Perfectly poached eggs are a delicious way to start any day. The keys to preparing great poached eggs are to not undercook them and to keep the water just below a boil. Poaching eggs takes just a few minutes, and the reward is a protein-packed meal.

Things You'll Need

Pour about 4 inches of water into a small saucepan. Add a pinch of salt and bring it to a boil over medium-high heat. Turn down the heat slightly to reduce the boil to a simmer.

Crack an egg into a coffee cup or other small container, being careful to keep the yolk intact.

Lower the cup as close as possible to the simmering water. Slowly tip the egg into the pot. Boil the egg for 2 to 4 minutes, timing it with a timer. Boiling for 2 minutes will result in an extremely soft egg; boiling for 4 minutes will result in a hard-cooked egg.

Fish the egg out of the water with a slotted spoon. Shake the spoon gently for several minutes to allow water to drip off the egg. Check the thickest part of the white for doneness; if it isn’t slimy or undercooked, serve immediately.


  • If the egg is still too wet after draining, pat it dry with some paper towels before serving.

  • To help the egg whites congeal faster, add one or two teaspoons of vinegar to the water.