To poach an egg, you’ll first need to fill a large saucepan with water, until it reaches three inches from the top. Splash a little bit of white vinegar in the pot; this step will help the egg whites solidify more uniformly, enveloping the runny yolk inside.
Bring that pot of water to a boil.
While you are waiting for the water to boil, it’s time to procure an egg. Large-sized (instead of medium or jumbo), fresh eggs result in more springy and appealing poached eggs. You’re going to take that egg and crack it into a small bowl or a measuring cup.
Once the water is at a boil, turn it down to a simmer on medium-low heat, around the number “four” if you were using a numbered dial. When the water has calmed down a bit, slowly submerge the bowl or cup containing the egg into the water and dump the contents out. It’s important that the water be relatively calm when you add the egg(s), producing only small bubbles; otherwise, you’ll get a pock-marked hardboiled egg instead of a velvety poached one.
You can do any number of eggs at one time, as long as they’re not on top of one another. The pot is never pretty while you poach eggs, and that is why you won’t see an image of it here. The water will get bubbly, foamy, and slightly cloudy sometimes. This is fine, you’re doing it right!
After four minutes (more or less, depending on how runny you want your yolk), remove the egg with a slotted spoon. Blot it with a paper towel to remove excess moisture, and serve immediately.
Eggs are inexpensive to experiment with, so test this technique a few times to determine how runny you’d like your yolk and if the texture of the egg whites is to your preference. Once you master it, you’ll want to plop one on top of everything: ramen, salads, grain bowls, oatmeal… and if you want to unbearably successful at brunch, try smoked salmon eggs benedict sometime!