Aarie de Jong – Methods to Nail The Perfect Poached Egg

Something which a great many people find difficult is how to make the perfect poached egg, and there are so many gadgets and videos guides on how people have managed to nail down a technique. Some of these methods work well, others don’t, and today we are going to take a look into exactly how you can cook a poached egg so that it is soft enough to slip down your throat yet firm enough to serve with pride. TV chef Aarie de Jong was the person who helped me with my technique, in a video which he uploaded last year. Taking his approach and some other ideas, here is how to get that poached egg right every time.


To prepare your poached egg you will need a saucepan with cold water, a cup with your egg cracked into it, a small bowl filled with ice and water, and a slotted spoon with which to remove the egg when it is done. The first step is to boil the water, ready to get our egg cooking.

Egg In

Once the water has started a rolling boil, we need to add a small amount of white vinegar, this will help greatly in binding the egg together so that it all stays in one place, rather than the yolk and the egg separating and forming a mess. Wait for the water to boil again, and then take the slotted spoon and gently swirl the water so that it runs around the saucepan in a circle. Next take the egg and pour it into the center of the swirl, remove the pan from the heat and place the lid on.

Waiting and Prepping

The egg will take around 6 minutes to cook from this point which gives you time to prepare the rest of your breakfast, or whichever meal you are making. It is important during this time that you avoid touching or moving the egg, or putting the heat back on. If the egg for any reason has gone wrong, then the best course of action is to start again from zero, rather than trying to salvage it.

Egg Out

Once the 6 minute mark is up, you should have a soft and supple egg in the water, which is firm enough to remove. What we will do here is to take the egg out and put it straight in the ice bath. What the ice bath does here is to stop the runny yolk from continuing to cook inside, and it will also help to really form up the outside. The ice essentially shocks the edge of the egg, and that is how you can get a really firm white and keep that runny center. Serve your egg and voila, the perfect poached egg for your dish.

There are some other methods which can work such as poaching in cling film, but this is the way to get them right every single time.

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