I’ll just start by saying that I completely adore poached eggs. Poached eggs on toast, poached eggs with creamy bacon grits, poached eggs over roasted asparagus…I could go on for days. Until recently, however, the only way I got real poached eggs was to show up on my mom’s doorstep, make big pleading puppy dog eyes at her, and ask her to make me a poached egg. I just couldn’t seem to make them myself…I tried all the tricks that involve white vinegar and making a little whirlpool in the boiling water, and we bought various poached egg equipment – no dice. And then one day a miracle occurred, and I taught myself how to poach an egg. Perfectly. I poached approximately 100 more eggs, all perfectly, and I now feel confident about sharing my method with the world. So ladies and gentleman, here we go.
First you need eggs. You probably knew that.
Now crack your eggs into little glass bowls (and teacups will work just fine if you don’t have a million little glass bowls in your cabinet like I do. What can I say…I love little glass bowls!)
This is going to let your egg slip neatly into the water, rather than having it scatter in all directions the way it would if you just cracked it directly in the water. (I always like to know the REASONS for things!).
Now bring a skillet of water to a nice simmer. You want about 3 inches of water in that skillet. If you don’t have a deep skillet, a pot will work fine too….I like a skillet because it’s easier to get the eggs in and out.
Once you have those nice simmery bubbles in your water, slip the eggs in by gently pouring them out of the glass bowls.
The outside edges of the egg white may swirl around a little, but the main part of the egg white will be just fine. Trust me.
You can nudge the egg white closer to the yolk with a wooden spoon if you want. This step is optional, because one way or the other your poached egg is going to be nice and neat and fine. But I like having something to do, so I do it.
Now put a lid on the skillet and turn off the burner. Yes, all the way off. I’m not kidding. Off.
Let the eggs sit in the skillet with the lid on for exactly four minutes. If you like your egg yolks super-duper runny you can make it three minutes, but personally I think four is just about perfect. After four minutes, grab your handy slotted spoon or spider…
..and scoop out your PERFECT poached eggs. The wispy edges of the white will have mostly fallen away into the water, leaving you with poached egg perfection.
Now all that’s left is the eating. And while I have an endless array of things I like to top with a poached egg (baked potato! Caesar salad!), there’s nothing quite so wonderfully comforting as a piece of warm buttered toast with a poached egg on top.
Let’s cut into that baby, shall we?
Oh my goodness.
Oh my goodness gracious.
Once you’ve done a few taste tests with eggs and toast, you can go on to make poached eggs with bacon grits…
Filet mignon carpaccio with poached eggs…
Smoked salmon florentine with (say it with me) poached eggs…
I’ll stop now. I’m sure you want to go an poach an egg as soon as humanly possible. You can do it!
- As many eggs as you would like to poach!
- Fill a deep skillet or a pot with about 3 inches of water and bring to a simmer.
- Break each egg into a small glass bowl or a teacup. Make sure the yolk is intact.
- Slip each egg gently into the simmering water. Don't worry if the whites seem to flare out in the water...if you like, you can nudge the edges back towards the yolk with a wooden spoon, but even if you don't things will still be fine. 🙂
- Cover the skillet with a lid, turn off the heat and let the eggs sit in the water for 4 minutes (3 minutes if you like your yolks REALLY runny).
- Scoop out the poached eggs with a slotted spoon, letting the water drip off. You've made perfect poached eggs!