Prep Time  2minutes
Cook Time  8minutes
Total Time  10mins

How to Poach an Egg

Dave Beaulieu February 22nd, 2012

In this cooking video, I want to show you a technique for poaching an egg.  I most commonly see poached eggs on an Eggs Benedict, which is one of my favorites, and for years, had trouble making them come out well.  Now, I’m not going to say it’s super easy, as it does require a bit of practice, but there are a few tricks of the trade that will definitely help you be more successful.  I’ve listed them below, or check out the video to see them for yourself.

How to Poach an Egg

  1. Like all cooking...the quality of the ingredients, in this case the Eggs really matter.  Fresh eggs will have egg whites that are tighter and they will be easier to poach.  If you can get super fresh eggs, use them.
  2. I like to poach eggs in water that is just below a simmer.  Boiling water it too rough and can easily break the eggs apart or cook them too quickly.  Cooler than that, and they don’t really set quickly enough.
  3. The second trick with the water is to add a few tablespoons of vinegar to the water.  The vinegar will react with the egg whites, and causes them to contract/tighten, so it’s easy to get the egg poached.
  4. Once you have your water set, crack each egg into a small bowl or ramekin.  While it may be faster to just crack the egg directly into the water, it’s harder to control them and you may end up getting shells in the water. Do one egg per bowl.
  5. If you’re poaching the eggs ahead of time, prepare a bowl of ice water to put the poached eggs in once they come out of the hot water.  The ice water will cool them down quickly and stop the cooking process.  You can then hold them for hours, until you’re ready to use them (then just heat them up for about 45 seconds in simmering water.
  6. To poach the egg, gently but quickly, poor one egg into the boiling water.  Wait about 15 seconds and give the water a very gentle stir to move the egg a bit and make sure it’s not sticking.  Then add the next egg.  Repeat the process, although I don’t like to do more than 3 or 4 eggs at a time, as you need to keep track of which have been in the water the longest.
  7. I like to poach eggs for about 2 minutes for a nice runny yolk, but really you’re looking for the whites to be fully set (don’t worry if they look a bit spread out and ugly, we’ll take care of that).  So once the white is set, remove the eggs in the same order you put them into the boiling water, and drop them into the ice bath
  8. Once cool enough you handle, pick them up one at a time, in a cupped hand (so you don’t break the yolk) and use a knife to trim off the edges of the whites that don’t look all that nice.
  9. You’ve got you perfectly poached egg.  You can hold it in the cold water for a few hours, and reheat in simmering water for 30 – 45 seconds before serving.

Hope you poach an egg soon!

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