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Chef John's Poached Eggs

Chef John's Poached Eggs

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Chef John

Here's a new and improved version of our poached egg method. Nothing too complicated here; we pretty much poach eggs like everybody else, except we've got a little step in the middle that makes it easier if you're doing this for a larger group.

Ingredients {{adjustedServings}} servings

Serving size has been adjusted!

Original recipe yields 2 servings



Amount per serving ({{servings}} total)

  • Calories:
  • 72 kcal
  • 4%
  • Fat:
  • 5 g
  • 8%
  • Carbs:
  • 0.6g
  • < 1%
  • Protein:
  • 6.3 g
  • 13%
  • Cholesterol:
  • 212 mg
  • 70%
  • Sodium:
  • 652 mg
  • 26%

Based on a 2,000 calorie diet


  1. Fill a bowl with ice water.
  2. Fill a saucepan with cold water and place over medium heat; stir in vinegar and salt. Bring to a gentle, slow simmer and reduce heat to low.
  3. Break each egg into a separate small ramekin; place a ramekin close to the surface of the water and gently pour egg into the simmering water. Let egg white set for a minute or two and use a silicone spatula to gently lift egg from the bottom of the pan to prevent sticking. Cook until white is firm and yolk is runny, about 6 minutes.
  4. Lift poached egg from water using a slotted spoon and transfer gently to bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. Reheat eggs for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes in very gently simmering water and remove with a slotted spoon. Tap bottom of slotted spoon containing egg on a dry paper towel to remove any excess water before serving.
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Baking Nana

I love poached eggs, firm white and runny yolk. The grandkids call them 'Dip Eggs' because they like to dip toast into the runny yolk. I am giving these 4 stars instead of 5 because the cooking time of 6 minutes is too long, especially if you are going to be re-heating these, as suggested for poached eggs for a crowd. 3 - 4 minutes is usually perfect. The picture I added to this recipe shows the egg poached for 5 minutes and served immediately, not re-heated, most of the yolk is fully cooked. If you use a slotted spoon and gently lift the egg up and give it a little jiggle you will be able to see if the white is fully set while the yolk will still jiggle. Another tip - if you stir the water in a circular motion and drop the egg into the vortex (center) of the swirling water, the white of the egg will wrap around the yolk and make a pretty little package. You don't have to use champagne vinegar, any vinegar will do and if you don't have vinegar - that is OK too. Really fresh eggs are best for poaching so if you are doing poached eggs for a crowd it pays to plan to get very fresh eggs.


This was my first time making poached eggs, so I followed the recipe and 6 minutes is way too long. The eggs were not runny at all. I was very disappointed.


Great tips especially how to do more than two for a crowd. I always wondered how restaurants did it. Either that or they have a pro doing hundreds of poached eggs for Sunday brunch. Now we know the secret. I love that Chef John isn't too fussy and will show what happens if you don't use the freshest eggs. And keep an eye on the eggs, 5-6 minutes is the max, it's like cooking bacon, it doesn't take more than a few seconds to overcook.