How to poach the perfect egg

We show you the trick.

  • 5 mins preparation
  • 5 mins cooking
  • Serves 4
  • Print
Learning how to poach an egg can be tricky, but once you master this simple recipe you'll be making eggs benedict like a pro.
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Simple poached eggs
  • 2 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 4 fresh free-range eggs


Simple poached eggs
  • 1
    Half-fill a large shallow saucepan or frying pan with water; add vinegar. Bring to the boil. Break 1 egg into a small bowl or cup.
  • 2
    Using a whisk, swirl the boiling water with a whisk to create a whirlpool, then slide the egg carefully into the pan. Repeat with remaining eggs.
  • 3
    When all the eggs are in the pan, allow the water to return to the boil. Cover the pan, then turn off the heat; stand for 4 minutes or until a light film of egg white sets over the yolks.
  • 4
    Using a slotted spoon, carefully remove the eggs, one at a time, onto a plate lined with paper towel to drain; cover to keep them warm. Trim the whites of any ragged edges with scissors.


Use free-range, very fresh, eggs as they will keep their shape better in the water. To test for freshness, place eggs in a bowl of water – a fresh egg will lie on the bottom, while a stale egg with float, big end up. Putting the eggs into the whirlpool will help to keep the whites in a neat shape.

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