The Right Way to Poach an Egg

English muffin with ham and egg
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The trick to making perfect poached eggs is ensuring the egg stays compact and holds its shape. This is accomplished by using the freshest eggs possible. The older an egg gets, the more it tends to flatten or spread out.

If your eggs aren't farm fresh, you can add a bit of vinegar or lemon juice to the water. The acid in the water will help the egg hold its shape.

The water should be simmering, not boiling. Too vigorous a boil will break up the eggs. But if the water's not hot enough, the egg might fall apart before it cooks. The ideal water temperature for poaching eggs is around 180° to 190°F.

Difficulty: Average

Time Required: 5 minutes

Here's How:

  1. Fill a large pot with water and add a teaspoon of vinegar or lemon juice and a handful of Kosher salt.
  2. Bring the water to a simmer.
  3. Crack a fresh egg into a small bowl or ramekin.
  4. When the water is simmering (not boiling), gently tip the egg out of the dish and let it slide down the side of the pot and into the water.
  5. Cook for 4-5 minutes or until the white is firm but still tender and the yolks are still semi-liquid.
  6. Carefully remove the egg from the water using a slotted spoon or ravioli skimmer.
  7. Shake off excess water and serve right away.