How to Poach an Egg

Two poached eggs with parsley.

There are many different so-called "secrets" to making the perfect poached egg. Probably the easiest is with an egg poacher—these inexpensive little gadgets make poached eggs quickly, no boiling water necessary. However, if you want to make them the old-fashioned way, the method below works best:

  1. Use the freshest eggs you can find.

  2. Working with one egg at a time, break the egg into a fine-mesh strainer to get rid of the most liquid parts of the egg white, then tip it carefully into a small bowl or ramekin. (Use a separate bowl or ramekin for each egg you're poaching.)

  3. Fill a medium saucepan halfway full with water and bring the water to a boil.

  4. When it is boiling, add 2 tablespoons white vinegar. Do not add salt. Reduce the heat to low.

  5. Using a spoon, swirl the water around a few times to create a vortex effect, then carefully pour the egg right into the middle of the vortex.

  6. Poach the egg for 3 to 4 minutes, depending on how done you like your egg to be.

  7. Scoop it out with a slotted spoon and set it on a paper-towel-lined plate.

  8. Repeat to cook any additional eggs. Serve warm.

You could cook more than one egg at a time, but it may not end up as nicely shaped because you won't be able to use the vortex method.

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