Perfect Poached Eggs

Total Time:
15 min
Prep:
10 min
Cook:
5 min

Level:
Easy

Directions

Heat the water: Add enough water to come 1 inch up the side of a narrow, deep 2-quart saucier. Add 1 teaspoon kosher salt and 2 teaspoons white vinegar and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Meanwhile, crack 1 very fresh cold large egg into a custard cup or small ramekin. Use the handle of a spatula or spoon to quickly stir the water in one direction until it's all smoothly spinning around.

TIP: Use this whirlpool method when poaching a single serving (one or two eggs). For bigger batches, heat the water, salt and vinegar in a 12-inch nonstick skillet and do not stir.

Add the egg: Carefully drop the egg into the center of the whirlpool. The swirling water will help prevent the white from "feathering," or spreading out in the pan.

Let it poach: Turn off the heat, cover the pan and set your timer for 5 minutes. Don't peek, poke, stir or accost the egg in any way.

Lift it out: Remove the egg with a slotted spoon and serve immediately. Alternatively, move the egg to an ice bath and refrigerate up to 8 hours. Reheat in warm water just before serving.

Photograph by David Malosh


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3.9 31
Perfect on my first try. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I'm No Scientist but,<div>I've enjoyed poached eggs when dining out for years. However, I've never attempted to make my own until today.  In Alton I trust, so I followed these directions and it came out perfect.  On par if not better than some of the best poached eggs I've had in restaurants.  </div> item not reviewed by moderator and published
interesting recipe item not reviewed by moderator and published
I took them out about 20 seconds before the 5 minute mark. They came out just right. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I did it! I've always wanted to make poached eggs, but was too chicken to try ... no pun intended. This was much simpler than I imagined. I put this over toast with crisp bacon and steamed asparagus, and made Ina Garten's easy Hollendaise to top it off. The poached egg was perfectly done at five minutes. Not underdone, not over done. I think the trick is to make sure the water is simmering, not boiling. My only problem was trying to make sure that everything was ready at the same time, but I made it happen. Hubby looked at the dish, then looked at me like I was a little off kilter... nothing new... but he loved it. Thanks for showing us how to do this, Alton. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Usless. Egg feathered and didnt even cook. I followed the recipe exactly. item not reviewed by moderator and published
That was FANTASTIC! I used champagne vinegar, and it just felt fancier : ) item not reviewed by moderator and published
Dear Alton Brown, That really was the most delicious poached egg I have ever had. Thank you. JV item not reviewed by moderator and published
Turned out perfect. I put these on top of ham and cheese quiches with a little salt/pepper and ketchup. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Calm down--cooked the recipe this AM for my wife and she thought they were the best she's ever had in her life (and we're both over 50). Perfect consistentcy of not too soft and runny and not too hard. Just one man's opinion, but I've been making eggs since life in high school as a short order cook 40+ years ago. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Forgot to stir the water, did you? That's the only reason the egg feathered. item not reviewed by moderator and published

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