How to Poach Eggs: A Step-by-Step Guide

Egg poaching takes practice. But with these easy steps, you'll get the hang of it in no time.

Egg poaching can be intimidating, but it shouldn't be. With a few simple steps, you'll have a crowd-pleasing technique up your sleeve to use anytime you're expecting friends for breakfast or brunch.

Step 1: Boil Water

Step 1: Boil Water

Step 1: Boil Water
Use a nonstick skillet and bring about 2 inches of water to a boil.

Step 2: Add Vinegar

Step 2: Add Vinegar

Step 2: Add Vinegar
Next, add a little vinegar. This keeps the whites from spreading too thin. It also adds a little seasoning. Then, reduce to a simmer. 
Tip: Choose a light-colored vinegar to avoid dyeing your eggs.

Step 3: Prep the Eggs

Step 3: Prep the Eggs

Step 3: Prep the Eggs
Get small bowls ready for your eggs; this way the eggs will keep their shape and you'll be able to cook them all at the same time. Crack the eggs carefully into separate bowls and check for bits of shell.

Step 4: Slip the Eggs Into the Water

Step 4: Slip the Eggs Into the Water

Step 4: Slip the Eggs Into the Water
Now, slip the eggs into the water one at a time. Work your way around the pan clockwise, so you know which eggs are done first.
Tip: Fresher eggs cook faster and have firmer whites.

Step 5: Cover the Pan and Use Gentle Heat

Step 5: Cover the Pan and Use Gentle Heat

Step 5: Cover the Pan and Use Gentle Heat
Cover the pan and turn off the heat. The key to poaching is a gentle heat that will give your eggs a firm white and a loose yolk.

Step 6: Time to Serve

Step 6: Time to Serve

Step 6: Time to Serve
In just 4 minutes, the eggs will be delicate and delicious — ready to serve. Carefully scoop them out of the pan, drain them and transfer them to serving plates. Watch our how-to video for more.

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