The Perfect Poached Egg

Poached eggs can be intimidating. You often see them at fancy cafes, served on top of avocado toasts with like 10 other toppings and paired with $8 coffees. But for less than $1 per egg, you can make a perfect poached egg at home!

The science behind egg poaching: Eggs “cook” via the denaturation of the protein ovalbumin, which is visualized when the egg whites change from clear to white. For egg poaching, you want to cook the egg white before the egg white disperses in the water and before the yolk starts to cook. Boiling water and vinegar, aka acetic acid (CH3COOH), combine heat and acidity to denature the protein as fast as possible.

You will need:

  • 1 fresh egg
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • Water
  • Small bowl or ramekin
  • Pot for boiling


1. Fill the pot to about 2-3 inches of water – just enough so the egg is suspended in the water.
2. Add vinegar to your pot.
3. Bring the water to a low boil
4. While the water is heating up, crack the egg into the small bowl/ramekin. This bowl will help you safely transfer the egg into the water.
5. With a large spoon, swirl the boiling liquid in the pot so that there is a “whirlpool” in the center.
6. Dip the bowl slightly in the water and gently slide the egg into the center of the whirlpool as shown in the following video.

6. Cook for 2-3 minutes to preferred doneness. Don’t forget that eggs will cook a little longer even after you remove it from the pot.
7. Let it cool to room temp and enjoy!

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