How to cook poached eggs easily
Eggs are delicious and packed full of essential nutrients, making them a fantastic addition to any meal. But are you struggling to get cafe-worthy perfectly poached eggs? Here are the best tips for poaching eggs easily.
We have three of the easiest techniques: the whirlpool method, the frypan method, and the oven method for perfectly runny yolks and tender whites every time.
The best type of egg to poach
Set yourself up for success with the right eggs. What type of egg is good for poaching?
- Fresh: The freshest eggs are easier to poach because they hold together better. When eggs get older, the whites thin out. This can lead to feathery, wispy whites, and a flat egg that doesn't have that round shape. But if you need a poached egg right now and don’t have any fresh eggs, try out the oven method in the video below!
- Cold eggs: Using eggs straight from the fridge will help them hold together better.
How to to poach an egg
- Crack eggs into a small bowl first. This way you have better control when you transfer the eggs into the poaching water. Gently tip the eggs from the bowl into the water.
- Bring the water to a simmer. Avoid putting the eggs into water at a rolling boil, or they will be broken up by the movement of the water. A gentle simmer with a few small bubbles is ideal. Check out the video below to see how the water should look.
- Do you need to add vinegar to poach eggs? Adding a splash of vinegar to the water sets the whites faster, so you have fewer wispy bits. However, if you follow the other tips this extra step usually isn't necessary.
- Avoid stirring immediately. Don’t be tempted to move the egg around too soon after you put it in the water. This can break up the whites before they’re set.
- How long do poached eggs take to cook? A perfectly poached egg takes three to four minutes to cook. Look for firm, opaque whites with a jiggly yolk. The video below shows what a poached egg should look like just out of the water.
- Use a slotted spoon. It’s much easier to scoop out the slippery egg with a slotted spoon, and it lets any excess water drip away. Have it at the ready so you’re not rushing to find one when your eggs are cooked.
Watch the videos below to see how all these tips come into practise! There are three different techniques so you're sure to find one that works for you, then you can try out your skills using one of the recipes below.
How to poach more eggs in a frypan
How to poach eggs in the oven
More ways to cook eggs
Now you're an eggs-pert at poaching eggs! Have you perfected the other techniques for cooking eggs?
How to make perfect scrambled eggs - basic scrambled eggs, creamy scrambled eggs and easy microwave scrambled eggs
Easy boiled eggs - how to get soft, medium or hard boiled eggs
How to fry an egg - sunny side up or over easy, learn both techniques here
How to make an omelette - basic or filled omelettes for any occasion