How to poach an egg

Written by timbrookes
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How to poach an egg
Poached eggs make a healthy breakfast or lunch and require very little time to cook. (Poached Egg Pesto 3 image by Brett Mulcahy from

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.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • 1 fresh egg
  • Saucepan
  • Kitchen paper

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  1. 1

    Fill and boil a kettle of water.

  2. 2

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

  3. 3

    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.

  4. 4

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

  5. 5

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

  6. 6

    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.

Tips and warnings

  • 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" (

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