Perfect Poached Eggs

Cook's Illustrated


  • 1 teaspoon salt plus more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 8 large eggs each cracked into a small cup
  • ground black pepper


  1. Fill an 8-10 inch skillet nearly to rim with water, add 1 teaspoon salt and the vinegar and bring mixture to boil over high heat. (I filled to within about an inch of the top of pan)
  2. Working in two batches, cooking 4 eggs at a time, lower the lip of each cup into water at once, tip eggs into boiling water, cover and remove from heat. Poach until yolks are medium firm, exactly four minutes, or for extra large or jumbo eggs, about 4 1/2 minutes. For looser egg yolks, poach 3 minutes.
  3. With slotted spoon, carefully lift and drain each egg over skillet.Set on warmed plate or platter and cover with foil until ready to use. Keep in a warm place or in oven set to 275 degrees.
  4. Tips:

Recipe Notes

-If you are preparing the eggs first, cook the eggs for 3 instead of four minutes, properly poached eggs will still have a bit of a runny yolk. If you are keeping the eggs warm for later use, the egg will continue to cook a bit in the oven.
-The sauce in this recipe will be enough for 8 English muffin halves.