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How to Poach Eggs Perfectly Every Time

Gabriel Wilson loves to cook, eat tasty foods and drink a glass of wine. And not wash up.

Learn how to make perfect poached eggs every time.

Learn how to make perfect poached eggs every time.

A Tasty Breakfast Recipe

Soft, runny poached eggs oozing deliciously over buttered brown soda bread is a favorite breakfast of mine: it's 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 Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

3 min

3 min

6 min

serves 2

Poaching Eggs


  • 4 very 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.

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 egg sinks, it's fresh.
  • 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 maintain healthy skin tissue and eye tissue
  • Vitamin E: maintains good health and helps fight 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

Cook And Rate

© 2012 Gabriel Wilson