Learn how to poach an egg at home. Use poached eggs on Eggs Benedict or serve them on a green salad or roasted vegetables.
Let's see a show of how of hands for how many of you quake with fear at the thought of poaching an egg. I fully admit that, up until about six months ago, I would have raised two hands. Poaching eggs was a task that should be left to the professionals. Each time I attempted the seemingly impossible skill, creeping tendrils of egg white would fill the pot, or the yolk would be hard as a rock. The eggs were getting the best of me and the little control freak sitting on my shoulder was not okay with that.
When I went on a trip with the kind people at the American Egg Board (you know, the Incredible Egg people), Jeffrey Saad (host of the Cooking Channel's United Tastes of America), showed us how to achieve a perfect, runny poached egg every time out of the gate. It was probably a skill he learned on day one of culinary school but, to me, it made the man a verified genius!
Come on, who can resist getting their picture taken in an egg chair?
By using a large skillet rather than a pot, this method gives you more control over the eggs. A touch of vinegar is added to help keep long tendrils of egg white under control. And the timing? Three minutes every time - it works like a charm.
Here are a few of my favorite recipes using poached eggs:
- Poached Eggs Over Avocado & Smoked Salmon
- Poached Egg on Toast with Chipotle Mayonnaise
- Southwestern Egg Benedict
How to poach an egg:
STEP 1: Fill a large skillet with water to three-quarters full and set over medium heat. Bring to the water to a simmer, add 1 teaspoon vinegar (any kind will do), and a couple pinches of salt.
Vinegar is used to speed up coagulation, which will stop the egg from spreading through the water. The salt is added for seasoning, and is optional. If you prefer, season after removing the eggs from the water.
STEP 2: Crack the eggs directly into the water. Make sure the water remains at a simmer, adjusting the heat as necessary.
Many people recommend cracking the egg into a small bowl, and then sliding the egg into the water. However, if you take care not to break the yolk, it is easier to crack the egg directly into the water. Just go for it!
STEP 3: Cook for 3 minutes to achieve a perfectly poached egg. Using a slotted spoon, remove each egg from the water and blot on a paper towel to remove excess water before transferring to serving plate.
No one likes soggy toast or English muffins, so be sure not to skip this step.
If you are making poached eggs for a crowd, they can be made ahead of time. When first poaching, the eggs should be undercooked, for 2 minutes. Store the eggs in a bowl of ice water in the fridge for 1 to 2 days. Before serving, use a slotted spoon to transfer the eggs from the bowl into gently simmering water. Leave in the water for 1 minute, then remove, following directions above.
How to Poach an Egg
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vinegar such as white vinegar or white wine vinegar
- Pinch of salt optional (See Note)
- Fill a large skillet with water to three-quarters full and set over medium heat. Bring to the water to a simmer, add 1 teaspoon vinegar (any kind will do), and a couple pinches of salt.
- Crack the eggs directly into the water. Make sure the water remains at a simmer, adjusting the heat as necessary.
- Cook for 3 minutes to achieve a perfectly poached egg. Using a slotted spoon, remove each egg from the water and blot on a paper towel to remove excess water before transferring to serving plate.
Disclosure: I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
I could have used your advice this morning. I tried and failed miserably, however it was my very first attempt.
Thanks for the advice.
Thank you for the "how to" series.
You can poach eggs a day ahead of time? Who knew?! That'll make Sunday brunches a bit less stressful.
sara @ CaffeIna
My hubby is very grateful for this post! Poached eggs are his favorite way to eat eggs and I was not able to make them till now. Have a wonderful Sunday!
Not only is the tutorial spot on, it is laced with your charming voice. When I saw your photo, I smiled for the poached eggs on a slice of whole grain toast is my weekday favorite brekfast - my smile was as big as the egg chair! Have a Happy Valentine's Day...
Thanks so much for all of your comments. I hope each of you have a wonderful Valentine's Day (and breakfast).
Big Boys Oven
this is fabulous! it will impressed my guests for a morning glory! 😉
Dara, once I learned this technique there was no going back. It is so simple & yet we all fear it at first. Love this how to post & the photos are gorgeous! xo
You are darling in the egg chair!
A poached egg is one of my favorite weekend treats. What a great tutorial! I'm sending this to Ryan so he knows what to make me on Monday 🙂 I hope you have a wonderful Sunday. Rest, rejuvenate and spread some love!
Thank you for this "how to" section 🙂 It's very helpful for beginners like me 🙂
The day someone showed me how to poach an egg in a pot of boiling water (rather than in an "egg poacher") kind of changed my breakfast life. It's the only way to go!
What a terrific post and so helpful too! Especially for beginners in the kitchen.
Your tutorials are so helpful! The eggs look so perfectly cooked.
hey, I knew that.... I just have a hard time doing it
I love poached eggs! My husband bought me one of those pans with the individual cups and maybe that's cheating, but your method seems so easy, thanks for sharing.
Spoon and Chopsticks
Nice little tutorial. Love that photo of your poached egg.
Eggcellent post! I'll get my coat 🙂
I've never poached an egg before. THis will be impressive for a lunch with the ladies this spring. Thanks for posting, will refer back when I do it. Have a great day!
This is awesome info especially for new cooks! Nice job!
Dara, I simply love your tutorial series! This is egg-cellent!
Those are lovely clicks. So tempting.