Poached eggs on avocado toast – the best brunch food, hands down. A good piece of bread and some avocados are readily available in most grocery stores this summer, but unfortunately, they still only sell raw eggs. 

Poaching an egg sounds scary, but with just a bit of practice, it becomes one of the easiest ways to up your brunch game at home. All you need to do is boil some water in a small pan, crack an egg into the center, and wait 3-5 minutes. While that sounds simple, a variety of things can go wrong and leave you with gross, wet scrambled egg mush. 

In pursuit of the best poached eggs, I tried everything from swirling water around the pan, to adding vinegar and here are the results:

3. Pre-Cracking the Eggs

Arielle Gordon

The least successful "hack" I tried was cracking the eggs into a bowl and then transferring them into the boiling water. This was supposed to help prevent shells, which it did, but it most definitely did not help the eggs stay together. One of the egg yolks did not stay in the center of the white and as a result, it cooked much faster than the other one in the pan and became overcooked almost immediately. 

2. Swirling the Water

Arielle Gordon

Swirling the water was the most fun hack I tried. I used a big spoon to create a tornado in the center of the pan before cracking the eggs in, and the swirl kept the water from spilling all over the stove. I was optimistic as I dropped the first egg in because the moving water helped keep the yolk in the center and the whites all stayed together. Unfortunately, as I got ready to put the second egg in, the first egg had caused the water to stop moving. I did not want to break the egg that was cooking do I put this one in next to it. Sadly, the yolk did not stay in the center of the white and I ended up with one perfect poached egg and one overcooked poached egg. 

1. Adding Vinegar

Arielle Gordon

I was a bit skeptical of this hack at first because I did not want my eggs to taste like vinegar but I was pleasantly surprised when they did not taste any different from the other two attempts. All I had to do was add in about 1 tablespoon of distilled white vinegar into the boiling water right before I dropped the eggs in. Each egg cooked evenly and the yolks stayed in the middle of the whites. While they were not perfectly round, everything stayed together and fit on my toast. 

For the future, I will now always add a bit of vinegar to my poaching water, it doesn't run the taste and allows for a better result than the other two hacks. I will also probably continue to crack my eggs into a bowl first because the vinegar helped keep them together and I didn't have worry about shells in my eggs. The swirling is a fun way to show off but didn't yield great results. Happy brunching!