TV Tuesday # 11: How To Make The Perfect Poached Egg

Poached Eggs
We went out for breakfast recently and I have to say I was super disappointed. For me, breakfast is all about the egg!

I ordered soft poached eggs on toast. My soft poached eggs were far from soft and, to be honest, I’m not sure they were even poached at all (hiding under a mound of melted cheese and fried onions and peppers it was hard to tell).

The perfectly poached egg can be tricky if you’re not armed with a few very key tricks and tips. If you’ve ever tried making poached eggs at home and had the whites spread out into the water creating a large eggy mess, read on.


Did your eggs turn out rubbery? Or do you hate the taste of vinegar left on the egg? We’ll show you how to create the perfectly poached egg. It’s a great way to start your day and also makes a delicious addition to a salad!

You’ll need a medium size pot, some vinegar, farm fresh eggs, and a slotted spoon.

The Egg

Unlike the perfectly cooked hard boiled egg, which works best with older eggs, creating the perfectly cooked poached egg requires the freshest eggs you can get. One way to tell if your eggs are fresh is to crack it on a plate. If the egg whites sit snuggly up against the yolk, your eggs are fresh enough for this technique. If the whites run all over the plate loosely, not clinging to the yolk, use these for another purpose. We’ll show you what this looks like in the video.

The Water Temperature vs Texture

Water temperature plays a large roll in creating the perfect texture. As discussed in the TV Tuesday episode on creating the perfectly cooked hard boiled egg, the water should NOT be at a rolling boil. This creates a tough, chewy and unpalatable egg.

This is especially crucial in a poached egg since there is no shell to protect the delicate egg whites. The perfect temperature should be slightly less then a gentle simmer. We’ll show you what this looks like so you don’t get a rubber bouncy ball for breakfast!

The Vinegar

You can make a poached egg without vinegar, but it makes the job a lot easier. Any type of vinegar works fine and the end flavor of the egg will depend on the type used. Don’t let the fact that you only have red wine vinegar in the house distract you from making poached eggs, any vinegar will work just fine. Vinegar helps the egg whites coagulate and makes poached eggs almost fool proof. If you don’t like the taste of vinegar, have a second pot of hot, salted water set aside and give them a quick dunk/rinse with a slotted spoon after they’ve finished cooking in the vinegar water.


Bonus: Swirl The Water

This is my favorite trick that works especially well even if your eggs are not as fresh as they should be. If you swirl the water with a spoon before putting the egg in, it will create a water funnel and twirl the egg. This keeps the egg whites in a small compact shape. However, this trick only works if you’re only cooking one egg at a time. If cooking several eggs at once make sure you’re using a large enough pot to allow the eggs to have enough space between them so they don’t stick together.  Each egg should have a few inches of space around them.

Photo courtesy of Flickr.

I’m sharing this with Monday Mania, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, A Little Birdie Told Me, Fat Tuesday, This Chick Cooks, Cast Party Wednesday, Allergy Free Wednesday, The Tasty Alternative, What’s Cooking Wednesday, Real Food Wednesday, Simple Lives Thursday, Full Plate Thursday, Friday Food Flicks, Freaky Friday, Fight Back Friday, and Foodie Friday.

12 Responses to TV Tuesday # 11: How To Make The Perfect Poached Egg

  1. Joanne May 29, 2012 at 11:05 am #

    Breakfast out actually almost never satisfies me…I’d much rather cook it myself! I still haven’t mastered poached eggs though…need to try your technique!

    • beyondthepeel May 30, 2012 at 12:22 am #

      Funny how that is. I’m always disappointed. Why I continue to try and go out for breakfast is beyond me. I guess I’m eternally hopeful.

  2. inspirededibles May 29, 2012 at 1:05 pm #

    Great video as always France (you are, quite simply, a natural!).
    Poached eggs always remind me of the health renaissance of the 70s, when my parents took their first stab at leading a health conscious life :).  What a gorgeous photo too!  Perfect cuisson my dear…

    • beyondthepeel May 30, 2012 at 12:21 am #

      THat’s funny…I remember that too from from parents. Ok, my mom, my dad still prefered them fried in butter.

  3. the Blah Blah Blahger May 29, 2012 at 6:54 pm #

    I LOVE a good poached egg…but I also ask for mine poached hard. : )

    Found you at Tasty Tuesday…hi!

    • beyondthepeel May 30, 2012 at 12:19 am #

      Hi JJ, SO does my husband. He hates a runny yolk. Nice part about that is if I ever over cook my eggs I always have an eager recipient. :)

  4. Layale May 29, 2012 at 11:30 pm #

    You can also use lemon juice in the water instead of vinegar–which if you’re serving Hollandaise sauce with your eggs would actually complement the flavor since Hollandaise also uses lemon juice. Just an FYI.

    • beyondthepeel May 30, 2012 at 12:17 am #

      Hi Layale, Absolutely lemon juice is an option. Really any edible acidic solution works. Thank you for mentioning it.

  5. Jen June 1, 2012 at 4:29 pm #

    Great tips.  That is a huge peeve of mine to have loose egg whites with a poached egg.  I have often made mine without vinegar. But I may try it you way and see how it comes out!

    • beyondthepeel June 1, 2012 at 5:30 pm #

      The vinegar does make all the difference. Let me know how it works out for you.

  6. Miz Helen June 2, 2012 at 5:40 pm #

    Great presentation!!  Hope you are having a great week end and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen


  1. Sunday Snippets: June 3, 2012 - June 3, 2012

    […] How To Make The Perfect Poached Egg from Beyond the Peel. She has some very good tips! […]

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