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Poached eggs are a perfect addition to any breakfast or brunch and they are so simple to make! Learn how to make the perfect poached eggs with a runny center and no hassle!

poached eggs on toast

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Poaching is one of my favorite ways of enjoying eggs, they are so wonderfully soft and the runny yolk is out of this world! Lots of people think they are hard to make, but I have the best tips and tricks so that you make the perfect eggs every single time!

I love serving these soft poached eggs on toast with mashed avocado or for a fuller meal with bacon and hash browns. Take your breakfast to another level!

How To Make Poached Eggs

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. While waiting for the water to boil, crack an egg in a sieve over a bowl and let it strain until all the thin liquid from the egg whites has been removed.
  2. Transfer the egg to a ramekin.
  3. Stir the vinegar into the water and create a vortex to help the egg white wrap around the yolk. Lower the heat to simmer and add the egg into the center of the vortex and cook it for about 3 -4 minutes or until the egg white is set.
  4. Remove the egg with a slotted spoon and dab it on a paper towel to remove any excess water. Serve warm immediately.
perfect poached eggs - process shots

How Long to Poach an Egg

Poached eggs cook very quickly. After you reduce the water to simmer and you create a vortex in the water, carefully slide the egg from the ramekin into the center of the vortex, and let the egg poach. If you are wondering how long to cook these easy poached eggs, here are the perfect poached egg cooking times:

  • soft poached egg: 3 minutes
  • medium poached egg: 3.5 minutes
  • well done poached egg: 4 minutes

Do You Need Vinegar to Poach an Egg

Vinegar is a key ingredient when making poached eggs. The acid in it helps the egg whites to firm up quickly so that it doesn’t disperse in the water. Because they cook quicker, it means the yolk will come out perfectly runny!

If you don’t have vinegar, lemon juice will do the same job, but your eggs may have a slight flavor to them.

Can you poach more than one egg at a time?

It’s best to only poach one egg at a time in a pot. You need to stir the water to create a vortex so that the white wraps around the yolk. If you add two in at the same time, they are likely to tangle together. Luckily, they only take about 3 minutes to cook, so it’s easier to quickly make more.

If you use egg poacher cups, you can poach more than 1 egg at a time but I find that the easiest and best way to poach an egg is without a poacher. You need only ramekins and a spoon.

best poached eggs

Can you make them ahead of time?

Yes! Poached eggs are a great make-ahead option, perfect if you are serving them as part of a large brunch. You can make them the night before making breakfast/brunch in the morning totally stress-free!

Cook the eggs as normal, but undercook them slightly (about 2 – 2.5 minutes) so the whites are very nearly set. Strain them and place them in an airtight container full of cold water. When ready to serve, place the eggs into simmering water for 30 seconds to a minute to cook. You can also cook more than one egg at a time this way.

making poached eggs

Recipe Notes and Tips for Perfect Poached Eggs

To make poached eggs that are perfectly cooked with a perfectly shaped white requires a couple of basic poached egg tips and some food science. Here are the keys to making perfect poached eggs every time.

  • Use the freshest eggs for the best poached eggs. Using older eggs to make poached eggs can result in rubbery results. To check for freshness, place them in a bowl of water. If they sink they are fresh and good to use.
  • Use a fine mesh sieve to strain some of the thin egg whites from the egg. This removes any excess liquid from the eggs and helps eliminate those white wispies and with this tip, you will always make the perfect poached eggs.
  • Use a deep pot of water for the best results. This method with produce a classical spherical or teardrop shape.
  • Add vinegar to the water. Water with vinegar helps the whites to set up quickly, ensuring that the yolks (which typically cook more quickly) will remain runny. The vinegar also helps keep the egg white together.
  • Create a vortex and slowly pour the egg in the center of it. This helps create a more uniform spherical egg as the egg white wraps around itself.
  • Add the eggs to the water when the water is simmering. For perfectly poached eggs in water, you need to add the egg when the water is gently simmering not when boiling.
  • Add eggs to the liquid one at a time. To avoid the yolks from breaking, transfer the eggs into the water from the measuring cup one at a time and keep the measuring cup as close as possible to the surface of the water. This will allow the eggs to slide gently from the measuring cup into the water.
  • Pour the egg in slowly from a ramekin, don’t crack it straight into the water.
  • Cooking time is very important. Knowing how long to poach an egg can mean the difference between tough, overcooked eggs and tender poached eggs with perfectly cooked whites and runny yolks. Typically, the cooking time for poached eggs is 3 minutes for a runny yolk and 4 minutes for medium-cooked poached eggs.
  • Remove any excess water from the eggs before plating them, or water can form on the plate.
poached egg recipe

More Easy Egg Recipes

poached eggs on toast
5 from 5 votes

Poached Eggs

Poached eggs are a perfect addition to any breakfast or brunch and they are so simple to make! Learn how to make the perfect poached eggs with a runny center and no hassle!
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 4 eggs

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Ingredients  

  • 4 eggs
  • 1-2 Tablespoon vinegar

Instructions 

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  • While waiting for the water to boil, crack an egg in a sieve over a bowl and let it strain until all the thin liquid from the egg whites has been removed. Transfer the egg to a ramekin.
  • Stir the vinegar into the water and create a vortex to help the egg white wrap around the yolk. Lower the heat to simmer and add the egg into the center of the vortex and cook it for about 3 -4 minutes or until the egg white is set.
    soft poached egg: 3 minutes
    medium poached egg: 3.5 minutes
    well done poached egg: 4 minutes
  • Remove the egg with a slotted spoon and dab it on a paper towel to remove any excess water. Serve warm immediately.

Notes

Recipe Tips & Notes

  • Use the freshest eggs for the best poached eggs. Using older eggs to make poached eggs can result in rubbery results. To check for freshness, place them in a bowl of water. If they sink they are fresh and good to use.
  • Use a fine mesh sieve to strain some of the thin egg whites from the egg. This removes any excess liquid from the eggs and helps eliminate those white wispies and with this tip, you will always make the perfect poached eggs.
  • Use a deep pot of water for the best results. This method with produce a classical spherical or teardrop shape.
  • Add vinegar to the water. Water with vinegar helps the whites to set up quickly, ensuring that the yolks (which typically cook more quickly) will remain runny. The vinegar also helps keep the egg white together.
  • Create a vortex and slowly pour the egg in the center of it. This helps create a more uniform spherical egg as the egg white wraps around itself.
  • Add the eggs to the water when the water is simmering. For perfectly poached eggs in water, you need to add the egg when the water is gently simmering not when boiling.
  • Add eggs to the liquid one at a time. To avoid the yolks from breaking, transfer the eggs into the water from the measuring cup one at a time and keep the measuring cup as close as possible to the surface of the water. This will allow the eggs to slide gently from the measuring cup into the water.
  • Pour the egg in slowly from a ramekin, don’t crack it straight into the water.
  • Cooking time is very important. Knowing how long to poach an egg can mean the difference between tough, overcooked eggs and tender poached eggs with perfectly cooked whites and runny yolks. To make poached eggs without fear of disappointing results, use a cooking timer. Typically, the cooking time for poached eggs is 3 minutes for a runny yolk and 4 minutes for medium-cooked poached eggs.
  • Remove any excess water from the eggs before plating them, or water can form on the plate.
  •  

Nutrition

Calories: 64kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 164mg | Sodium: 63mg | Potassium: 61mg | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 238IU | Calcium: 25mg | Iron: 1mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

About Neli Howard

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Neli Howard and the food blogger behind Delicious Meets Healthy. I started Delicious Meets Healthy in 2014 while working in public accounting. While everything I did at work was very analytical and detail oriented, I have enjoyed cooking because I get to use my creativity and experiment with flavors and textures of different foods.

5 from 5 votes

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5 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I love poached eggs for breakfast, but cooking them this way as made them so much easier and great tasting especially on toast 🙂
    Thanks for sharing, this has helped us out a lot!!