Skillet Poached Eggs

Skillet Poached Eggs

There’s a little trick here that makes poaching eggs easy and prevents them from spreading into flat, floppy disks: rolling the eggs in the boiling water in their shells before cracking them into the pan. This technique helps them maintain their shape when they’re cracked into the boiling water. Because the whites don’t spread, six eggs can fit in a skillet comfortably without running into one another, and you can serve a crowd with little effort. You can use this move to poach fewer eggs, too, of course. No matter how many you cook, you’ll end up with silky eggs for toast, a breakfast sandwich or as an accompaniment to bacon, sausage, waffles or pancakes.
  • Total:
  • Serves: 2 persons



  1. Step 1

    Fill a large skillet, ideally one with straight, tall sides, with water to a depth of 1 1/2 inches. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Using a slotted spoon, carefully place the whole, uncracked eggs in the water and roll them around for 15 to 20 seconds, so they’re evenly warm. Take them out of the skillet. Add the vinegar to the boiling water.
  2. Step 2

    Crack the eggs into the boiling water one at a time, spacing them apart (if they're too hot to the touch, wait a few seconds until they feel OK to handle). Adjust the heat to keep the water steadily and lightly boiling. Let the eggs poach until the whites are opaque and firm, and the yolks are set to your desired doneness, 3 to 6 minutes. Gently nudge the yolk with the spoon to check for doneness: Very runny yolks will wobble like a water balloon; standard runny yolks will feel soft but set; firm yolks will feel solid.
  3. Step 3

    Transfer to paper towels with the slotted spoon and gently pat dry. Butter toast and layer with ham and cheese, if using. Place poached eggs on top, season with salt and pepper, and top with another pat of butter, if you like.