How to Poach an Egg



In theory I think poaching an egg should be relatively simple… but I believe it  is actually one of the harder skills to master in the kitchen.  It’s way too easy to create a mess of the egg, and your breakfast in the process.  If you get it right its one of the healthiest and, for me,  tastiest ways to have your eggs.

Being a 3 day weekend here in Australia I thought I would treat us to breakfast, and share my tips of what I do to get my poached eggs to work in the process.

My Tips:

  • Fresh eggs are essential.  Crack it into a glass or bowl first and if the white is watery then it is probably too old for it to poach well.  You’ll just end up with a white mess in your saucepan.
  • Use room temperature eggs as it wont impact the water temperature as much
  • Make sure your water is not more than a simmer or the bubbles will break the white… alternatively if it’s not simmering enough the eggs will stick to the bottom of the pan.
  • Don’t over crowd the pan.
  • Agitating the water (I create a whirlpool) helps the white to stay together and form an even shape whilst the water returns to an even temperature.
  • be patient
  • Practice does make perfect


  • add about 1 tbl spoon white vinegar – this helps to keep the white together, but too much and your egg just ends up tasting acidic

How to poach an egg

  • Bring your water to a rolling simmer
  • Stir to create a whirlpool and gently place your eggs into the water.


  • Allow to cook for approx 2 mins.  The white should form but as you lift with a slotted spoon the yolk should appear loose.  If the white still seems to be clear, allow to cook longer.


  • Remove gently and place onto a plate or into a bowl being careful to have space around your eggs.   Lift individually when serving to prevent rupturing the yolk.  This process of double handling before serving minimises the soggy toast and stops you having a plate full of water for breakfast.


I went traditional (well Aussie style traditional anyway) and served my eggs on toast with Vegemite.  They are super delicious with hash browns, some tomato relish or even a spot of green tomato pickles.


Do you have any tips for getting your poached eggs perfect every time?

Happy Cooking and Happy Eating


4 Comments Add yours

  1. Sandra says:

    Vegemite for me please! Xx


  2. I’ve never been able to successfully poach eggs. My husband can though. Maybe that’s one of the reasons why I married him? One thing about poached eggs is they have to be dry after poaching. I can’t stand pockets of water that drown my toast. Watery toast. Ick!


    1. Leah says:

      óh I definitely agree about drying the eggs. I can’t stand watery toast either and so many places when you eat out get lazy and put the eggs straight onto the toast without draining them first. I’m sure the secret to getting poached eggs right is patience and practice… although if you have someone that can do them for you then you’re set really 🙂


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