Perfectly Poached Eggs
I’m just going to come out and say it. Poached eggs are the best eggs. Done right, they’re healthy, fast and offer low effort cleanup. But it’s come to my attention that this is not the common conception. Poached eggs got a bad rep for being finicky and labor intensive. Celeb chefs told you you had to bring a mega pot of water to very certain kind of boil before you could begin, that you had to then create a whirlpool in your pot to encourage the eggs to stick together, that you had to cook them not a second longer than the agreed upon time and that they must be served immediately. Immediately! You may have tried these recommendations, only to be left with a pot full of floating white tissue-looking whites. Or maybe you were successful, but at the end of breakfast wondered if it was worth the effort just for eggs.
So, I don’t blame you for avoiding poached eggs altogether. But if you can unlearn all that dissuading advice and overcome the trauma of failed hosted brunches, you too can be the creator of delicate, elegant poached eggs with a runny center cradled by firm whites and surrounded by a few wispy bits.
There are only two key elements to perfectly poached eggs. That’s it! They are:
Really fresh eggs
A shallow pan
The reason your poached eggs of yore failed probably wasn’t because your whirlpool wasn’t whirpool-y enough or that your water was bubbling not shivering. It was that your eggs weren’t fresh. The older they get, the looser and more liquidy the whites become. As soon as you drop them in water, it’s just like adding liquid to liquid. Hence, they disperse and you’re SOL. The vinegar helps keep the whites together a little bit more. Think of the vin like your work wife who gives you a pep talk before that big presentation so you can KEEP IT TOGETHER SUSAN!
As for the shallow pan? It’s just common sense. Why would I boil a whole pot of water just to cook something that is only two inches in diameter? Ain't nobody got time for that. The shallower pan also gives the egg less space to bounce around and spread out or break.
So snag a skillet, pick up some fresh eggs and make it happen for yourself. You got this.
Freshest possible eggs
1 tablespoon white or apple cider vinegar
Fill a shallow saucepan almost to the top with water. Add the vinegar. Bring to a simmer over medium heat.
Crack an egg into a ramekin or small cup. Carefully transfer the egg from the cup to the simmering water, holding the cup so that the base is touching the water.
Using a slotted spoon, gently scoop the egg up from the bottom of the pan and carefully usher it around the pan, ensuring the whites are holding together. If they start to fan out, use that spoon to fold the egg on itself - you can still put the egg back together as long as it hasn’t totally melted into the water.
Repeat with remaining eggs, cooking no more than five at a time.
Continue to push the eggs around the water for a few minutes. Every so often, lift up an egg with the slotted spoon and poke the white with your finger. If it looks translucent and feels loose, put it back in the water. Be careful not to overcook the egg - you want a runny yolk.
Once complete, lift out of the pan and place on a plate, bowl or right on top of what you’re serving it with. Enjoy within fifteen to twenty minutes.