As we tested our way through various egg poaching methods we found that the most consistent method was the most simple: gently add eggs to the simmering water. Though some cooks are adamantly against adding vinegar to the water, science shows it does help the egg white to coagulate quicker (and our tests confirmed this). Cracking the eggs into smaller bowls kept the whites and yolks in a more cohesive package, and submerging the lip of those bowls delivered them in a gentler way, helping to ensure intact yolks. The following technique will help you to become the brunch cook who delivers perfectly cooked eggs in your fast-paced home.
Break 4 eggs into 4 individual small bowls. Fill a large, straight-sided skillet or Dutch oven with 2 inches of water; bring to a boil. Add 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar. Reduce to a gentle simmer: the water should be steaming and small bubbles should come up from the bottom of the pan.
Submerging the lip of each bowl into the simmering water, gently add the eggs, one at a time.
Cook for 4 minutes for soft set, 5 minutes for medium set and 8 minutes for hard set. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the eggs to a clean dish towel to drain for a moment before serving.