Brunch 'n' Lunch

The Perfect Poached Egg

December 1, 2017 (Last Updated: February 27, 2019)

There’s a few simple but crucial steps in creating the Perfect Poached Egg. Here in 5 easy steps you’ll see how to get perfectly poached eggs every single time!

If my life could be summed up in one sentence it’s probably ‘that would be so much better with an egg on top’. Because really, life is so much better with an egg on top. And realistically whenever I think of putting an egg on top of anything, it’s ALWAYS poached. Can you really beat a perfectly soft, smooth and runny poached egg!?

Perfect Poached Egg - with Asparagus and Mushrooms on Toast

Poaching eggs shouldn’t be scary, in fact it’s an incredibly easy process which is often made out to be more tricky than it actually is. Just to prove that, here I have put together a quick go-to guide for how to get perfectly poached eggs every single time. Split into two sections, first we’ll go over the tools you’ll need and secondly how to use them.

Cue – How to make poached eggs

Equipment for the Perfect Poached Egg

Perfect Poached Egg - Equipment

1. Deep Pot or Pan – having a deep pot of water may seem a bit extravagant, but it will ensure a more spherical poached egg, in contrast to a poached fried egg kind of deal.

2. Slotted Ladle – to scoop and drain the egg once fully poached.

3. Salt – for seasoning.

4. 1 tsp Vinegar – just a dash of vinegar will change the PH level of the water and help the egg coagulate, without changing the flavour of it.

5. Paper towel – to soak up the moisture from the poached egg. Nobody wants soggy toast.

6. Small Bowl – this is to crack the egg into. The key is to ease the egg slowly into the water and that’s made very tricky by cracking it straight in.

7. FRESH egg – the absolute key to the perfect poached egg is using a fresh egg. Older eggs have more fluid in them, meaning when they hit the water the egg white becomes more sporadic. A fresh egg will give you a more compact, spherical and ‘tight’ poached egg. You may have noticed sometimes when you poach an egg the white seems to separate and take over the whole pan. The age of the egg may be a good indicator of why.

How to Poach the Perfect Egg – 5 Easy Steps

1. Pour boiling water into your pot and reduce to a gentle simmer. You want tiny bubbles just about breaking through from the surface of the pot. If your water is simmering too rapidly it will increase the likelihood of the egg white separating and worse case scenario, the yolk bursting. After all, you want a poached egg, not a boiled egg.

Perfect Poached Egg - Gentle Simmer

2. Pop in 1 tsp of vinegar and a pinch of salt. Give it a stir to dissolve.

Perfect Poached Egg - Salt

Perfect Poached Egg - Vinegar

3. Create a gentle whirlpool with your ladle.

Perfect Poached Egg - Whirlpool

4. Slowly ease in your egg into the centre of the whirlpool. Once the egg is in, the egg white will gently wrap around itself in the direction of the whirlpool. This will create a more spherical poached egg and keep the egg white from straying too much.

Perfect Poached Egg - Poaching

Perfect Poached Egg - Poaching

5. Poach undisturbed for 2-3 minutes. Many recipe call for 3+ minutes but I fear anything past this decreases the chance of a runny yolk. However it is down to preference. The aim of the game is to test it, take the egg out the water and give it a prod. It should just about be firm but still visibly runny in the middle. Once happy take it out and dry on a paper towel.

Perfect Poached Egg - Ladle

Perfect Poached Egg - Paper Towel

And there we have it! A little seasoning on top and you’re perfectly cooked poached egg is ready and waiting. Just for a little inspo, here’s exactly how I love my poached egg. Plonked on top of my Cafe Style Smashed Avo.

Cafe Style Smashed Avocado on Toast

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How to make the Perfect Poached Egg (Full Recipe)

The Perfect Poached Egg - Served with Asparagus and Mushrooms on Toast

The Perfect Poached Egg

'There's a few simple but crucial steps in creating the Perfect Poached Egg. Here in 5 easy steps you'll see how to get perfectly poached eggs every single time'
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch
Cuisine: Universal
Cook Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 3 minutes
Servings: 1
Calories: 71kcal


  • 1 Fresh Egg
  • 1 tsp Vinegar
  • Boiled Water
  • Salt


  • 1 Large Pot
  • Slotted Ladle
  • Paper Towel
  • Small Bowl/Ramekin


  • Begin by pouring boiling water into your pot and reducing it to a very gentle simmer.
  • Add a pinch of salt and 1 tsp vinegar. Give it a swirl to dissolve.
  • Make a gentle whirlpool with your ladle.
  • Crack your egg into your small bowl and then slowly ease into the centre of the whirpool. The egg white will wrap around itself in the direction of the whirlpool.
  • Cook for 2-3 minutes until slightly firm but still with a visibly runny yolk. Drain with your ladle and place on paper towel to absorb unwanted water.


a) Multiple eggs - You can make multiple eggs at a time. Just ensure your pot is big enough so the eggs have room to poach. Also remember which order you place them in and take them out in that order.ย 
b) Make ahead - You can make ahead, just simply pop them in ice water straight after they're cooked, this will stop the cooking process. They will keep in the fridge overnight, just pop back in simmering water for 1 minute to reheat. Temporarily storing in ice water is a good method if you are cooking a lot at one time.


Nutrition Facts
The Perfect Poached Egg
Amount Per Serving
Calories 71
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition is based on the absence of salt unless stated as a measurement in the ingredients. Cost is worked out based on ingredients bought from UK supermarkets, then divided by the number of servings. In both instances these values are just for guidance. Please check out my FAQ Page for more info.
Tried this recipe?Show me how you got on by tagging @dontgobaconmyheart_ on IG and #dontgobaconmyheart!

For another recipe perfecting the art of eggs, check out my guide on how to make the best scrambled eggs!

How to make the best Scrambled Eggs

If you loved this Perfectly Poached Egg recipe be sure to pin it for later! Already made it or got a question? Give me a shout in the comments below!


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  • Reply
    December 2, 2017 at 2:40 pm

    5 stars
    I love the step by step photos and explanation, this is so helpful. Your poached egg looks delicious too!

    • Reply
      December 2, 2017 at 2:41 pm

      Thanks, Tina! So glad you find them useful!!

  • Reply
    December 2, 2017 at 2:36 pm

    I’ve had so many poached egg failures. I love your tips. I may just give this a try today! Your breakfast looks delicious!

    • Reply
      December 2, 2017 at 2:40 pm

      Thanks so much, April! Enjoy ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Lynn | The Road to Honey
    December 2, 2017 at 2:25 pm

    We eat a lot of eggs in my house, but can you believe that I have never actually poached an egg? I think it is time to mix things up a bit and give this a try.

    • Reply
      December 2, 2017 at 2:27 pm

      Careful, you’ll be putting poached eggs on literally everything once you start!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    December 2, 2017 at 2:09 pm

    5 stars
    Aaah, I think nr. 4 could be the reason why I haven’t been successful in making them look like yours! Delicious!

    • Reply
      December 2, 2017 at 2:15 pm

      Ahhh the magic of the whirlpool!!

  • Reply
    December 2, 2017 at 12:33 pm

    I’m pretty sure the step I was missing was the whirlpool! Thank you, super helpful.

    • Reply
      December 2, 2017 at 12:34 pm

      Oh amazing! So glad you found it helpful ๐Ÿ™‚

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