Foolproof Poached Eggs

The Food Lab

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Watch the Food Lab Video Series Foolproof Poached Eggs
  • Yield:Makes 4 poached eggs
  • Active time:10 minutes
  • Total time:10 minutes
  • Rated: 3.5
This recipe appears in:
The Food Lab: How to Poach Eggs for a Party Video: How to Poach Eggs, the Foolproof Method (Really!)

[Photographs: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

A 100% foolproof method for perfectly poached eggs with tight, clean whites and golden, liquid yolk, perfect for breakfast, brunch, or topping salads. Check out the video for more details.

Why this recipe works:

  • Straining eggs in a fine mesh strainer removes excess whispy, loose whites, creating tight, perfectly-shaped eggs.
  • Poaching at a 180°F sub-simmer means fewer disturbances in the water, and cleaner, more tender cooking.


  • 4 eggs


  1. 1.

    Bring a medium pot of water to a simmer, then reduce heat until it is barely quivering. It should register 180 to 190°F on an instant-read thermometer. Carefully break 1 egg into a small bowl, then tip into a fine mesh strainer. Carefully swirl egg around strainer, using your finger to rub off any excess loose egg whites that drop through. Gently tip egg into water. Swirl gently with a wooden spoon for 10 seconds, just until egg begins to set. Repeat straining and tipping with remaining eggs. Cook, swirling occasionally, until egg whites are fully set but yolks are still soft, about 4 minutes.

  2. 2.

    Carefully lift eggs from pot with a slotted spoon. Serve immediately, or transfer to a bowl of cold water and refrigerate for up to 2 days. To serve, transfer to a bowl of hot water and let reheat for 2 minutes. Serve immediately.

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