Cooking Techniques: How to (easily) poach an egg


If you’re anything like me, you love brunch. You love it specifically because it provides a valid excuse to go out and eat poached eggs. They are delicate, fresh-tasting, healthy and satisfying. If you’re anything like me, you have spent countless hours trying to perfect this technique at home only to have your attempts explode into a water-logged, filamentous mess.

Through much trial and error, I finally came up with the easiest and most fool-proof method of poaching eggs. In my opinion, it’s easier than frying an egg and healthier too. No oil or butter, no cracked yolk, no hard-cooked nastiness.

Here are the important points to keep in mind:
1. Your eggs must be HELLA fresh. I am talking, right-out-of-the-chicken fresh. The older your eggs are, the runnier the whites will be and the harder it will be to poach them. You can determine how fresh your eggs are here.
2. Vinegar in the cooking water helps keep the white of the egg “tight” and keeps it from exploding.
3. You don’t want to plop the egg into the hot water; you need to lower it gently within a container other than the shell and gently DISPLACE the egg into the pan from the container with water.
4. You don’t want your water to boil hard or to create a “whirlpool” in the pot of hot water. While I’m sure someone, somewhere is able to poach an egg like this, I never have been able to and find that it just makes things really difficult.

I hope that this tutorial demystifies the process for you and helps you achieve perfectly cooked, tender, just-runny enough goodness.

What you’ll need:
Extremely fresh eggs
Light-colored vinegar (champagne, white wine, apple cider, white)
A tall-sided skillet or shallow pot
Slotted spoon
4 oz canning jar, metal ladle, or a small bowl that can get hot
Something to put your poached eggs on (get creative)

1. Fill your tall-sided skillet or shallow pot with 2-3 inches of water.
2. Bring your water to a simmer. You should see lots of small bubbles and a few big bubbles (see photo).
3. Add a couple tablespoons of vinegar and a large pinch of salt to the hot water.
4. Crack your extremely fresh egg into your 4 oz canning jar, ladle or bowl.

5. Gently lower the jar/ladle/bowl into the hot water and displace the egg from the container with the water.

displacedegg6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 until you reach the total number of eggs you want to eat (but don’t crowd them).
7. Set your kitchen timer for 3 minutes (soft cooked) or 3.5 minutes (medium cooked). We don’t poach eggs hard around here.

8. Gently remove the egg from the hot water with a slotted spoon and put on whatever vehicle you have chosen for your eggs.
9. Throw some shaved aged parmesan, chopped parsley, sea salt & pepper on there for a truly exquisite brunch. Skip the hollandaise sauce if you want to live a long and healthy life.

That’s it! Enjoy new skill.