Sous Vide 101: The Perfectly Runny "Poached" Egg

Sous Vide 101: The Perfectly Runny "Poached" Egg

Posted by : Alex Mills   /  

Ahh, the perfectly runny, poached egg. The delicious topping of eggs benedict, avo-toast, or topped with some salt, pepper and spicy hot sauce. The sought-after prize of brunch goers everywhere.

But not so easy to make at home.

People everywhere struggle with making the perfect poached egg. Get the water swirling in just the right direction, at just the right temperature. Keep them from falling apart in the water. And vinegar? Why? I don't get it. And I don't have the patience to try 13 times before I get it right.

But with the ease of sous vide cooking, you can get that poached-style egg easily from home. With a perfectly medium center, and soft egg whites to match, never overdone. While technically not poached (you cook them inside the shell, which is more of a soft-boiled egg), it has the consistency and texture of the perfect poached egg, and works wonderfully any time a poached egg is called for.

Breakfast lovers, rejoice.

The Perfect Sous Vide Poached Egg


  • 2-4 fresh eggs - that's it!


Poached eggs come with preferences. Everyone likes theirs a little different. And a difference of a few degrees in the cooking temperature makes a pretty big difference in how sous vide eggs come out.

Understanding just a little bit about the make-up of an egg helps when using sous vide to cook eggs.

An egg is made up of three parts, the yolk, the tight white, and the loose white. When you cook sous vide, the yolk is actually the first to firm up, followed by the tight white, and then the loose white at much higher temps. The higher the temperature, the firmer each becomes, in the order listed above.

At 145° F, your yolk and both whites remain runny. At 147° F, the yolk firms up and the tight white becomes a bit firmer, with the loose white remaining runny. Then at 150° F, the yolk firms up and holds it's round shape, and the tight white is firmer still but the loose white remains fairly runny. At 155° F, you start to approach hard boiled stage, not ideal for a poached egg-style egg.

147° F is our personal favorite!

But enough of the science lesson... here's how to proceed!

Prepare your sous vide set up. Clamp your Gramercy Kitchen Co sous vide immersion circulator to the side of your vessel and fill with hot tap water.

Set your unit to cook at 147° F for 1.5 hours. Set your unit to run and begin heating the water.

Once the water bath reaches temperature, gently drop your eggs into the water bath in their shell, being careful not to crack the eggs. As the firming up of the egg happens over time, and not exactly when you bring the egg to temperature, 1.5 hours will yield the best results for the texture of your egg.

When the cook time has completed, remove the egg from the water bath using a slotted spoon and set aside in a bowl to cool for 5-10 minutes.

Once the eggs are cool to the touch, pick each up with a slotted spoon. Over a bowl gently crack the egg using the dull edge of a knife while holding the egg in the slotted spoon. Carefully remove the pieces of egg shell, creating a hole about 1/3 the size of the egg.

Then, pick up the egg, hole side down over the slotted spoon. The weight of the egg will draw the whole egg out of the hole. Carefully moving the egg around the slotted spoon, let the loose white portion of the egg slide through the slots and into the bowl, leaving just the firmer portion of the egg white.

Once the egg is removed from its shell and the loose whites have been strained out, you can place your poached egg on anything... eggs benedict, on top of a breakfast skillet, or in a little bowl to eat plain. The options are endless!

And if you set the eggs to cook as soon as you wake up, you can take the rest of the time to get your coffee all ready and prepare the other aspects of your meal. Perfect for a lazy Saturday brunch. Spend your morning in your PJs, curled up in your living room enjoying a book or those you love instead of running out the door to spend too much at that trendy brunch spot.

And your meal will be just as good as what the chef would've made.

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