How to poach an egg

Updated April 17, 2017

Poaching is a healthier way of cooking eggs than frying, as water is used to cook the egg. There is no need for oil or fat in the cooking process, making poached eggs a healthy snack when enjoyed as part of a balanced diet. Poached eggs also create less mess in the kitchen than scrambling or frying.

Fill and boil a kettle of water.

Pour the boiling water into your saucepan, until it is 2.5cm/1 inch deep.

Turn on the hob to a medium setting. Place the saucepan over a gentle heat and wait until the water starts to boil. You will notice small bubbles begin to rise from the bottom when it is ready.

Break the egg straight into the water with care and allow to simmer for one minute.

Remove the pan from the heat and allow the egg to sit in the water for a further 10 minutes.

Remove the egg from the pan with a spoon and rest it on some kitchen paper for a few seconds. This will absorb the last of the water, and the egg is now ready for serving.


For best results use fresh eggs that are less than four days old but not “just laid” eggs. According to The Perfect Poached Egg: “Eggs for poaching should be perfectly fresh but not quite new-laid; those that are about 36 hours old are the best for the purpose” (

Things You'll Need

  • 1 fresh egg
  • Saucepan
  • Kitchen paper
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