eggs benedict

How to make perfect poached eggs | Eggs Benedict


Have you ever tried to make perfect poached eggs? They are made by placing the eggs without the shell into hot water for 4-5 minutes. A poached egg has a firm, yet not too firm and still satisfying, egg white and creamy yolk inside that works perfectly as an amazing sauce.

Poached eggs are most famous because of the Eggs Benedict dish. It has a perfectly toasted bun with butter, some bacon, chicken, or salmon on top, and a poached egg with spectacular Hollandaise sauce

I’m sure you’ve seen a lot of pictures of it and noticed how fancy it looks. I assume because of that look, people are often scared to make this dish. It seems too fragile to make.

However, they are wrong.

IT IS SIMPLE. You just have to know a few facts and let them guide you.

perfect poached eggs

Our goal is to make perfect poached eggs with firm egg whites, yet not overcooked, and creamy egg yolks. And they have to keep their oval form and be delicious.

When you learn how to make poached eggs, you’ll find the awesome Eggs Benedict recipe with measurements on the page down below. 

You’ll also need a Hollandaise sauce for this recipe. Please, read expanded explanations here.

What do you need to make perfect poached eggs?

  • a deep pot
  • eggs
  • 1 L water : 8g vinegar : 15g salt
  • a clean perforated spoon

How to make perfect poached eggs

I have practiced making perfect poached eggs a lot and tried recipes from 5 different books and many websites

Some of them worked, and some did not, but I finally found WHAT works for me, and after lots of practice and reading, I did understand WHY.

These directions are based on food science. Therefore, I really believe you will succeed.

Here’s how to make perfect poached eggs (and don’t forget to get the full Eggs Benedict recipe with measurements on the page down below):

  1. Take the eggs from the fridge & out from the shell, and place them in individual ramekins. This way, it will be easier to slide them in a liquid, and all the egg white will stay in one place.
  2. In a pot, pour water, add salt and vinegar accordingly to proportion. Bring it to an 85°C or almost simmering if you don’t have a thermometer. The correct temperature is a must because eggs are very delicate and react differently to different temperatures.
  3. While keeping the temperature not higher than 90°C, (swirl a vortex if you’re poaching 1-2 eggs at a time) one by one, carefully slide the eggs into the liquid. Cook 4-5 minutes. Take care of the temperature all the time. Boiling water bubbles make turbulence that breaks thin albumen apart.
  4. With a clean perforated spoon, take the perfect poached eggs out from the water, drain a little, and blot the surface dry with a clean paper towel.
  5. (Recommendation) To pasteurize the eggs without hardening the creamy egg yolk, hold eggs in water for 30 minutes at 60°C.
poached eggs

FRESH eggs are the key to make perfect poached eggs

How many times you tried to make perfect poached eggs and failed?

I, personally, failed a lot.

But I found out the cause.

90% of your success is caused by EGG FRESHNESS.

If the egg is not fresh, you’ll see a lot of white threads in the water. Also, the egg yolk may be poaching there alone without egg whites.


Let’s look at the eggs’ structure.

Fresh eggs have a strong membrane surrounding egg yolk (membrane holds it together), thick egg white (that is what we need), and thin egg white (it causes threads in the water).

Thin egg white is watery and cannot hold its shape, which causes a mess in a pot. The older the egg gets, the more water is diluted from thick egg white to thin egg white.

I don’t say that it’s impossible to make a poached egg from older eggs, but it’s harder to achieve because of too much thinner white.

How to tell if the egg is fresh?

Simply pour water in a pot or taller cup and put the egg. If the egg is floating on the top, it’s not fresh. If it stays on the bottom, it’s fresh and good to go!

No turbulence & heat importance

On the whole, eggs are very delicate. Therefore, you have to treat them very carefully.

When making perfect poached eggs, do not boil the water and do not poach the eggs in boiling water.

It makes turbulence that egg white cannot really stand. You will notice that the shape is not oval anymore, and many egg white parts are no longer part of the poached egg. 

Consequently, you may have a poached egg, but it’s definitely not perfect anymore.

High temperature like 93-99°C is also damaging because you can very simply overcook the eggs.

So, pay attention to the temperature. If you practice enough, you’ll start feeling, noticing, and hearing when the water comes to simmering or boiling point. Avoid that if you want perfect poached eggs.

Salt & vinegar connection

I’ve read 5 books about poached eggs, and all of them have different opinions on whether you should use salt and vinegar or not. I recommend trying your own ways.

Experiment a little to see what works for you, but I use them both, and it works perfectly.

perfect easy eggs benedict

Here are the reasons why.

1. Vinegar & salt disturb the egg’s structure, and the egg white solidifies quicker. Therefore, there will be fewer egg white threads in a pot.

2. In one book, an author wrote that it is a method used in restaurants. When cooked using salt & vinegar, the egg rises to the surface.

The reason is that vinegar reacts with bicarbonate in the egg whites and create carbon dioxide which is trapped in coagulated proteins. As a result, it reduces density in the egg white.

Salt increases the water’s density, and consequently, after 3-4 minutes, perfectly poached eggs float on the surface.

This method perfectly worked for me at home, and I advise you to try it as well if you’re still worried when is that time when ‘egg white has set but before egg yolk does.’

Meda’s pro tips

  • Strain the egg. In this way, you’ll remove the thin egg white and succeed in making perfectly shaped poached egg with no mess in a pot.
  • Swirl a vortex and then slide the eggs. You will help the egg white wind around the egg yolk and keep the shape. But do that only if you’re poaching 1-2 eggs.
  • To pasteurize the eggs without hardening the creamy egg yolk, hold eggs in water for 30 minutes at 60°C.
eggs benedict

Eggs Benedict with ham and rocket recipe

Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Uncategorized
Servings 4 servings
Calories 300 kcal


  • 2 Brioche buns, cut in half
  • Butter, enough to spread on the toast
  • Ham
  • Rocket

For Hollandaise sauce:

  • 3 Egg yolks
  • 200g Butter
  • 10ml Ice-cold water (if needed)
  • Lemon, salt, and pepper to taste

For perfectly poached eggs:

  • 4 Eggs
  • 1.5L Water
  • 12g Vinegar
  • 20g Salt


  • Preheat the oven to 200°C. Cut Brioche buns in half, spread the butter. Slice the ham and leave it aside, wash the rocket. For the poached eggs, in a deep pot, pour the water, add salt and vinegar, and start heating it while you’ll be making the sauce. Take the eggs for poaching from the fridge & out from the shell, and place them in individual ramekins.
  • Please, read expanded explanations . (melt the butter and discard milk solids).
  • Separate egg whites from yolks and put them in a pot, where you will make the sauce. Turn the heat on, put the pot on the stove, and whisk the egg yolks vigorously until creamy stage. 
  • Do not add hot butter (I mean higher than 65°C). It will make yolk proteins coagulate. Add it little by little. If you add too much butter at once, the whole mix will separate. 
  • And you’re done! Now it’s time to make perfectly poached eggs.
  • Bring the water to an or almost simmering if you don’t have a thermometer.
  • I also recommend sprinkling some fresh chopped herbs like parsley, chives, and freshly ground pepper.


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I am very happy that you are here! I am passionate about cooking. I hope you too cause I believe food brings us joy and smiles to our faces.

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