  • teri
    February 20, 2024

    Can you poach eggs ahead and then reheat ? These came out great!
    Teri

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      February 20, 2024

      Hi Teri, we prefer these fresh, you risk overcooking these when reheating. Here’s what one of my readers shared about reheating: “A quick make ahead tip (if you are serving more than four eggs) I poach for 3 minutes and keep eggs in a ice bath in the fridge. Reheat easily in simmering water for one minute. I’ve done this as far as 12 hours ahead.” I hope that helps.

      Reply

  • Melissa
    February 20, 2024

    I have been needing this in my life! Poached eggs have always been such a struggle for me. These turned out perfect!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      February 20, 2024

      I’m so happy to hear it turned out perfect Melissa! That’s so great!

      Reply

  • Allyson Zea
    February 20, 2024

    Absolutely delicious! These tips were super helpful! I can’t wait to make them again!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      February 20, 2024

      I’m so happy you enjoyed that. Thank you for sharing that with us, Allyson!

      Reply

  • Judy
    February 20, 2024

    Love your video for pouched eggs. Finally found a a way to make them & explained so well!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      February 20, 2024

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Judy!

      Reply

  • Marisa
    October 12, 2023

    Can you reuse the water to do another batch of eggs or do I have to dump and start fresh?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      October 12, 2023

      Hi Marisa, if you’re looking to do another batch after the first, resuing the water should work.

      Reply

  • Prince Harming
    August 5, 2023

    A lifesaver and a time saver! I’ve tried many methods… BUH-leeve me. This one seems to really get ya where you want to go. Thanks!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      August 5, 2023

      You’re welcome! I’m so happy you enjoyed it!

      Reply

  • Bob
    July 31, 2023

    Love your videos and recipes. The only thing I do differently is put the egg in a small mesh colander to drain the watery part of the egg then put it into a ramekin. Thanks for sharing your recipes.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      July 31, 2023

      Thank you so much for sharing that with me, Bob!

      Reply

  • ANNA J ZUROWSKI
    July 29, 2023

    Love poached eggs and after many years of articles, videos etc., I have finally mastered them!!! YAY! Thank you! Love your website and videos.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      July 30, 2023

      That’s awesome, Anna! Thank you for sharing.

      Reply

  • Marie Hawkins
    March 21, 2023

    Natasha, I poached 4 eggs that the whites just broke away from the yolks uncooked, so I tried again bringing the water to a harder boil and the yolks cooked but the white mostly stayed in the pot, do I need to let the water Co.e to a boil first and then turn down before adding the eggs. I did add the vinegar and if I want to make more than r for company do I bring the
    water back to a boil again before adding more eggs

    Reply

    • Natasha
      March 22, 2023

      Hi Marie, it is likely due to the age of the eggs. see the section titled: “Using Fresh vs. Old Eggs”. Usually I do bring the water to as simmer and then adjust the temperature so it’s barely simmering. Also, I do bring it back to barely a simmer before adding the next batch of eggs.

      Reply

  • Teri
    March 12, 2023

    Thank you! Best poached eggs I’ve made at home. Such an easy technique that turns out excellent soft poached eggs.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      March 12, 2023

      You’re welcome! So glad you loved it.

      Reply

  • Lauren
    March 9, 2023

    Hi, Natasha! Thank you for sharing! I am not very familiar with poached eggs so I was wondering. Are poached eggs supposed to be runny and sort of soft–or can you cook it for when you like it? And still, it will not be overcooked & go bad? I do not love soft boiled eggs and eggs that are on the softer side, so I just wanted to make sure before I cooked. That way, we don’t have to waste food. Thanks again!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      March 9, 2023

      Hi Lauren, we like them to be medium, but the longer they are poached, the more set they will be.

      Reply

  • Sandra Legat
    March 6, 2023

    Tried this recipe, draining the egg and leaving them for 4 min. turned out perfect. Best ever.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      March 6, 2023

      Thank you for sharing, Sandra.

      Reply

  • Glenda
    February 19, 2023

    I made your poached egg recipe but I forgot to add the vinegar. It still turned out perfect. Thanks!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      February 19, 2023

      You’re welcome, Glenda! I’m glad it worked out for you.

      Reply

As Featured On

Never Go "Hangry" Again!

Get weekly updates on new recipes, exclusive giveaways plus behind the scenes photos.