Perfectly cooked poached eggs are a hard thing to beat. Served on hot toast with a crack of black pepper, it’s the best breakfast going. But while it can be a little tricky to get right, just a couple of fail-safe rules will get you making perfect, super-silky eggs in no time at all.
For an unbeatable breakfast or brunch, here’s how to poach an egg to perfection. There are endless ways you can serve them up; on grilled asparagus with shavings of Parmesan cheese and fresh mint sprinkled on top, kept it simple on a buttery, toasted muffin, or to make a classic eggs Benedict. To get that oh-so-satisfying oozy yolk, just follow the steps below to cook a poached egg at home.
HOW TO POACH AN EGG
- Fill a wide casserole-type pan with boiling water from the kettle.
- Bring to a light simmer over a medium heat and season with a pinch of sea salt.
- Crack a large free-range or organic egg into a cup.
- Gently pour the egg into the simmering water in one fluid movement.
- You’ll see your egg begin to cook immediately – don’t worry if the edges look a little scruffy. A really soft poached egg should take around 2 minutes and a soft-to-firm one will need 4 minutes (it depends on the size of the egg and whether you’re using it straight from the fridge).
- To check if it’s done, carefully remove your egg from the pan with a slotted spoon and give it a gentle prod with a teaspoon. If it feels too soft (use your instincts), put it back in the pan and give it a minute or so more to firm up.
- When your egg is ready, remove it with the slotted spoon and place it on some kitchen paper to dry off.
- Serve with hot toast and a sprinkling of sea salt and black pepper.
Follow these steps and you’ll get spot-on poached eggs, every time. For more egg poaching tips and tricks, including how to get the perfect round shape, watch Jamie in action:
For more information on free-range eggs and welfare standards, check out the British Hen Welfare Trust.
Adapted from Jamie’s Ministry of Food.