How to poach an egg
Poached eggs may have a reputation for being finicky, but the truth is they are really easy to cook, and are really healthy too because they don’t require any oil or butter in their preparation. Perfect for breakfast or as part of a main meal, you can use them in many ways to enhance dishes and make them extra special.
Knowing how to poach an egg is easy to master, and there are many different methods to try. One thing to remember is that the fresher an egg is, the easier it is to poach – so choose eggs with the latest best-before date on for poaching. This is because egg whites become more fluid the older they are which means they are more likely to disperse in the water once submerged. A spoonful of vinegar in the water can help with this, and will not change the flavour of your egg.
Learn how to poach an egg following our easy steps by watching our how-to video featuring top chef Paul Merrett.
- 1 large British Lion egg
- Water for boiling
- Pinch of salt
- Dash of vinegar
Three steps to poaching success!
- Fill a large pan with 5cm of water. Add a pinch of salt and a dash of vinegar to help set the egg. Bring the water gently to the boil.
Crack the egg onto a plate and then tip it into the water. Time as follows:
- 3 minutes for a completely runny yolk
- 4 minutes for a slightly set yolk with a
- runny middle
- 5 minutes for a firm yolk
- Remove the poached egg from the boiling water using a slotted spoon and place on kitchen paper to drain.
Tips and twists
Serve on a warm buttered muffin, toast or bagel. Add spinach and hollandaise sauce for Eggs Florentine, or ham or bacon and hollandaise to make Eggs Benedict.