Introduction: How to Make a Perfect Poached Egg

Picture of How to Make a Perfect Poached Egg

this is a simple way to make the perfect poached egg. family approved. 

Step 1: What Do I Need to Make This Perfect Poached Egg?

Picture of What Do I Need to Make This Perfect Poached Egg?

Tbsp measuring glass,
White vinegar,
Wash Cloth(CLEAN),
Wooden spoon,
small pot (medium pot for more than one egg),

Step 2: Vinegar and Heat

Picture of Vinegar and Heat

 Put 1 TBSP of vinegar (white) into the pot 1/2 full of water and turn the heat on high.

Step 3: Heat and Eggs and Toast

Picture of Heat and Eggs and Toast

 Bring water to a rolling boil then reduce heat to medium/lo to a simmer. crack the egg into a small bowl and slip into simmering water. wait 4 minutes.... in between the 4 minutes put in your toast.



 Remove the egg out of the water, if you have a slotted spoon use it instead of the wooden spoon, if not its fine.

To prevent a soupy breakfast, place the egg on a was cloth that is CLEAN NOT USED and press gently around the egg not cracking the yolk.

Step 5: Place on Toast and Enjoy!

Picture of Place on Toast and Enjoy!

 As the description says, place on toast and enjoy, butter may be prefered on the toast before the egg is set on top!

Thanks for viewing my instructable, please rate comment and subscribe!


jamesrdell (author)2014-06-25

you show 10:00 which I'm assuming is a timer but you also say cook for 4 minutes but don't include the explanation of the 10:00 so I'm gonna try 4 minutes and hope that that's what you mean

ssspecialagent (author)2012-01-29

I have tried many methods of making a poached egg, all with inconsistent results or complete failures. My husband rattled on all morning about poached eggs on toast after watching the Hairy Bikers on television. This is a great method. The only thing to be careful of is to make sure you keep topping up the water level in the pan if you go for a 3rd round of cooking or you end up with them sticking to the bottom and overcooking (these were my ones, not my husbands which I did first!). Other than that, I would say this is a much more reliable method for cooking soft-yoked eggs than boiling them and the clean washcloth is much better than kitchen towel. Thank you for taking the time to post this method. I didn't use white vinegar either, but had no problems. A happy husband this Sunday!

glorybe (author)2009-11-14

            What you have is a boiled egg. It is not a poached egg at all.
            To poach an egg you need a lot less water. The egg should not be covered with water at all. A lid causes the top of the egg to be steam cooked. The egg will have a regular shape when done yet the yoke will still be semi liquid. If one is really picky one should acquire poaching rings. Using these rings will enable a perfectly circular poached egg to be cooked. I have not seen poaching rings for quite a few years now but they must be out there somewhere.

vincent7520 (author)glorybe2011-01-19

Sorry, this egg is definitely poached, not boiled.
An egg is boiled when it is cooked in its shell wether soft or hard (boiled)…

Vinegar is used to prevent to get too many filaments forming from the white of the egg in the boiling water (mafbailey tells you about other methods for the same end). Nonetheless most of the time you end up with an egg with long "strings" of boiled white. Usually after drying the egg in a clean unbleached (!) cloth people usually cut those filaments with a knife for a better presentation such as you see here.

Some people in France poach them with red vinegar because they do add a drop of vinegar on the final dish according to their taste. Myself I don't like even the idea, but a recipe is done to suit the taste of the one who eats the dish !…

Try poached eggs on a spinach dish : cook spinaches in a purée, top it with roasted dices of bacon and croutons roasted with butter (do not add any garlic on these roasts as it will be too strong and ruin the taste of the whole dish) plus one poached egg per person. This makes a cheap family main dish.
When I was a kid it was the only way my mother could have us eat spinach (of course how little "green" she put on our dish it was always too much, there was never enough croutons and bacon, and she had a fierce battle to have our dish cleaned of all food after we gulped our favorite part : bacon, crouton and poached egg … but that's an other story ! …)

beehard44 (author)2010-08-27

poaching is illegal lol

mpixi (author)2010-01-13

watch my perfect square poached egg that fits a square toast at

boristherussian (author)2009-11-15

 Try to be more specific with your instructions. There are people that have no idea what you are telling them to do, so please make your instructions more in-depth.

J@50n (author)boristherussian2009-11-15

 im sorry, i thought i was pretty specific with 5 pictures.

boristherussian (author)J@50n2009-12-10

No, I am sorry. I should have taken my own advice! nevermind, I just misunderstood the directions.

meliuli (author)2009-12-01

 I don't have much idea about cooking... but I do have about eating :) 

I agree that "boiled egg" implies the egg AND the shell...

This method looks very good and tasty! I'll definitely ask my husband to prepare them for me! 

Thank you!

J@50n (author)meliuli2009-12-01

No problem, Hope you like them!

anfractua (author)2009-11-24

I think your instructions were fine except you left out to put the water in the pot. You just said vinegar. I got it after I looked at all the pictures for step 2 though.
Otherwise I thought it was a great tutorial. I think I'm going to make a poached egg right now.
Thank you!

J@50n (author)anfractua2009-11-25

 i fixed it to make more sense now, thanks for pointing it out!

anfractua (author)J@50n2009-11-26

Yeah. That makes a lot more sense now.
Btw. I totally made an two poached eggs after I left that comment. They were delicious. And as far as people saying stuff about poaching rings. I really don't think they're necessary. My eggs came out pretty round.

annrrr (author)2009-11-25

I have never actually heard about vinegar for poaching eggs, but I have made some pretty successful ones with both the "vortex" and after reading from Delia Smith that the vortex is unnecessary, similar results without the vortex.  As long as you are gentle (as you advise) putting in the egg you are golden!  I will try vinegar next time though. 

J@50n (author)annrrr2009-11-25

 the vinegar helps the egg whites not to disperse. it has nothing to do with taste of preference, if it worked fine without, you don't need to use it.

Sarah Jane Is My Name (author)2009-11-24

I think your instructable is fantastic.  I am going to try it for sure! Maybe tonight for supper!  Looks so good.


I actually tried it for lunch today.  Was good, worked fine and dandy.  I used an organic 12 grain bread for the toast and sprinkled some garlic powder on the melted  margerine then put the poached eggs on.  It was delicious.  I"m going to try it on actual garlic bread sometime.  Yummy!

 Sounds good! glad all you with good comments liked it!

Takelababy (author)2009-11-19

My son gets the water swirling vigorously then drops the eggs into the vortex.

J@50n (author)Takelababy2009-11-19

 have to try it next time!


valamas (author)2009-11-15

top instrucable. excellent pictures. and so many pictures thanks. A picture is worth a thousand words.

Never having poached eggs before and wanting to try for so many years; you have motivated me to try this as i love poached eggs.

I notice that you use a bowl to carefully deliver the eggs to the pot. Is it ok to have 2 or three eggs in the bowl at the same time? I mean, would that make the eggs cook as a single clump or something? or do you, crack an egg into the bowl, then deliver the egg to the pot and then crack the next egg?


J@50n (author)valamas2009-11-16

 you can have 2 or 3 eggs in the pot at once, but you need to have a bigger pot.  To do so, put the eggs in one at a time put try to make the eggs so they  are not touching.

J@50n (author)2009-11-15

 Thanks for replying to his comment for me!

Also, the lid is not used in cooking the egg, only to bring the water to a boil.

Romado12187 (author)2009-11-14

if you put the egg in a glass cooking cup and then boil the cup, it will have a better shape.

wobblestar (author)2009-11-14

 Try boiling the egg in its shell for about 20 seconds before you crack it into boiling water to poach it. This makes the egg hang together really well. Not my idea ... it comes from the Hairy Bikers - a couple of TV cooks in the UK.

J@50n (author)wobblestar2009-11-14

 Good advice

Joe Martin (author)wobblestar2009-11-14

Brilliant programme! One of my favourites.

Jayefuu (author)2009-11-14

Ha ha. You got rather overexcited with the photos :p

I like the bowl trick though, when I tried to make poached eggs it went all funny because i didn't get it close enough to the water when I slipped it in.

What's the vinegar for though?

Joe Martin (author)Jayefuu2009-11-14

The vinegar makes the egg hold together in the wateraccording to my old caterating tutor.

dchall8 (author)Joe Martin2009-11-14

I think the vinegar is used nowadays because the eggs from corn fed chickens (99.9% of all chickens) don't hold together in boiling water.  From what I understand, the eggs from chickens that are allowed to eat a considerable portion of their diet in insects or even lizards will hold together much better. 

Which came first: The chicken or the egg?

J@50n (author)Jayefuu2009-11-14

 i always get a lot of pictures, or else the instructable does not look complete.

xilefakamot (author)2009-11-14

 If you quickly stir the water before putting the egg in, it holds together better.

J@50n (author)xilefakamot2009-11-14

 thanks for the advice!

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Bio: Hey, my name is Jason. A little bit about myself is that well, I love photography, cooking/baking, creating, etc. About myself physically, I'm ... More »
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