How to Poach Eggs Perfectly Every Time

Updated on January 29, 2017

Soft, runny poached eggs oozing deliciously over buttered brown soda bread is a favorite breakfast of mine: healthy and low calorie too. Below is an easy and simple method to achieve perfectly poached eggs every time to ensure your eggs are just right; a soft and runny egg yolk with a firm, solid egg white.

Cook And Rate

3.7 stars from 3 ratings of Perfect Poached Eggs Everytime
Perfect poached eggs everytime
Perfect poached eggs everytime | Source

Cook Time

Prep time: 3 min
Cook time: 3 min
Ready in: 6 min
Yields: serves 2

Poaching Eggs


  • 4 fresh free range eggs at room temperature
  • a splash of one of the following: apple cider vinegar, a fruit based vinegar or a white wine vinegar
  • a pinch of salt
  • boiling water straight from the kettle


  • a deep bottomed pot
  • four espresso cups or similar sized coffee cups
  • a slotted spoon


  • Pour the boiling water into the deep bottomed pot over a medium heat, allowing the water to simmer lightly.
  • Add in the salt.
  • Add in the splash of whichever vinegar you are using.
  • Crack each egg into one of the four individual espresso cups.
  • Gently lower the cup into the simmering water (hold the cup by the handle) and tip the cup slightly, thus allowing the egg to slip gently into the simmering water.
  • Repeat with the remaining eggs.
  • Simmer the eggs for 2 minutes (use a timer, timing is crucial).
  • Turn off the heat and allow the eggs to sit in the hot water for a further minute.
  • Remove the poached eggs from the hot water with a slotted spoon.

To Serve:

  • Serve on thickly sliced homemade buttered brown soda bread.
  • Sprinkle with freshly cracked black pepper and a pinch of salt.

Poached eggs on buttered homemade brown soda bread, delicious and healthy.
Poached eggs on buttered homemade brown soda bread, delicious and healthy. | Source

Cook's Tips

Using a light flavored vinegar like apple cider, a fruit based or white wine vinegar ensures you don't get that horrible vinegar taste that ordinary malt vinegar has. Malt vinegar has a very strong flavor and is best kept for your french fries.

Using the little cups helps mould the egg, hence keeping a nice round shape.

To achieve perfect poached eggs every time you will need very fresh eggs. To test your eggs to ensure they are fresh follow these simple guidelines:

  • Fill a deep bowl with cold water.
  • Gently place the egg into the water.
  • If the it sinks, it's fresh; the fresher the egg, the lower it sinks.
  • A really fresh one will sit a the bottom of the bowl.
  • If it floats, it's not so fresh; the older the egg, the higher it will float.
  • A really old one will float near the top of the bowl.

The theory behind this test; the more air in the egg the older it is, hence the higher it floats.

A Few Interesting Nutrition Facts for the Average Hen Egg:

Eggs are a low fat food with only a mere 70 to 80 calories per average medium egg. Eggs are a readily available cheap and healthy food source. Eggs are full of vitamins and minerals which the body requires on a daily basis for healthy functioning. Among numerous essential vitamins and minerals eggs contain:

  • Protein: essential for healthy growth and muscle repair
  • Vitamin A: helps to maintains healthy skin tissue and eye tissue
  • Vitamin E: maintains good health and helps fights infection
  • Numerous B vitamins including folic acid; prevents birth defects and choline; promotes healthy brain development
  • Vitamin D: essential for the development of strong bones and strong teeth
  • Iodine: controls the functioning of the thyroid glands
  • Iron: maintains a healthy supply of red blood cells
  • Zinc: helps promote a healthy immune system

Questions & Answers

    © 2012 Gabriel Wilson


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      • Gabriel Wilson profile image

        Gabriel Wilson 3 years ago from Madeira, Portugal

        You know what they say: go to work on an egg :)

      • profile image

        Commentor91 3 years ago

        Good, now I can make breakfast!

      • Gabriel Wilson profile image

        Gabriel Wilson 5 years ago from Madeira, Portugal

        Hey Writer20,

        Any mild flavor vinegar will do; it's mainly to prevent the eggs having a vinegar taste to them.

      • Gabriel Wilson profile image

        Gabriel Wilson 5 years ago from Madeira, Portugal

        Tanx for reading and for your comments :)

      • creative1975 profile image

        creative1975 5 years ago from Christchurch, NZ

        Great! Poached eggs are my favourite. I will try this out! thanks.

      • livingpah2004 profile image

        Milli 5 years ago from USA

        Thanks for the tips to make a perfect poached eggs. Useful!

      • writer20 profile image

        Joyce Haragsim 5 years ago from Southern Nevada

        Good read but I used white vinegar.

        Voted useful and interesting.

      • Gabriel Wilson profile image

        Gabriel Wilson 5 years ago from Madeira, Portugal

        Hi CR Woronckuk,

        So good when they're perfect :)

      • profile image

        CR Woronckuk 5 years ago

        Wonerful article. You took the guesswork out of poaced eggs.

      • Gabriel Wilson profile image

        Gabriel Wilson 5 years ago from Madeira, Portugal

        Hi Carrie,

        Yes so true. I love poached soft runny eggs with hard solid whites :)

      • tapasrecipe profile image

        tapasrecipe 5 years ago from Spanish tapas land

        Hi Gabriel,

        poached eggs so simple yet so perfect Fantastic close-up photos.

        Carrie x