How to Poach an Egg

If you’ve poached eggs before, you know that egg whites spill into strands when they hit the water, ruining your oval shape and turning the water into a cloudy, proteinous mess. No more! This straining technique gets rid of the outer layer of egg whites—the loose white—so that you can poach perfectly shaped eggs in multiple batches one after another in the same water.

Caveat: This may take a few tries, but once you get it, you’ll have it forever.

By / Photography By Marlene Rounds | March 16, 2017


Gently break two eggs into a strainer set over a small bowl.

Let eggs strain for 5 minutes.

While the eggs strain, fill a wide pan with 3 inches of water and bring to a boil. Once the water boils, turn the heat down to just below a simmer, meaning no bubbles or only tiny bubbles are visible at the very edge of the water but if you turn the knob ever so slightly, bubbles will rapidly appear. Bubbles break fragile eggs apart and that’s what you’re avoiding.

Working quickly and gently, angle your sieve so the two eggs slip into the water. Set your timer for 3 minutes. After 3 minutes, use a slotted spoon to lift your eggs from the water one at a time. Give each a little jiggle to check that the whites are set. If not, dip back in for 30 seconds more. Remove and serve immediately with salt and pepper. Your yolk should run when pierced with a fork. Poach 1 minute longer if you prefer a firm yolk.

Serves 2


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