6 Easy Tips for Perfectly Poached Eggs

There are at least a dozen ways to poach an egg, but which is the best? We tried tons of techniques to find the winner.
By Tara Holland ,

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

1. Start with really fresh eggs.

They hold their shape better.

2. Simmer—don't boil.

Poached eggs need to be babied. Fill a deep skillet with about 2 inches of water and bring to a simmer. Adjust heat to prevent boiling.

3. Skip the salt and the vinegar. 

Adding them to the water helps speed coagulation, but it can also create those shaggy strands.

4. Get crackin'.

But not directly into the skillet! Crack each egg into a small bowl, then slowly pour it into the water. For multiple eggs, add them in a clockwise direction so you remember which to take out first.

5. Don't overcook.

Set your timer for 3 to 5 minutes, then scoop the eggs out with a slotted spoon. Pat the bottom of the spoon on a kitchen towel before adding an egg to your dish. Hosting brunch? Poach the eggs, place in ice water, and refrigerate for up to a day; when guests arrive, reheat for 1 to 2 minutes in simmering water.

6. Party of one?

The best way to poach a single egg is to microwave it. Place 1 cup of water in a microwave-safe bowl and crack in an egg. Cover with a plate and nuke on high for 1 minute. Continue microwaving in 15-second intervals until cooked to your liking.

Ready to get your poach on? Try these recipes!

Quick Polenta with Mushrooms, Asparagus & Poached Eggs   

Try our Quick Polenta with Mushrooms, Asparagus & Poached Eggs    

Ratatouille with Oven-Poached Eggs   

Photography by Joesph De Leo

Try our Ratatouille with Oven-Poached Eggs 

Chorizo and Black Bean Soup with Eggs   

Try our Chorizo and Black Bean Soup with Eggs 

Bistro Steak-and-Eggs Salad

Try our Bistro Steak-and-Eggs Salad 

Spicy Shrimp & Brown Rice Bowl

Try our Spicy Shrimp & Brown Rice Bowl 

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