How to Poach a Duck Egg

Learning to poach a duck egg to perfection can be a bit tricky – this article will give you all the tips and tricks to poach a duck egg perfectly every time!

A perfectly poached egg with have a runny yolk.
A perfectly poached egg with have a runny yolk.

Difference between Duck and Chicken Eggs

Duck eggs and chicken eggs are very similar. If you served your guests a duck egg and didn’t tell them, they would probably think it was just a large chicken egg.

Duck eggs tend to be 50 – 100% larger than your standard chicken egg and the yolks are noticeably larger. Because the yolks are so much bigger, they are easier to break. Take extra care when cracking your eggs – I’ve accidentally ruptured the yolk of a duck egg when trying to keep the entire egg in tact.

Because duck eggs generally come from smaller sustainable farms, the yolks are a darker orange color and more custardy.

How to Reheat Poached Duck Eggs

A poached duck egg is perfect by itself with salt and pepper.
A poached duck egg is perfect by itself with salt and pepper.

If you are making poached duck eggs for a large group of people, or are hosting brunch and want to make your poached eggs the night before, this is one of the best kept kitchen secrets.

Make your poached eggs like you normally would, but under cook them by about 30 seconds to a minute. When you are ready to serve, simmer a pot of water (no need to add the vinegar this time) and add the eggs to reheat.

How much Vinegar Should I use when poaching eggs?

All you need when poaching eggs is a tablespoon of light colored vinegar. This will help the egg whites stay together, especially if you are using older eggs.

Why do you need vinegar to poach an egg?

Using vinegar to poach an egg (any type of egg – a duck egg, chicken egg, or goose egg) is not entirely necessary but will make the poaching process easier. The fresher the egg, the less likely you will need to use vinegar for a successfully poached egg.

The reason you need to use vinegar to poach an egg is to help with the coagulation of the egg whites when adding the freshly cracked egg to the pot of simmering water. It will also make the egg white more tender and less tough as the egg cooks.

How to Avoid Breaking the Yolk When Poaching a Duck Egg

Because a duck egg yolk is much larger than a chicken egg yolk, it can be difficult to not break the yolk when cracking the egg open.

I avoided cracking the egg on a counter or on the side of a bowl since I knew the yolk is so much larger in these duck eggs. The best way to gently open the shell is to use the back side (the blunt side) of a knife and crack the shell all around one side. Gently peel back the shell so that you have a hole large enough to pour the egg out of the shell and into a ramekin.

Uses for Poached Duck Eggs

Looking for ways to use your duck eggs? Check out the recipes below:

How to Poach a Duck Egg

5.0 from 1 vote
Recipe by Sarah
Course: Breakfast, sideCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time







  • Boil a pot of water and then reduce heat to a simmer. Add the vinegar to the water. Crack the egg into a ramekin or a small bowl. Set aside.
  • Make a vortex with a large spoon and gently slide the egg into the water. Gently push the egg back together if the egg white begins to spread out and separate too much in the simmering water.
  • Allow the duck egg to poach for 2 to 3 minutes. 2 minutes for a liquid yolks and 3 minutes for a more solid egg yolk. Use a slotted spoon to drain the egg as you remove it from the water.
  • Your poached eggs are ready to serve!

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