Poached eggs are a delicious addition to many dishes. Don’t be afraid to try poaching an egg if you haven’t yet or haven’t been successful in the past. Follow these simple instructions for the perfect poached egg every time!
If you find yourself craving a poached egg to top your salad, or serve for brunch, don’t opt out because you’re intimidated. There is no reason to shy away from recipes that call for poached eggs. This easy method with assuage your fears and turn you into a poaching master! Poached eggs are easier to make than you might think, but well worth knowing how to cook. It is best to start with the whirlpool method and then try the skillet method when you’ve got the knack.
What is the best method for poaching eggs?
There are two popular methods for poaching eggs.
WHIRLPOOL METHOD: This method is best for cooking 1 to 2 eggs at a time. In this poached egg method you use a saucepan of gently simmering water and stir the water to create a whirlpool. The whirlpool motion will help gently wrap the egg whites around the yolk.
SKILLET METHOD: This method is best for cooking larger amounts of poached eggs at a time. In this poached egg method you use a 12-inch skillet filled with just 1 to 2 inches of simmering water. The skillet gets covered and the heat is turned off. You can comfortably poach up to 6 eggs at a time using this method.
MAKE AHEAD METHOD: You can easily cook poached eggs ahead of time using either the whirlpool or skillet method. Once the eggs are done poaching, put them in an ice bath (a bowl of water and ice) to stop the cooking process. Store in the refrigerator for up to 8 hours. When you are ready to serve, simply slide them in a pot of simmering water for 1 minute to heat through.
Should I use vinegar to make poached eggs?
Vinegar is often added to the water when making poached eggs. 1 to 2 teaspoons is all you need to add, but it is optional. Adding vinegar to the simmering water helps keep the egg whites together, but it does add a subtle tang to the finished poached egg. The swirling that the whirlpool method uses also helps the egg white to gently wrap around the yolk and keep the whites from becoming stringy.
Is it possible to make prepare poached eggs in advance?
Yes, you can cook poached eggs ahead of time! Once they are done poaching, put them in an ice bath (a bowl of water and ice) to stop the cooking process. Store in the refrigerator for up to 8 hours. When you are ready to serve, simply heat them in a pot of simmering water for 1 minute.
Poached Eggs Pro Tips:
- Use fresh eggs—this will make a big difference and help the whites to achieve the custard-like consistency you want.
- Don’t overcook the eggs. Be sure to use a timer and remove the eggs from the hot water promptly when the timer goes off.
- Always crack the eggs in small, separate dishes beforehand—this ensures that the yolk doesn’t break.
- Don’t use boiling water—keep it to a simmer to achieve the delicate texture of a great poached egg.
If this was helpful for you, here are some other how-to instructional egg recipes you might find handy:
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