Poached eggs are cooked in water without with oil or fat. The egg is cracked into a small bowl, and then gently slid into a pan of simmering water and cooked until the egg white has solidified, but the yolk is soft. The perfect poached egg has a runny yolk, with a hardening crust and no raw white.
Fresh eggs yield the best results. When broken into simmering water, the white will stay clinging around the yolk, and the egg results in cooked albumen and runny yolk.
To prevent dispersion of the white of the egg, a small amount of vinegar and salt may be added to the boiling water. Stirring the water vigorously to create a vortex may reduce dispersion. Special pans, with several small cups, allow a number of eggs to be poached at the same time.
If the eggs are at room temperature, the cooking time is two and half minutes to two minutes 40 seconds. If the eggs are taken from a refrigerator, then a longer time of about three minutes is required.