clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon

How to Poach an Egg

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star No reviews
  • Author: Erin Jensen
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 4 minutes
  • Total Time: 9 minutes
  • Yield: 1 poached egg 1x
  • Category: How To
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: American


How to Poach an Egg – a cooking technique that is utilized in countless recipes and a must-know for every home cook.


  • water
  • 1 egg
  • (optional) 1 teaspoon white vinegar


  1. Add 3-4 inches of water to a small or shallow saucepan. Feel free to add vinegar to the water, if you want.
  2. Crack an egg into a glass measuring cup or small bowl; set aside.
  3. Set saucepan on the stovetop and turn to medium/high heat.
  4. Watch the water carefully and when the water is just about to boil (you will see bubbles start to form at the bottom of the saucepan) take the glass measuring cup with the egg and dip the measuring cup into the water – don’t dump out the egg – but allow some of the hot water to fall over the edge of the measuring cup, enveloping the egg.  This will start to cook the egg immediately (you will notice it start to turn white).
  5. Let the water cook the egg within the measuring cup for about 10-30 seconds and then slowly pour out the egg.
  6. Ensure the water does not boil (reduce the temperature as needed) and let the egg cook for approx. 3 – 4 minutes for a soft, runny egg.
  7. Remove with a slotted spoon.
  8. Eat plain with salt and pepper or use in your favorite recipe!


  • Vinegar in water: honestly I have made this dozens of time with and without vinegar … I can never tell much of a difference!
  • 3 – 4 minutes: If I am doing multiple eggs one after another, the first egg usually takes about 4 minutes and then subsequent eggs take closer to 3.  You can always check your eggs by lifting them out of the water just a bit and gently poking at them (and looking at them). If they still feel and look a little slimy, gently place them back into the pot.  If they are firm, but you can tell the yolk is still soft and runny, you are good to go! Remember, the will continue to cook a bit even after you take them out of the water!