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  • Writer's pictureAngela H.

How to Perfectly Poach Eggs (Beginner-Friendly) | How-To | Recipes & Techniques

Have you ever wanted to poach an egg, but were too intimidated to try? Well, I'm here to help. I've tried a few different techniques when poaching eggs and I've found the easiest method that's perfect for beginners.

A lot of articles on poaching eggs will tell you to use the tornado or vortex method, which is when you put some water in a pan or pot, some vinegar or lemon juice and swirl the water around into a vortex, then drop the raw egg into the pan while the vortex is swirling.

I've tried this. It didn't work for me.

After a few ruined eggs, I decided to research how to poach eggs using a different method. The method I'm about to describe worked the first time and has worked every time for me. It's so easy, I can't believe everyone doesn't use this method exclusively.

What you will need:

Shallow pan

Two slotted spoons (I use plastic)

Distilled white vinegar

Two paper towels

A plate

Ramekins (one for each egg or one for one egg at a time)


Here are my directions for poaching eggs:

Step One: Get a shallow pan. I use one from the T-Fal brand and it looks like this:

Step Two: Fill the pan until you have two inches of water. I prefer to use filtered water, but you can use whatever you'd like, as long as the water doesn't taste bad.

Step Three: Add about a tablespoon of white distilled vinegar and swirl around to mix. Get out a plate and fold two paper towels over it to soak up any water from the eggs.

Step Four: Turn on burner to just over medium and allow water to heat up. Only allow the water to heat until you see small bubbles forming on the sides and bottom of the pan and you see a couple bubbles float up to the surface (not boiling).

***You don't want the water to get any hotter than this because rolling boiling water will destroy your poached eggs.

Step Five: Once your water is heated, take your eggs and crack each egg into a ramekin without breaking the yolk or adding shells. If you do either, discard the egg and start over.

Step Six: You can either put your eggs in separate ramekins (one for each egg) or add one egg at a time. Once you have your egg in the ramekin, take the ramekin and hover it over the water, as close as you can to the surface of the water. It's better if you dump it in one or two inches away from the edge of the pan if you are poaching more than one egg.

Step Seven: Once the egg is in, set a timer for 3 minutes.

Step Eight: Thirty seconds after the first egg has been dropped in the pan, drop a second egg in the pan, the same way as the first, with space between the first egg and the second.

***It may look weird at first because the egg white hasn't set, but it will cook and start to come together, just like magic!

Step Nine: You may notice the egg white isn't cooked on top of the first egg. If this happens, scoop a little water very gently on top of the egg to cook it. After three minutes has passed, take a slotted spoon (I use two to guide the egg into the other slotted spoon) and scoop the egg up.

Step Ten: Shake a little of the water off gently, then place on a paper towel to cool.

Step 11: Now that the first egg has been taken care of, thirty seconds should have passed and you can take the second egg out if you have made more than one egg. Take out the second egg and place that next to the first egg, but with room in between them.

Step 12: Wait for a few minutes for your eggs to cool, then you can either trim off the excess egg whites with scissors to make the egg look more uniform, or just leave it (I just leave it).

Step 13: Depending on how you want to have your eggs, you can make a hollandaise sauce, use whatever sauce you'd like, make a breakfast sandwich, etc.. The eggs will keep while you make other things. I scoop the eggs up from underneath very gently with my hands and place it on whatever I'm eating. The yolk won't break if you are gentle. If it does, it's okay, don't get frustrated- you will learn with time how to do everything.

Final Thoughts:

I hope this helps you learn how to cook poached eggs. Poached eggs were one of the most intimidating things for me when I first learned how to cook, mostly because I couldn't find any good directions to make them. Once I found this method, it was very easy!

You can do it too, cooking just takes time and practice, so I encourage you to always learn new techniques because you never know what you can do until you try.



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