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How to Poach Eggs Perfectly

The golden yolks are easier than you might think!

Poached eggs are a popular brunch order at Ree Drummond's restaurant, The Merc. After all, the little parcels of golden yolks are perfect for eggs Benedict or other popular egg recipes. But when was the last time you made them at home? For some reason, home cooks seem to shy away from poaching eggs. Their silky, yet firm whites and runny center might seem intimidating, but here's the truth: Poached eggs are surprisingly easy to make! In fact, if you can boil water, then you can poach an egg. All it takes is a little know-how and our tips for how to make perfectly poached eggs every time. Read on for the quick-and-easy 5-step recipe.

Before you begin, check that your eggs are fresh using the egg float test—the fresher eggs, the easier it will be to poach (and the better it will taste!). Then, grab a pot of water. That's all you'll need. With this method for poached eggs, there’s no vinegar or fancy egg tools required. And once you master the basic poaching technique, you'll have endless healthy breakfast recipes for any occasion. Try them over sautéed greens, avocado toast, or on top of a breakfast salad. Or, better yet, enjoy them on a toasted, buttered English muffin with Canadian bacon and Hollandaise sauce. Yum!

How do you poach an egg step-by-step?

  1. Gently boil water in a large pot. Then salt the water.
  2. Crack your eggs into small individual cups, so they're ready to pour into the water. 
  3. Using a spoon, begin stirring the water in a large, circular motion (like a tornado).
  4. Once the tornado is really moving, add the eggs. The motion of the water will wrap the egg white around itself so the egg stays together as it cooks.
  5. Cook the eggs for 2 1/2 to 3 minutes, then remove with a slotted spoon.

How long do you poach eggs?

Poaching eggs only takes a couple of minutes. Once the water is boiling, cook the eggs for 2½ to 3 minutes. They’ll be firm on the outside, runny on the inside, and delicately delicious every time.

Should the water be boiling for poached eggs?

This method for poached eggs calls for a gentle boil. If you're thinking, "What the heck is a gentle boil?" just bring the water to a boil and then lower the heat, so the water is just bubbling but not boiling like crazy.

Do you need vinegar to poach eggs?

Adding a small amount of vinegar to the boiling water is a trick that some people use to help the egg whites come together quicker. It’s completely optional and not even necessary, but if you do want to try it, stir one tablespoon of distilled white vinegar into the boiling water before you add the eggs.

Can you poach more than one egg at a time?

If you're hosting a brunch party or feeding a crowd, you may want to poach more than one egg at time—and you can! Just be careful not to crowd the pot too much. You can make these poached eggs ahead of time, then simply plunge the poached eggs back into the hot water to warm them up.

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Yields: 1 serving
Cook Time: 0 hours 3 mins
Total Time: 0 hours 3 mins
Ingredients
1

egg

Directions
  1. Bring a pot of water to a gentle boil, then salt the water. Meanwhile, crack an egg (or two, or three!) into a small cup.
  2. With a spoon, begin stirring the boiling water in a large, circular motion. 
  3. When the water is swirling like a tornado, add the ;eggs. The swirling water will help the egg white wrap around itself as it cooks. 
  4. Cook for about 2 1/2 to 3 minutes.
  5. Using a slotted spoon, remove the egg (or eggs) to a plate.
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