The Perfect Poached Egg

Poached Eggs are a part of many of our favorite breakfast and brunch dishes, but many of us aren’t used to making them at home. So we asked Chef Robbie Washington of Bon Appétit Management Company who tests our recipes every season, to give us a quick tutorial on preparing the perfect poached egg.

  • Step 1: Add enough water to come one inch up the side of a narrow, deep 2-quart saucepan. Add 1 teaspoon kosher salt and 2 teaspoons white vinegar and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
  • Step 2: Meanwhile, crack one very fresh cold large egg into a custard cup or small ramekin.
  • Step 3: Use the handle of a spatula or spoon to quickly stir the water in one direction until it’s all smoothly spinning around.*
  • Step 4: Carefully drop the egg into the center of the whirlpool. The swirling water will help prevent the white from “feathering,” or spreading out in the pan.
  • Step 5: Turn off the heat, cover the pan, and set your timer for 5 minutes. Don’t peek, poke, stir, or accost the egg in any way.
  • Step 6: Remove the egg with a slotted spoon and serve immediately. Alternatively, move the egg to an ice bath and refrigerate up to 8 hours. Reheat in warm water just before serving.

*Use this whirlpool method when poaching a single serving (one or two eggs). For bigger batches, heat the water, salt, and vinegar in a 12-inch non-stick skillet and do not stir.