This Viral TikTok Explains How to Perfectly Poach an Egg

Updated: Nov. 15, 2023

One of the trickiest kitchen tasks just got a whole lot easier.

Many home cooks—no matter how experienced—struggle to cook eggs. They are notoriously finicky and delicate, leading cooks to create dozens of hacks to ease the process. In addition to our favorite four tricks to cook better eggs, we’re loving the instructions for poaching eggs from TikTok food influencer Cáoileánn Conway (@caoileannconway). Watch her video below and learn for yourself how to make a perfect poached egg every time.

@caoileannconwayi heard you wanted to learn how to poach eggs to perfection♬ original sound – Cáoileánn Conway

How to perfectly poach an egg

Poached Egg on Toast on a wooden butcher block cutting boardTatiana_Didenko/Getty Images

Before you get started, be sure to check if your eggs are still good. Then, Conway stresses the importance of choosing the right pan: a small to medium sauté pan with straight walls. From there, she fills the pan halfway with boiling water. Then, she adds vinegar and salt to the water, explaining, “Trust me, you need these both.” She uses a few dashes of red wine vinegar and about a pinch of salt. Step three is to turn on medium-low heat beneath the pan and wait until the “white bubbles form on the bottom” of the pan. According to Conway, “that’s when it’s time to pop the egg in.”

To add the egg, Conway explains, “We’re literally just going to crack the egg into the pan.” She then bangs the egg on the side of the pan—when frying an egg, we prefer this method for cracking it—and pours the egg into the water. You can add a second egg if you have the space.

While the egg poaches, Conway starts “flicking some water over the top of the yolk” with her spatula to ensure even cooking. When the egg starts to harden, Conway checks its doneness by lifting the egg up with her spatula, then “giv[ing] it a jiggle.” In the video, Conway determines her egg isn’t ready because the whites around the yolk are still wobbly; she puts it back in the boiling water for two more minutes and forty seconds. She gives the egg another gentle shake and determines it has the “perfect amount of jiggle,” since just the yolk moves.

Finally, she uses the spatula to gently transfer her eggs onto a plate and dabs around them with a paper towel to get the excess water off. She cuts into the eggs (now on toast with salt and pepper) and the yolk beautifully oozes out. She narrates: “perfect whites, perfect yolk. Told you: best eggs of your entire life. Enjoy!”

How to perfectly scramble and peel eggs

Now that you have learned how to perfect a poached egg, up your scrambled egg game with our favorite tricks. Use this secret ingredient to make the fluffiest scramble eggs ever, then use this scrambling method.

If you prefer hard-boiled eggs, use this trick to peel them every time perfectly. And regardless of how you like your eggs, always check to make sure they aren’t expired before you crack them open.