How to Make A Perfect Poached Egg | How to Resolve Mistakes Made When Making Poached Eggs

The quintessential poached egg — silky smooth and pillowy soft, with perfectly round whites surrounding velvety yolks- is what you want to achieve. Although they may seem very difficult to achieve, with these tips, getting your poached eggs cooked the way they are suppose to would definitely be a lot easier and more manageable to achieve.

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Common Mistakes:

1. Temperature Of Water Is Not Right

If your water is too cold and not simmering, the yolks will separate from the whites. Conversely, if your water is too hot and boiling violently, the eggs will explode.

Water should be 160 to 180ºF (71-82ºC). As a rule of thumb, bring the water to a boil, then reduce it to a simmer before cooking.

2. Adding Salt To The Water

You’re aiming to make poached eggs with a silky-smooth, cloud-like texture but adding salt to your poaching liquid breaks up the eggs whites and essentially ruins everything.

3. Over Swirling The Water

Once you’ve achieved your desired water temperature, and BEFORE you add the eggs, slowly swirl the water with a long spoon, creating a gentle whirlpool effect. This helps the egg whites tuck into a perfectly round ball, preventing them from spreading through the water. Quickly put the eggs in the water while the water is still swirling, then stop working once the egg gets into the pot.

4. Dropping Your Eggs Into The Pot

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Your eggs need to be gently introduced into the pot, not plopped into it. To do this, crack each of your eggs into individual containers and slowly lower the rim into the water and carefully slide the egg in.

5. Over Crowding The Eggs

Make sure your pan is filled with at least 3 inches of water, and don’t put too many eggs in the pan at once. Never let the eggs touch one another.

6. Eggs Sink To The Bottom Of Pan

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Don’t let your eggs sink to the bottom of the pan as it’s hot down there and worse, they will probably stick. Gently cradle each egg with your long-handled spoon, lifting it from the bottom of the pan while keeping its white intact.

7. You’re Not Setting A Timer

Runny eggs take 2 minutes, medium take 3 minutes, and firm take 4 minutes. Set your timer to get the eggs you want.

8. Soggy Eggs

The nooks and crannies in the eggs are filled with puddles of water, and that’s gross. To solve this issue, remove the eggs from the water with a slotted spoon, place them on a paper towel and gently pat the tops dry with another paper towel. Then serve them immediately.


1. Make Poached Eggs In Advance

Slightly undercook the eggs before immediately transferring them to a bowl of cold water. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight. When you’re ready to serve them the next morning, heat them up for a minute in almost-simmering water, then serve immediately.

2. Use Vinegar

Adding a few drops of distilled white vinegar to your poaching water is a controversial method.

Pro: It keeps the whites intact.

Con: It adds a slight vinegar flavor to your eggs. If you don’t like that, skip the vinegar.

Interested to know how to cook other kind of eggs for a yummy breakfast/ brunch? Check it out here!