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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.

Poached Eggs on a plate seasoned

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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.

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

up close poached egg draining over paper towel

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.

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 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.

Removing egg with slotted spoon to test for doneness

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.

Poached Eggs - Perfect Every Time!

5 from 7 votes
Prep Time: 4 minutes
Cook Time: 4 minutes
Total Time: 8 minutes
Poached Eggs on a plate seasoned

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.

Author: Natasha Kravchuk
Skill Level: Easy
Cost to Make: $1
Keyword: how to make poached eggs, poached eggs
Cuisine: American
Course: Breakfast
Calories: 64 kcal
Servings: 4 poached eggs

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. 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.

  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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 Facts
Poached Eggs - Perfect Every Time!
Amount Per Serving
Calories 64 Calories from Fat 36
% Daily Value*
Fat 4g6%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Cholesterol 164mg55%
Sodium 63mg3%
Potassium 61mg2%
Carbohydrates 1g0%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 6g12%
Vitamin A 238IU5%
Calcium 25mg3%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

If you make this recipe, I’d love to see pics of your creations on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter! Hashtag them #natashaskitchen

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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

Read comments/reviewsAdd comment/review

  • Teri
    October 11, 2020

    I always strained my eggs but love the tip to take off the burner and cover while poaching! 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.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      October 11, 2020

      Love your tips! Thank you for sharing that with us, Teri.

      Reply

  • Michelle
    September 22, 2020

    Thank you, I love a soft center and knowing that 4 minutes gives me that perfect center makes all the difference!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      September 22, 2020

      It turns out perfect every time! I’m glad you enjoyed that!

      Reply

  • Beth
    September 21, 2020

    This is perfect! Now I know how to make them without it breaking! Thank you!

    Reply

    • Natasha
      September 21, 2020

      You are so welcome! I hope this becomes a go-to easy method for making your poached eggs.

      Reply

  • Toni Dash
    September 21, 2020

    Thank you so much for this! My son loves poached eggs! This recipe is so amazing!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      September 21, 2020

      You’re welcome, Toni! I’m so happy you’re enjoying this recipe!

      Reply

  • Eden
    September 21, 2020

    This method and tips helped so much! I put this on my toast every morning and it’s so good!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      September 21, 2020

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

      Reply

  • Alisha
    September 18, 2020

    Hey Natasha! I seriously love all your recipes, this isn’t related to poached eggs but can you make pumpkin pie since it’s almost fall season? Thanks

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      September 18, 2020

      Hi Alisha, I’m so happy you are enjoying our recipes! We have our favorite pumpkin recipes HERE – thank you for the pumpkin pie suggestion!

      Reply

  • Toni Dash
    September 18, 2020

    Everyone at my house loves this! This is perfect!

    Reply

  • Melissa
    September 18, 2020

    Oh I love poached eggs! Thanks, for a great recipe.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      September 18, 2020

      You’re welcome, Melissa! Thank you for sharing that wonderful review!

      Reply

    • Natasha
      September 18, 2020

      You are so welcome! I hope this becomes a go-to poached eggs method for you.

      Reply

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