How to Poach an Egg Without a Poacher

Perfectly poached eggs are a delicious way to start any day. The keys to preparing great poached eggs are to not undercook them and to keep the water just below a boil. Poaching eggs takes just a few minutes, and the reward is a protein-packed meal.

How to Poach an Egg Without a Poacher
(Michelle Black/Demand Media)

Things You'll Need

  • Saucepan
  • Salt
  • Egg
  • Coffee cup
  • Timer
  • Slotted spoon

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Step 1

Pour about 4 inches of water into a small saucepan. Add a pinch of salt and bring it to a boil over medium-high heat. Turn down the heat slightly to reduce the boil to a simmer.

Michelle Black/Demand Media
Step 2

Crack an egg into a coffee cup or other small container, being careful to keep the yolk intact.

Michelle Black/Demand Media
Step 3

Lower the cup as close as possible to the simmering water. Slowly tip the egg into the pot. Boil the egg for 2 to 4 minutes, timing it with a timer. Boiling for 2 minutes will result in an extremely soft egg; boiling for 4 minutes will result in a hard-cooked egg.

Michelle Black/Demand Media
Step 4

Fish the egg out of the water with a slotted spoon. Shake the spoon gently for several minutes to allow water to drip off the egg. Check the thickest part of the white for doneness; if it isn't slimy or undercooked, serve immediately.

Michelle Black/Demand Media

Tips & Warnings

  • If the egg is still too wet after draining, pat it dry with some paper towels before serving.
  • To help the egg whites congeal faster, add one or two teaspoons of vinegar to the water.
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