How to poach eggs

I've seen lots of contraptions out there for making poached eggs, but I think that poached eggs so easy to make that special equipment isn't really necessary.

Usually I pull them out of the water and plunk them straight onto a nice warm piece of toast. They're very nice mashed up with a bit of salt and pepper on top.

How to poach eggs

You will need:
  • A shallow, lidded pan—I use a 10-inch pan that's just over 2 inches high to cook four eggs. (You can do without a lid if you don't have one. You can also use a deeper pan with just a little water in it, although it will be trickier.)
  • A slotted spoon
  • Teacup (optional)
  • White vinegar
  • Salt
Fill your pan with about 2" of water. Add a glug of white vinegar and a healthy dose of salt (the vinegar will keep the eggs from spreading too much). Bring to a very gentle simmer. If the water is boiling vigorously, your eggs will spread out too much and get messy. You want the water to be as calm as possible.

When the water is ready, gently slip the eggs in. I used to crack them into teacups first, which makes it very easy, but I've since learned just to crack them very carefully right over the surface of the water. If you're using a deeper pot, definitely use a teacup.

If your pan has a lid, cover your pan and set a timer for about five minutes (this gives us a mostly runny yolk, so feel free to adjust according to your personal preferences). I turn the heat off at this point. If you don't have a lid, you'll need to leave the heat on low and babysit it a little to make sure the water stays hot but not bubbling.

Remove eggs with a slotted spoon and serve immediately.


  1. I've only attempted poaching eggs once. I've been craving some eggs recently though. Thanks for stopping by, and the tips!

  2. I wish I had this post yesterday. My son requested eggs benedict for his birthday breakfast. It was the first time I had poached an egg! They really spread out, I'll have to use vinegar next time. Thanks.