Perfectly Poached Eggs

2011-03-21 Poached Eggs 088I’m not a really a huge egg person, I tend to go for the sweeter options when it comes to breakfast. I go the pancakes or french toast route. When it comes to a runny poached egg, however, I’m all over that.
My mom used to have this fun egg poaching contraption that for special occasions she would whip out and we would all enjoy some delicious, perfectly prepared, poached eggs. It was certainly more work that frying or scrambling, which I assume is why we didn’t see that fun egg holder very often. In a way, I’m glad it went down that way. Kept it special, like a treat almost.

I don’t usually make poached eggs. Probably because (in my mind) they take a little more work. They really aren’t difficult though.
We all know that eggs are all about timing. With scrambled, you want to go a little shy, keep them runny, not dry as a bone. With poached, you can’t visually tell when they’re ready (and by ready I mean runny), so you have to practice a few times and find the perfect timing. I’m making it sound harder than it is. Don’t be worried, you’ll be fine.
2011-03-21 Poached Eggs 101Preparation Instructions
Heat a pot with a few inches of water. You do not want boiling water. You do not want simmering water. You want very hot water at the point right before it simmers.
Once it gets to this point, turn the temperature down a bit so it doesn’t bubble. If your water has already begun boiling, bring the temperature down to below the boiling point.
Put a few splashes of vinegar in the water. I use about a heaping cap full. People are mixed about the whole vinegar thing…this is how I do it, and it works.
Break an egg into a small dish. It is always easier to slide the egg in from a dish.
Make a whirlpool in the water with your spoon.
Slide the egg into the middle of the whirlpool with your other hand.
The reason for the whirlpool is that it helps the egg stay together, wrapping the white around the itself. You can help it along too with your spatula or spoon by gently pushing it all in as it initially sets. If your egg has stuck to the bottom of the pot, just slide the spatula very very gently underneath after 30 seconds or so of cooking.
A few minutes later, your mostly-perfect egg should be ready. Look for an egg that wobbles, but just a little, when nudged with the spoon, about 3 to 4 minutes of cooking time.
Scoop it out with a slotted spoon.
Let it drain on a folded paper towel. Don’t skip this step and go straight to the plate. You will find a puddle of water on your plate, and that’s gross.
Once you’re ready, carefully place it on your salty buttered toast and enjoy :)!
If you’re feeling fancy, sprinkle on some chopped parsley.
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13 Response to Perfectly Poached Eggs

March 31, 2011 at 6:19 PM

I think my Mom had one of those poached eggs things. these are fabulous photos!!! thanks for stopping by my blog!

March 31, 2011 at 10:39 PM

Oh, they are so much better than the boiled ones...I love the picture...
I didn't know about the whirlpool, I will try...

March 31, 2011 at 10:55 PM

I love poached eggs!

April 1, 2011 at 1:25 AM

Thank you for the "whirlpool tip". I've never found a way to make the white stay all together... 'll try that next time!

April 1, 2011 at 6:10 AM

Simply poached eggs are one of my favorite things to eat! These definitely look perfect!

April 1, 2011 at 7:15 AM

I haven't had poached eggs before but have been meaning to try them! Thanks for bringing them back into my memory!

April 1, 2011 at 8:49 AM

We just inherited a laboratory waterbath from my boyfriend's dad, and we made 62C eggs in it last night. So cool! You crack it open, and pour out a perfectly poached egg! Except it has the texture of pudding/custard.

April 1, 2011 at 2:09 PM

I've never tried to poach an egg before bc I was too scared! But they look so delishus in your picture I am going to try it this weekend!

April 2, 2011 at 10:01 AM

Perfecting the poached egg is one of the greatest cooking triumphs of all time! These look gorgeous; you're clearly nailing it.

Goodness gracious, but I do loved a poached egg—I put them on everything. Thick slices of fresh bread, rice and beans, roasted asparagus, atop a salad to use the yolk instead of dressing… is there anything in the world that's not improved with a poached egg??

April 2, 2011 at 3:31 PM

I have got to try this! I didn't realize it was that easy.

April 2, 2011 at 9:33 PM

I do not like green eggs and ham, I do like them Sam I Am.......

April 4, 2011 at 2:54 PM

Funny, I am not a big egg person either but every Christmas morning my Mom makes poached eggs and I love it.

April 5, 2011 at 5:44 PM

I adore eggs, but have never mastered poached eggs. Lovely photos!

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