Eggs are a low-cost convenience food that not only taste good – they’re packed with protein, vitamins and minerals.
Poaching an egg the traditional way can take a bit of practice. We’ve all spooned lonely yolks from a frothing pan of egg white soup at one point or another. Luckily there are a host of products around claiming to help you make a perfect poached egg every time, without you needing to turn to single-use cling film.
So, we tested some of the best egg poachers out there and compared the results to a ‘control egg’, poached to perfection by our food editor Barney Desmazery in a pan of lightly simmering water with a splash of white wine vinegar.
Discover our picks of the best egg poachers, plus check out our guide on how to make the perfect poached egg at home. For over 200 buyer’s guides, visit our product reviews section and find reviews of best smoothie blenders, best food processors, best slow cookers, best toasters and much more.
Best egg poachers
Oxo Good Grips egg poacher
Best performing egg poacher
Pros: egg funnel and poaching nest, flexible silicone
Cons: large pan needed to fit both in one
We were impressed with the innovative hourglass design and overall performance of the OXO Good Grips egg poachers, which sit on the base of a normal pan.
Made from heat-resistant silicone, its funnel guides the cracked egg through a central hole and into the water to prevent the yolk from breaking. Its second section contains the egg white whilst allowing water to flow evenly around the whole egg as it cooks. If you’re cooking two eggs, use a large deep pan as the poachers themselves are relatively big.
We recommend keeping the water temperature to a light simmer, as bubbles will likely move the poacher from the pan base and negate its ability to contain the egg white.
After 4½ minutes we lifted the poacher from the pan using a useful silicone tab which stays above the boiling water – a feature we particularly liked. You’ll need a slotted spoon for retrieving the actual egg from the water.
The finished result was an egg that mimicked those cooked in a water bath in both appearance and cooking time. The non-stick silicone took minimal washing, can be thrown into the dishwasher and folds down over itself for easy storage.
Poachies egg poaching pouches
Best disposable egg poaching pouch
Pros: self-sealing, average poaching time, mess-free
Cons: single-use, costly over time
If you don’t poach eggs regularly but are keen to have a fail-safe way of keeping them intact when you do, these disposable pouches by Poachies could be a great choice. You get 20 per pack, which are made from a lightweight but durable paper sealed into an egg shaped template.
Stand the pouch in a mug when you crack in the egg – a tiny amount of white will run through the mesh into the mug. This is a good thing, it’s this runny white that often makes the water foam during poaching. Once placed into hot water these pouches self-seal so you don’t have to worry about egg white leaking into the water.
The practicality of Poachies is reduced by the fact that you must first lift them from the pan with a spoon and then handle them to remove the egg. In theory, when cooked, the egg slides out of the pouch, but for both a perfectly cooked and overcooked egg, we had to peel the paper off by hand. Once removed these pouches can be thrown into the compost.
If you’re making poached eggs regularly, it’s worth investing in a reusable egg poacher as the cost of using these will build up.
Poachpod silicone egg poaching pods
Easiest egg poachers to store
Pros: flexibility, can be used for baking
Cons: take the longest time to cook eggs
These poach pods are low maintenance and mess-free. Made from BPA-free silicone, they float in a pan of boiling water and produce a perfectly domed poached egg that can be seasoned whilst cooking.
You need to oil these before cracking the egg in to make the cooked white easier to release. We ran a knife around the outside of the poached egg to help with this.
They also took the longest to cook. Silicone is not the best conductor of heat and both eggs took upwards of 8 minutes despite the accompanying instructions suggesting five. Using a lidded pan will reduce the time it takes for your eggs to cook.
However, we liked how reliable these pods were. As long as you keep the water to a low simmer, there’s no risk of egg white leaking into the water and foaming up. These poach pods can be left floating around as they cook, releasing you from hovering over the pan.
Oven and microwave safe, they can also be used for baking or as a jelly mould, making them a versatile and low-cost investment.
John Lewis & Partners ‘The Pan’
Best egg poacher for families
Pros: multi-use sauté pan, glass lid included
Cons: needs oiling before use
The perk of buying an egg poaching pan is that, when the egg components are removed, the pan becomes multi-purpose.
This four-cup egg poacher by John Lewis is a good quality medium sauté pan suitable for gas and induction hobs. Its non-stick coating didn’t release any chemical smell when heated for the first time and the silicone handle was non-slip and comfortable. It also comes with a fitted glass lid.
The plastic egg cups sit in a metal cup holder. It’s easy to overfill the pan with water as there’s no guideline, so we recommend cracking three eggs directly into their cups whilst it’s empty, adding water through the remaining hole, then filling the final egg cup.
They need to be oiled before use and we also found each egg needed a little persuasion once cooked. Running a knife around the top of the egg helped to release them. For the convenience of cooking four eggs at a time and the benefit of getting a multi-use sauté pan, this is a great poacher for families.
How we tested egg poachers
We tested a representative sample of egg poaching pans and pods and scored them against the following criteria.
Easy of handling: you’re dealing with boiling water when poaching eggs so we looked for any design features that made it particularly easy and safe to take the egg poacher in and out of boiling water.
Messiness factor: if there was initial leakage of egg white there’s risk of the water foaming and ruining the egg. We looked at how easy it was to crack an egg into each poacher.
Overall quality of materials: egg poachers might be used every day so should be durable and easy to look after.
Ease of poaching: one of the biggest bonuses of using an egg poacher is the convenience factor. If the poacher was difficult to understand or had pointless features, it was marked down.
Finished results: we looked for poached eggs that had runny yolks and were appealing in appearance, with white that was cooked all the way through and not rubbery.
Ease of washing: some egg poachers are dishwasher friendly and others must be washed by hand. Those that were tricky to remove cooked egg white by hand were marked down.
Ease of storage: egg poachers should be small, compact and easy to store. If any had additional features hindered their convenience, they were marked down.
Sustainability: if any required additional cling film, they were marked down.
Multi-purpose: if the poacher could be used for other kitchen tasks, they gained points.
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This review was last updated in September 2020. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do you have an egg poaching gadget or do you prefer the traditional method? Let us know below…