Cooking tutorial: mastering the perfect poached egg

Are you ready to elevate your breakfast game? Learning how to master the perfect poached egg is a skill that will impress brunch guests and elevate your morning routine. In this cooking tutorial, we’ll guide you through step-by-step instructions to achieve beautifully poached eggs every time.


  • Fresh eggs (1-2 per person)
  • Water
  • White vinegar (optional, but helps coagulate the egg white)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional: Toast, avocado, smoked salmon, or any other toppings of your choice

Cooking Instructions

  1. Prepare the Water: Fill a medium-sized saucepan with about 2-3 inches of water. Add a splash of white vinegar (about 1 tablespoon per quart of water) if desired. The vinegar helps the egg white coagulate faster.
  2. Bring to a Simmer: Place the saucepan over medium heat and bring the water to a gentle simmer. You should see small bubbles forming at the bottom of the pan, but the water should not be boiling vigorously.
  3. Crack the Eggs: Crack a fresh egg into a small bowl or ramekin. This makes it easier to gently slide the egg into the simmering water without breaking the yolk.
  4. Create a Whirlpool: Using a spoon or spatula, create a gentle whirlpool in the simmering water. This helps the egg white wrap around the yolk for a neater shape.
  5. Poach the Egg: Carefully slide the cracked egg into the center of the whirlpool. The swirling motion of the water will help the egg white wrap around the yolk. Cook for about 3-4 minutes for a soft poached egg with a runny yolk, or longer if you prefer a firmer yolk.
  6. Remove the Egg: Use a slotted spoon to carefully remove the poached egg from the water. Gently pat the bottom of the spoon on a paper towel to remove any excess water.
  7. Season and Serve: Transfer the poached egg to a plate lined with paper towels to drain briefly. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately with toast, avocado, smoked salmon, or any other toppings of your choice.


Why add vinegar to the poaching water?

Vinegar helps the egg white coagulate faster, resulting in a neater poached egg with a more compact shape. However, it’s optional and can be omitted if you prefer.

Can I poach multiple eggs at once?

Yes, you can poach multiple eggs in the same pot. Just make sure not to overcrowd the pan, as this can cause the eggs to stick together. You may need to poach them in batches if your pan is too small.

How can I tell if a poached egg is done?

A soft poached egg will have a runny yolk and a just-set egg white. For a firmer yolk, cook the egg for an additional minute or two. You can also gently touch the egg white to check for doneness—it should feel firm but still slightly jiggly.

Can I make poached eggs ahead of time?

Poached eggs are best served immediately after cooking, but you can poach them ahead of time and store them in ice water to stop the cooking process. When you’re ready to serve, simply reheat them in warm water for a minute or two.


Congratulations! You’ve mastered the art of poaching eggs like a pro. With these simple tips and techniques, you can enjoy perfectly poached eggs whenever the craving strikes. Whether you’re serving them for breakfast, brunch, or as a topping for salads and sandwiches, your poached eggs are sure to impress.

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