No. 261: Perfectly Poached Egg

My mother loves poached eggs. So much so that she bought one of those little plastic egg poacher trays that work in the microwave.

That is how I thought you poached an egg (seriously) until a few years ago when I saw the Pioneer woman use swirling boiling water in the shape of a tornado to get the same result. Mind blown.

I've tried her technique a few times with mixed results. Sometimes it works brilliantly, and sometimes the egg comes out more scrambled than poached.

When I found this video for simply poaching an egg undisturbed in simmering water I got excited. It was too easy not to try immediately.


1 or more eggs, for poaching
Splash of white vinegar
Toast or cheesy polenta for serving

To make

Bring a small saucepan 3/4-full of water to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat to low and bring the water back down to a low simmer. There should just be a few bubbles hitting the surface.

Add about a tablespoon of white vinegar to the water and stir to incorporate. The vinegar helps the egg coagulate immediately.

Crack the egg into a measuring cup or a small teacup. Slowly lower the cup into the barely simmering water, and tip the egg out into the water.

First moments

Set a timer for four minutes and cook until the egg whites have set and the yolk is still soft in the middle.

Final moments

Remove from the water with a slotted spoon and set for a few seconds on a plate lined with paper towel to drain.


Serve warm egg immediately.

The results

Game over. Pretty sure this is the perfect way to poach an egg. No vortex of spinning water necessary.

You can serve these guys over toast, as the base for Eggs Benedict or on top of leftover creamy, cheesy polenta like me.

Final dish

I left my egg in the water an extra minute because I like a 'harder' poach and it came out exactly the way I like it.

Here's to The Kitchn and their awesome video tutorials.

Check out a full index of recipes here
Send me your thoughts, comments and ideas at

Amelia McCormick

Kansas girl transplanted to Asheville, North Carolina. Smiler, lover of great food and wine, facilitator, runner, storyteller, wife, optimist, and mother of sweet twins:)

Asheville, North Carolina