How to Make Poached Eggs

Poached eggs are like the It Girl of the egg world. You’ll find them perching plump and perfect on everything from eggs Norvégienne to piles of seared green onions, bowls of kale and quinoa, and stacks of savory waffles. They look as delightful as a present and they add a lovely texture — ooh-la-la that sumptuous, creamy yolk. And, of course, there’s no easier source of protein.

We used to shy away from making poached eggs at home. They seemed to be a place only chefs should venture — we were afraid of untidy, spectral egg blobs — and so we saved them for restaurant brunches. Nevermore! Now that we know how, we make them all the time, and you can too. It’s a snap.

Our tip: The longer you keep your eggs in the hot water, the firmer your yolks will be. We like ours nice and runny, which takes about 5 minutes, but you could go anywhere from 4 to 7 minutes.


4 cups water
1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp salt

  1. In a medium pot, bring 4 cups of water to a simmer over medium heat.

  2. Add the vinegar and salt and gently stir until the salt dissolves.

  3. Crack each egg into its own ramekin, being careful not to break the yolk.

  4. Next, create a whirlpool by stirring the water smoothly in one direction. Drop the eggs into the swirling water, one at a time, recreating the whirlpool after each addition. Depending on the size of your pot, you’ll want to cook the eggs in batches, so they don’t crowd each other.

  5. Cover the pot, remove it from the heat, and let it stand for 5 minutes. The whites will be solid, and the yolks will be runny.

  6. Using a slotted spoon, remove the eggs from the water and serve immediately.