‘Easy’ two-minute method to make ‘perfect’ poached eggs – ‘don’t need vinegar’

James Martin shares tips for poached eggs

Eggs are delicious and packed full of essential nutrients, making them a fantastic addition to any meal. 

Poached eggs – along with boiled eggs – lose the least amount of nutrients during the cooking process. 

However, many often struggle to get a poached egg just right. The whites should just be firm enough on the outside to contain an oozy, golden yolk in a round little egg package.

While many are told that they need to add vinegar or swirl the water to make the best poached eggs, cooking experts at Waitrose disagree with this.

Instead, they have shared an “easy” step-by-step guide on how to poach eggs to make sure they come pit “perfectly” without vinegar or stirring the water.

READ MORE: ‘Easy’ recipe to cook the ‘perfect omelette’ in ‘less than 10 minutes’

They said: “Poaching eggs is the ultimate low-calorie method and not as fussy as you may think. 

“There’s no need for an egg poaching pan, vinegar or even whisking up a fancy whirlpool of simmering water like you might see some chefs do.”

Instead, for this method only an egg and some water are needed to get “perfect” results.


1. The first step is to pour boiling water from the kettle into a shallow pan or frying pan, to a depth of about 3cm. Bring back to the boil then reduce to a simmer.

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Some would suggest salting the water, however, this results in the egg forming white wispy pieces in the water.

Salt increases the density of the water which makes more of the egg white float out. In other words, it creates a not-so-pretty poached egg.

2. The second step is to crack each egg into a cup, and then gently tip it into the water. It’s easier to slide the egg into the pan from a cup or bowl than it is to crack it straight into the water. Cook no more than two or three eggs at a time.

3. The next step is to just leave the egg to simmer for “two minutes”, and this will result in a “soft” poached egg. For those who prefer a “hard” poached egg, they should leave it for an extra minute.

4. The final step is to just carefully remove the poached egg with a slotted spoon and serve immediately.

For those looking to poach a bath of eggs, they just need to place them in an ice water bath after cooking and store them in the fridge for up to two days.

When you’d like to eat them, just add some hot water to a small bowl or cup and add the poached egg until it’s warmed up – usually about 20 to 30 seconds.

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