Perfecting the Perfect Poached Eggs

Head to any fancy brunch and you'll probably see poached eggs on the menu. They're essential to Eggs Benedict, delicious over home fries, and a lot easier to make than you probably think. Follow these steps from the Test Kitchen and you'll perfect the perfect poached egg.

Step 1. Bring a saucepan, filled about halfway with water, to a boil.

Step 2. Add about 1/2 teaspoon of salt.

Step 3. Next, add approximately 1 teaspoon of white vinegar.

Step 4.Turn the burner down to low and stir with the handle of a wooden spoon.

Step 5. Drop and egg into the vortex. Set a timer for 4 minutes.

Step 6. A little bit of the thinner part of the egg whites will float to the top.

Step 7. Remove the egg with a slotted spoon after 4 minutes.

Step 8. Voila! The perfect poached egg.

Debbie Lavender - Sep 18, 2017
Love poached eggs.... the vinegar makes all the difference
Kitchen Crew - May 23, 2017
Hi Folks!

We see there's been a bit of discussion about this article and wanted to chime in to clear up any confusion. The article is about the process of creating a poached egg, not necessarily how to make a poached egg look perfect.

In the Test Kitchen, we did not use a mold as people suggested. But if you have one and want to use it, feel free! Part of cooking is reading how to do something then figuring out what works best for you.

The photos featured are the exact step-by-step photos of us poaching the eggs. We poached about 6-8 eggs and chose the best one for the final image. The photos from step 7 and step 8 are from the same batch of poached eggs, but most likely not the exact egg.

We hope this clears up any confusion you might have - as you can see, this process works! So go ahead you poached-egg-lovers, poach away :) happy cooking!
Diane Ashworth - May 19, 2017
It's obvious that the egg in Step 7 is not the same egg as the one in Step 8. Anybody with eyes can readily see that! Why the subterfuge? Presenting the 2 of them in the same recipe is, to me, a challenge to the author's truthfulness. How many other little false details have been pushed off on her (or his) audience? Boo!
First Last - May 19, 2017
to Corinna - I just had two poached eggs using those silicone cups. Key is to grease them a bit, crack an egg into it, gently place into a saucepan with gently boiling water and put the lid on. Cook for 5-6 minutes or so depending on how runny you like your yolk. Pull the cups from the water immediately as they will continue to cook.I tilt the cups to remove the water sitting on top as I pull them from the pan. Slide a fork or something around the edge of the egg and it should slide right out. Enjoy!
colleen brennan - May 18, 2017
People, my goodness! The caption reads "how to make a perfect pwatched egg!" All this nit picking is so unnecessary! False advertising? What are they "advertising?" I don't get it with all you people complaining! The idea is showing you how and timing of making a poached egg! Not giving PERFECTION! If you want the egg to be perfectly round, then get a "mold" like everyone suggest.
Deana Raymondo - May 18, 2017
My grandmother gave me her egg poacher (it's just a pot with moulds that nestle in the slots above the water underneath)35 years ago. Don't know what I'd do without that pan and baby it like it's precious gold.
I tried this method just to see if it really works. It doesn't really turn out right. You lose too much of the egg white, and what you don't lose of the whites come out tougher than I care for because I like my yolk a little more set.
Sticking with my pan from grandma.
Kathleen Taormina - May 18, 2017
Break the raw egg into a fine mesh strainer and let all the stringy stuff drain, then into the poaching water.
Glenna Witter - May 18, 2017
The could have used a large biscuit cutter. I don't believe it was false advertising, they showed how to poach the egg not what it looked like.
Linda Tiboni - May 18, 2017
I agree, it was done with a mold. I use a mold and that's exactly what it looks like! Tsk-tsk.
Bob Fowler - May 18, 2017
Sorry guys - the egg on the toast was not done this way, in fact it was done in a mold - I've made dozens of poached eggs as suggested and none have looked anything like what is supposed to be the finished product of the method you're suggesting. SORRY
Corinna Hamel - May 18, 2017
This is a little bit like false advertising... they obviously used molds for the one on toast. I have a set of the silicone cups to make them. I was thinking they'd show how to use THOSE based on the photo used to entice us... I'm still anxious to figure out how to use them
Linnette Siemienczuk - May 18, 2017
How did they get the egg so perfectly round on the toast? Was it a round mold and if they where can it be found? I wish restaurants would read this.
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