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Learn how to poach an egg perfectly every time by following these easy steps and helpful tips. You can add poached eggs to toasts, grain bowls, salads, even pastas – they’re a nutritious addition to any meal of the day!

poached eggs with runny yolk on plate with slotted spoon

Poached eggs are a delicious way to cook eggs with soft, runny yolks. There’s just something about cutting into a perfectly poached egg over any meal that is so so satisfying.

That said, I understand that poaching an egg can seem like an intimidating, delicate task. That’s why I’m so excited to partner with my friends at Get Cracking to help you become an egg poaching pro. I picked up the tips I’m sharing with you today during my training to become a dietitian. I still use them to this day, and – after reading this post – I promise you’ll be able to nail a perfectly poached egg every time, too. Let’s get cooking!

What Is A Poached Egg?

Poaching is a technique that cooks food by submerging it in liquid (such as water or stock) that is heated to a relatively low temperature. Using a low temperature is what makes poaching a gentle way to cook delicate foods, such as eggs, fish, or fruit.

Poached eggs are simply eggs that have been removed from their shell and cooked by submerging them in liquid at a low temperature. The whites of the eggs will cook and form together, while the yolk remains nice and runny in the centre. 

What You’ll Need

To poach an egg, you’ll want to have some key equipment on hand. These include:

A ramekin. Cracking an egg into a ramekin or small dish before placing the egg into water, helps you gently slide the egg into the saucepan. This guarantees that your egg will be properly cracked with no broken yolks or egg shells. You’ll also be able to make a vortex and transfer the egg easily to the centre of the vortex at the same time (more on this in the next section).

White vinegar. A splash of vinegar (~1 Tbsp) helps keep the whites of your eggs together by increasing the acidity of the water. This helps the egg whites coagulate faster, preventing them from dispersing in the saucepan. I recommend using any type of white vinegar (apple cider, white wine, etc.) to avoid colouring your egg. I promise your egg won’t have a vinegary taste!

A small saucepan. To poach eggs on the stovetop, you’ll want to use a small but deep saucepan.

A slotted spoon. Using a slotted spoon (one with holes in it), lets you easily scoop the finished egg out of the water and transfer it to a paper towel, without making a watery mess.

Paper towel. I like setting aside a small paper towel to transfer the finished egg to. This allows the egg to drain its cooking liquid on a gentle surface.

How To Poach An Egg: The Steps

With all your equipment on hand, you’re now ready to get poaching! Keep reading for some tricks and step-by-step instructions for poaching eggs on the stovetop.

1) Fill you small saucepan with about 4 inches of water. Heat the saucepan on the stove, until the water begins to gently simmer. You want very gentle bubbles (similar to bubbles in a flute of champagne); if the water starts to boil, lower heat even more.

2) Gently break your egg into a ramekin or small dish. Make sure the egg is in tact (no broken yolks) and remove any pieces of shell, if necessary.

3) Add 1 Tbsp of white vinegar to the saucepan. Using your slotted spoon, swirl the water to create a vortex or whirlpool. With your other hand, gently pour the egg (in the ramekin) into the centre of the vortex. The whirlpool motion will help the whites stick together and form a rounded shape.

4) Continue to cook the egg in the barely simmering water for about 3-4 minutes, or until the white is set.

5) Using a slotted spoon, gently scoop the poached egg out of the water and place on a paper towel to let drain

Your poached egg is now ready to be enjoyed! Keep reading for some ideas for what to pair poached eggs with.

two poached eggs on plate

Poached Egg Recipe Ideas

Now that you know how to poach an egg, check out some of these delicious and healthy recipe ideas featuring poached eggs. Poached eggs aren’t just for Benedicts and brunches – there are so many creative ways to use them!

Egg Nutrition & Health Benefits

Poached eggs are not only delicious and versatile, but they pack a ton of nutrition and health benefits, too. A standard serving of 2 large eggs provides 13 grams of high-quality protein. The protein in eggs is complete (meaning it contains all 9 essential amino acids) and has a high bioavailability (meaning our body absorbs it well).

Protein is essential for building and repairing all of our muscles, organs, skin, hair, nails, and other body tissues. It’s also critical for hormone, enzyme, and antibody production!

In addition to protein, eggs are an incredibly rich source of essential micronutrients as well. These include vitamins like A, D, E, B12, and folate, as well as minerals like iron and selenium. Eggs are even a source of health-promoting antioxidants like lutein and zeaxanthin.

avocado toast with one poached egg

I hope this post has helped clarify any questions you had about how to poach an egg. If you give these steps and tricks a try, let me know in the comments below! Be sure to follow along on Instagram and Pinterest for more nutrition tips and simple, healthy recipe ideas.

This post is sponsored by Get Cracking. As always, all words, thoughts, and opinions are my own. Thank you for continuing to support the brands who help make Walder Wellness possible!

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This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy.