How to Poach an Egg in a Saucepan

Eggs can be cooked and served in a variety of methods. Poached eggs, often referred to as "sunny side up," are usually serviced with toast. Poached eggs contain no additional fat, making them a very healthy choice for breakfast. Poaching an egg properly will prevent the yolk from breaking, and it will save you from cleaning up a mess in your saucepan.

Heat 3 inches of water in a large saucepan until it boils. Reduce the heat to simmer the water.

Break open one cold egg at a time. Hold a custard cup over the water. Pour the egg from its shell through the custard cup into the water.

Cook the eggs in the water until the whites set and the yolk thickens. This will take around three to five minutes.

Remove the eggs from the water with a slotted spoon. Hold the egg over the saucepan to drain any excess water.

Place the eggs on a plate. Cut off the rough edges and serve immediately.


Always use fresh eggs for poaching because they will hold their shape.


Do not stir the water while you poach the eggs. Do not poach eggs and then store them in the refrigerator. They need served immediately.

Things You'll Need

  • Water
  • Saucepan
  • Custard cup
  • Slotted spoon
  • Plate
  • Knife
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About the Author

Angela LaFollette holds a Bachelor of Arts in advertising with a minor in political science from Marshall University. LaFollette found her passion for writing during an internship as a reporter for "The West Virginia Standard" in 2007. She has more than six years of writing experience and specializes in topics in garden and pets.