How do you like your eggs? Well, if you answered anything other than poached then I have no idea how you ended up here. You must be very lost. But whilst you’re here, why not find out how to make perfect poached eggs every time?
I suppose you could have ended up here because you just love poached eggs and wanted to make them at home I guess. Yeah, I’m pretty sure that’s 99% of you now that I think about it. Well nevertheless, let’s get cracking and I’ll show you how to make perfect poached eggs every time!
And no I won’t be showing you how to make poached eggs by boiling them in a plastic bag. That’s cheating! Plus you’ll never get that light, airy egg white which makes a poached egg so damn good. And don’t even get me started on microwaving them.
What’s so good about a poached egg I hear you ask? Let’s begin with any poached egg addict’s answer: yolk-porn.
A perfect poached egg is like bursting a bubble of yolky sunshine. Never will you tire of seeing that yolk explode in slow mo out onto your plate – ready to be mopped up with a bit of toast / immediately Instagrammed / all of the above.
But on the flip side, never will you be so incredibly offended to slice into a poached egg to find it’s over done, soft-boiled and all your dreams immediately die.
(I just shuddered FYI.)
Thankfully, this post is here to make sure that doesn’t happen!
But apart from the wow-factor that poached eggs undeniably deliver when done correctly, they just taste better in every way. Wait, hear me out on this one.
Instead of being overpowered by cooking oil (like a good, greasy fried egg) a poached egg sings with no accompaniment.
Ok yeah, a boiled egg is great too for the same reason, but cooking one in its shell makes it pretty dense – perfect for chopping into egg mayo and salads, but not that great as far as texture is concerned.
As a poached egg is cooked in water, it allows the egg white to spread out as it cooks, making it much fluffier and lighter. Then in the centre, you’ve got the perfect runny yolk. It’s a wicked contrast in texture and it never fails to remind you just how great a fresh egg tastes.
Anyway, now you’re sold, let’s get to it – here’s how to make perfect poached eggs every time…
So here’s my top tips. Trust me, I’ve failed at making poached eggs a lot (it’s not hard, I was just terrible at it) so I’ve learned from experience! Several have been overdone, a lot of yolks have exploded in the water and generally, a lot of tears have been cried in my kitchen.
But I’ve gone through all that so you don’t have to!
First of all, add a little rice wine vinegar to your water. It magically helps to keep the egg white from spreading too much in the water, meaning you lose a lot less of it when removing it from the saucepan. Our aim is to keep the white as close to the yolk as poss!
Now, make sure your water is bubbling excitedly and please – don’t fill the water up too high! Just ensure there’s enough water to cover your egg and that’s it. Again, too much depth of water encourages the white to spread upwards – meaning again, you lose more egg white.
If your water isn’t hot and bubbling, that’ll mean more egg white spread too – we need it to start cooking as soon as it hits the water! Giving your water a stir so that the water is ‘spinning’ as you put your egg in helps to keep the egg white wrapped around the yolk too.
Next, always crack your egg into a small bowl first – not directly into the water. Why? Yolks are fragile! I hope you don’t have to learn this the hard way like I did…
Having your egg in a small bowl also allows you to tip the egg into the water slowly, carefully and without splashing boiling water all over your hands.
(hooray for not scalding yourself.)
Ok, so the egg is in, the yolk hasn’t broken and the egg white hasn’t left the yolk’s orbit – now what? How do I know when it’s cooked?
Now some people specify an exact amount of time that you should poach your egg for the perfect runny centre. But I believe that’s just a total lie.
So the correct answer here is this: when the egg white looks cooked. Using a slotted spoon, occasionally lift your poached egg out of the water and think “would I like to eat this?” Pay attention to around the white around the yolk especially.
If it looks like raw egg white, then it’s probably not done! We don’t want gloopy, slimy looking egg white anywhere. But don’t overdo them to be safe – you’ll just end up with soft/hard boiled eggs disguised as poached eggs. It only usually takes around 1-2 minutes max.
But before I share the full recipe on how to make perfect poached eggs every time, my last piece of advice to you is this… be damn careful with that yolk! Once you’ve made a few, making poached eggs is easy-peasy. Here’s the full recipe…
How to make perfect poached eggs every time
- Fresh eggs as many as you'd like and the fresher the better
- 1 tsp rice wine vinegar
- Salt and pepper
Half fill your saucepan with boiling water and add 1 tsp of rice wine vinegar per 1.5 litre of water.
Heat your water so that it's bubbling at a consistent rate, but not boiling angrily.
Crack your egg into a bowl and stir the water in your saucepan so that it's gently spinning. Then slowly pour your egg into the water from your bowl.
Use a slotted spoon to check on it occasionally and when the egg white looks cooked, remove it from the saucepan. This should take around 1-2 minutes, but checking the egg white is usually the best way to ensure you don't over do it.
When it's cooked, remove the egg from the saucepan and allow it to drain on a piece of kitchen roll.
Add a little salt and pepper and enjoy!
Oh and in case if you’re wondering – I served my poached eggs with roasted tomatoes on the vine (just stick ’em in the oven for 10 mins), thickly sliced ham and wilted spinach. The perfect light breakfast or brunch!
So I hope you enjoyed learning how to make perfect poached eggs every time! If you make them successfully, I’d love to see how they turned out. So absolutely make sure that you send me a pic using my social media links below…
Thanks for reading,
Oh and don’t forget to pin this for later!