I love poached eggs, but was always frustrated when they didn’t come out nicely shaped – I didn’t like the trailing pieces or rough edges on the whites. After experimenting with around a half dozen different tips on making “the perfect” poached egg, I created an approach that consistently works for me, and isn’t difficult.

How to Poach an Egg

  1. Put 2 inches of water in a sauté or saucepan; add 2 teaspoons of cider or white wine vinegar. Heat to the point where bubbles form on the bottom of the pan, with just a few bubbles (or none) rising to the top.
  2. Crack a cold, very fresh egg into a fine mesh strainer over a bowl (or sink). Gently swirl around to drain off excess water in the whites. By doing this step, you are minimizing those trailing pieces of egg white.
  3. Stir the almost boiling water to form a whirlpool. While the water is swirling, gently pour the egg into the middle. The whirling water helps to keep the white and yolk closer together.
  4. Cook to desired doneness, around 3 to 4 minutes for a runny egg. If egg sticks to the bottom of the pan while cooking, use a spatula to gently unstick.
  5. Remove egg from water with a slotted spoon and place egg (in spoon) on paper towel to drain. Serve immediately.

Making Poached Eggs Ahead

Yes, you can poach eggs up to 24 hours ahead of time – which is super handy when you want to serve them to a group. Here’s how easy it is: just poach your eggs the night before you want to serve them, place them in water, cover and refrigerate. Gently place the eggs in hot but not boiling water for just a minute or so to reheat right before serving.

Now you are ready to make my Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict with Mustard-Dill Sauce . . .

smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict with Mustard-Dill Sauce pic


Or my Eggs Benedict with Lemony Hollandaise Sauce!

Lee Clayton Roper


I’m Lee Clayton Roper, and I’m passionate about making cooking and entertaining easy, elegant and fun. Here you’ll find scrumptious recipes, helpful tips and seasonal menus that will spark inspiration in your kitchen!
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Access more recipes in Lee's award-winning book, Fresh Tastes!

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