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How to Poach an Egg

Good news for egg lovers: You don't need a drop of oil or butter for this preparation, which makes poaching one of the healthiest ways to put a protein powerhouse on your plate.


  • Step 1: Add water and boil Fill the skillet three-quarters full with water. Add the vinegar to the water and bring it to a boil.
  • TIP: The vinegar doesn't impart flavor to your eggs but it does keep the whites from spreading. Don't use red wine vinegar, however, because it might turn your egg whites pinkish.
  • Step 2: Reduce heat to low Reduce the heat to low so that the water is just at a simmer.
  • Step 3: Slip egg into water Break an egg into a small bowl and then slip the egg into the simmering water.
  • TIP: When poaching, use very fresh eggs—the whites will hold better to the yolk.
  • Step 4: Allow egg to simmer Allow the egg to simmer in the water for 3 to 4 minutes, depending on how firm you like your yolk.
  • Step 5: Lift egg out Turn off the heat and use the slotted spoon to gently lift the egg out of the water.
  • Step 6: Place spoon on towel Place the spoon—with the egg in it—on a folded kitchen towel.
  • TIP: By using the towel, you'll be able to absorb any excess water and avoid a soupy breakfast.
  • Step 7: Eat When drained, place your perfectly poached egg in a bowl or on a piece of toast—and maybe on your list of favorite breakfasts, too.
  • FACT: You can make poached eggs a day in advance—just refrigerate them after poaching and, when you're ready, reheat them by placing them in simmering water for one minute.

You Will Need

  • Water
  • A 3-quart skillet
  • 1.0 tbsp white or cider vinegar
  • A stove top
  • An egg
  • A small bowl
  • A slotted spoon
  • A kitchen towel

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