How To Poach An Egg

January 20, 2013

I consider myself pretty proficient in the kitchen…. Now. Back before I started this blog, I was afraid of baking and poaching. I never thought these were things I could accomplish until I tried.

Baking is not that hard, once you learn patience. Poaching is easy to do as long as you don’t stir the boiling water too quickly, so much so that it leaps out of the pot, scalding your body. Not that that happened to me or anything…

Truth be told, Mike is actually a great poacher. How on Earth he can poach an egg yet not understand or even follow a recipe, I have no idea. He is actually better at poaching than me. Don’t tell him that though!

Poaching an egg is simple. I am sure everybody has different methods, as with most things, but this is the way that has worked for me time and time again. The trick to poaching an egg is to start off by cracking the egg into a bowl with about ¼ cup of white vinegar in it. Let that sit for five minutes while you bring a large skillet filled ¾ of the way with water to a rolling boil.

Once the water gets boiling, start to stir the water in a circle, creating a whirlpool kind of effect.

Pour the small bowl of vinegar containing the egg right into the center of the whirling water. Continue stirring. The white of the egg will gently wrap around the yolk because of the swirling water.

Continue stirring around the egg for about a minute. Let the egg poach for three to four minutes.

After three to four minutes, remove the egg with a slotted spoon. Gently rinse the egg under cool running water for one second. Let the egg drain before adding it to a salad, pasta, sandwich, or even let’s say a homemade English muffin.

See! Soooooo easy. Now there is no excuse to not poach an egg. Get to it!

How To Poach An Egg

Easy steps to teach you how to poach a perfect egg every single time.
Course Breakfast
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 3 minutes
Total Time 8 minutes
Servings 1
Author Sarcastic Cooking


  • 1 Egg
  • ¼ Cup White Vinegar
  • Large Deep Heavy-Bottomed Skillet
  • Boiling Water
  • Whisk
  • Slotted Spoon


  1. Add vinegar to a small bowl. Crack egg into the vinegar. Let sit for five minutes.
  2. Bring a deep heavy-bottomed skillet filled ¾ of the way up with water to a rolling boil over medium/high heat.
  3. Stir the water using a whisk to create a whirlpool effect. Pour the contents of the small bowl into the center of the whirlpool, keep stirring for a minute. Poach the egg in the water for three to four minutes.
  4. After three to four minutes, remove the egg with a slotted spoon. Gently rinse under cool running water for one second. Let egg drain before serving.

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  • Chris
    January 23, 2013 at 2:12 pm

    Well, I found out that poaching eggs is not that hard. One of the most important thing is that the egg be a proper and fresh egg.

    • Stefanie
      January 23, 2013 at 2:30 pm

      Totally true! I find that if your eggs are a little older is when the yolk separates from the white during the poaching process.

  • Lyn @LovelyPantry
    January 21, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    The only thing missing from that muffin is some buttah!!! I love poached eggs…that thick runny yolk is like silk! See…now I feel like making it. lol!

  • Patrick
    January 21, 2013 at 11:45 am

    This is the exact method I use and it is super simple! No mess and a great snack or breakfast in minutes.

  • Anita at Hungry Couple
    January 21, 2013 at 8:12 am

    I have never even attempted to poach an egg but that photo of the egg running all over that muffin is giving me a serious craving. I do happen to have eggs… 🙂

  • Alaina @ Fabtastic Eats
    January 21, 2013 at 8:06 am

    ah Im going to have to try this method, because I can never get it right!! Thanks! 🙂

  • Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe
    January 20, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    Thanks for this Stefanie – I have yet to successfully poach an egg using this method (I still use a handy dandy gadget that helps me keep the egg together). I’ll have to give it a try!

  • Stephie @ Eat Your Heart Out
    January 20, 2013 at 11:19 am

    UGH I’M OUT OF EGGS! Otherwise, I’d be hopping up to go do this immediately!! Gotta make a TJ’s run after I hit the gym today, though, so maybe tomorrow for breakfast. 🙂

    • Julie @ Sugarfoot Eats
      January 20, 2013 at 6:26 pm

      Same here!! I wish that I had an egg right now to try this!!

  • Kerry @ Snark & Pepper
    January 20, 2013 at 9:48 am

    Poaching eggs is my kryptonite. I just can’t do it. The white always ends up getting stringy and detaching from the yolk. Not appetizing.

    However… I have never heard about letting the vinegar sit with the egg, rather than adding the vinegar directly to the water. I might give this another shot with your method.

    Side note, I once had a boyfriend who could poach eggs but was useless otherwise in the kitchen. It drove me batty. This must be some biological advantage men have over us women folk.

    • Stefanie
      January 20, 2013 at 10:01 am

      The vinegar makes the egg white and yolk hold together before you even drop it into the water. That is so crazy about guys! Maybe you are on to something.