Perfectly poached egg

Perfectly Poached Eggs

A perfectly cooked poached egg is a hard thing to beat. Jamie’s recipe will help you create a silky-smooth poached egg in no time. Served on hot toast with a crack of black pepper, it’s the purest, most natural breakfast going. It can be a little tricky to get right, so Jamie has some fail-safe rules to help you making perfect – see tips at the end of this guide:
search Breakfast and brunch, Egg Basics
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 3 minutes
Total Time 8 minutes
Author Jamie Oliver


  • Large free range or organic eggs


  • Fill a wide casserole-type pan with boiling water from the kettle.
  • Bring to a light simmer over a medium heat and season with a pinch of sea salt.
  • Crack a large free-range or organic egg into a cup.
  • Gently pour the egg into the simmering water in one fluid movement.
  • You’ll see your egg begin to cook immediately – don’t worry if the edges look a little scruffy. A really soft poached egg should take around 2 minutes and a soft-to-firm one will need 4 minutes (it depends on the size of the egg and whether you’re using it straight from the fridge).
  • To check if it’s done, carefully remove your egg from the pan with a slotted spoon and give it a gentle prod with a teaspoon. If it feels too soft (use your instincts), put it back in the pan and give it a minute or so more to firm up.
  • When your egg is ready, remove it with the slotted spoon and place it on some kitchen paper to dry off.
  • Serve with hot toast and a sprinkling of sea salt and black pepper.


TIPS: Before you start, make sure you buy the freshest eggs possible. You can tell whether an egg is fresh by cracking it on to a saucer. If the yolk stands up and the white isn’t watery, it’s fresh as a daisy. It’s also important you bring the water to a gentle simmer, but not boiling – if the water’s too lively, your eggs won’t cook properly.