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Which egg poacher pan is best?

If breakfast is the most important meal of the day, then eggs are arguably the most critical ingredient of that meal. While most people are confident in making scrambled and fried eggs, fewer know how to poach eggs at home. While there is a definite skill set required, the best egg poacher pan makes it easier to produce a perfect egg. 

If you want to upgrade from poaching eggs in a simple water bath, the Norpro Stainless Steel Egg Poacher/Skillet Set is the dual-purpose pan for you.

What to know before you buy an egg poacher pan


When it comes to egg poacher pans, size matters. If your household is large and loves everything topped with a runny egg, look for a larger capacity pan that holds four or more at a time.

The cup size matters, too. Deep cups can hold larger eggs, while shallow cups poach more quickly. Consider the grade of eggs you usually purchase and select a poacher that fits those.

Nonstick vs. uncoated

Nonstick egg cups make life easy in the bleary-eyed morning when breakfast is overdue and people are hungry. If you are avoiding extra fat in oil or butter, this is a good option for you.

However, some people do not appreciate any additional chemicals in their food. If this sounds like you, select the nonstick version. 

Insert vs. stand-alone poaching pan

There are two basic pieces of equipment: an insert and a stand-alone pan.

  • Inserts: Inserts fit any pan that can accommodate them. These are usually more affordable and take up less storage space. However, the pan needs to be deep enough and have a lid for proper coaching.
  • Stand-alone: If your kitchen has plenty of room, a stand-alone poaching pan is a great choice. These are generally more expensive, but you won’t need to worry about finding a pan that fits. 

What to look for in a quality egg poacher pan


Handles on each egg cup and also in the poaching insert make it easy to lift when breakfast is ready. These should be sturdy and tightly attached. 

Two pans in one

Look for a standalone pan that you can use as a regular sauté pan with a lid. Remove the poaching insert and use the pan as you would normally.

Easy to care for

The last thing you want to do after breakfast is scrub the pan. You can often put easy-care egg poaching pans in the dishwasher. 

How to poach the perfect egg

There is a learning curve to poaching a perfect egg.

  • Bring water to a simmer, not a rolling boil.
  • If you want to poach fewer eggs than you have cups, fill the empty cups with water. This avoids burning the cups and creates the perfect steamy environment for poaching.
  • A quick spray of oil or a thin coat of butter in every cup ensures the easy release of finished eggs.  
  • Fresh eggs taste and poach the best. To see if your eggs are fresh, place them in a bowl and cover them in water. If eggs lay on their sides, they are fresh. Are they standing on the end? It’s time to get new eggs.
  • The length of time you poach depends on how you prefer your yolks. From very runny yolks with barely set whites to harder yolks and firm whites, set the timer for two to six minutes.

How much you can expect to spend on an egg poacher pan

This will vary depending on whether or not you buy a stand-alone pan or an egg poacher insert, as well as the capacity of both. Expect to spend $10-$50.

Egg poacher pan FAQ

Is there a trick to removing eggs without breaking the yolk? 

A. Adding a quick spray of cooking oil or a little bit of butter helps eggs release more easily. You can also use a narrow spatula to help eggs move out of their cups. 

Take your time when you are removing eggs from the cups. Patience is key here. 

Can young children use a poaching pan? 

A. Because poaching uses hot water and steam on the stove, most young children cannot safely use a poaching pan. However, with supervision, teens are perfectly capable of making breakfast using a poaching pan. 

What’s the best egg poacher pan to buy?

Top egg poacher pan

Norpro Stainless Steel Egg Poacher/Skillet Set

Norpro Stainless Steel Egg Poacher/Skillet Set

What you need to know: This durable, beautiful set is designed to last for years of breakfasts. 

What you’ll love: These stainless steel cups fit up to jumbo-sized eggs that you can watch poaching through the glass lid. It poaches five eggs at a time and is well designed and executed. 

What you should consider: Without proper preparation, eggs may not release from the stainless steel poaching cups. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top egg poacher pan for the money

Modern Innovations Egg Poacher Pan

Modern Innovations Egg Poacher Pan

What you need to know: When storage space is scarce, this poaching pan also doubles as a 10-inch skillet. 

What you’ll love: Poach four eggs at once and lift them easily from the pan with small knobs on each cup. The cups are deep and nonstick for easy release. The pan itself is tempered stainless steel, and the lid is glass. It comes with a silicone spatula. 

What you should consider: Users report that the handles come off the cups and are not easy to reattach. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Eggssentials Egg Poacher Insert

Eggssentials Egg Poacher Insert

What you need to know: This poaching insert works in the skillets that you already have. 

What you’ll love: You can use this with any pan you already have. Remove eggs individually with the handles attached to each nonstick cup, or lift the entire insert out with a convenient ring in the center of the insert. It’s also available for two or six eggs. The two- and four-egg versions work in an Instant Pot.

What you should consider: You need a pan that is at least 7.5 inches wide and at least 2.5 inches tall inside, and it has to have a lid. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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Suzannah Kolbeck writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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