Poached eggs may seem mystical and challenging to make, especially when you’re a newbie in the kitchen. But after you learn a few simple tips and tricks, you’ll learn how to poach eggs like a pro in no time. We have three ways to poach an egg here and lots of tips to help you practice!
The flavor of a poached egg is similar to a soft-boiled egg but it’s softer and the yolk is gooey. I prefer the texture of poached eggs over soft-boiled eggs.
We found these super colorful and cute (and highly rated!) poached egg cookers you can use in the microwave or stovetop.
Poached eggs can be tricky to cook and if you aren’t careful you can overcook them. Two tips that will always help make the best-poached eggs are to use fresh eggs and always keep a close eye on the clock.
These two tips alone will help you achieve soft and fluffy eggy masterpieces.
If you want your poached egg to be a perfect circle then using an egg poacher and a pan will be your best bet.
What You Need
- Stovetop poacher or poaching cups
- Large spoon
- Bit of fat to prevent sticking
- If you’re worried that the eggs will stick to the cups, then coat the cups with a little bit of cooking oil before adding the eggs.
- Most poaching pans come with four cups. If you are making less than four poached eggs, fill the empty cups with water to keep them from burning.
- Don’t let the water boil in the pan or the egg whites will harden quickly and may even splash out.
- Take a large pan (large enough for the stovetop poacher or the individual poaching cups) and pour about half an inch of water inside or enough so that it touches the bottom of the cups.
- Place it over medium or high heat and wait for it to simmer.
- Crack an egg into each poaching cup and cover the pan. Carefully place the poacher inside the pan and then put the lid on top. The lid should be placed securely on top to ensure the steam stays inside.
- Cook for 2-3 minutes for runny yolks. Cook for 5 minutes for firm yolks.
- After they’re cooked, remove the pan from the stove and gently remove the eggs from the cups and place them on a plate or a bowl. Sprinkle some salt and pepper to taste.
Poaching Eggs without an Egg Poacher
Take a look at the following two methods to make perfectly poached eggs without using egg poaching cups.
1. Using the Julia Child Method
Her method requires preboiling the egg before poaching it to make sure it retains its shape. Preboiling helps keep the egg whites from spreading in the water and minimizes the cooking time as well.
What you need:
- A safety pin
- A slotted spoon
- A timer
- Sauce pan
- Bring a saucepan of water to a boil.
- GENTLY poke a hole in one end of each egg with your safety pin.
- With a slotted spoon, gently lower each egg into the boiling water for about 10 seconds.
- Remove it from the pan using the slotted spoon and let it cool down for one minute.
- Lower the heat so that the water goes back to simmering and then crack the egg into it.
- Cook for 2-3 minutes for runny yolks. Cook for 4 minutes for firm yolks.
- Carefully lift the poached egg using the slotted spoon, and place it on a plate lined with paper towels.
- Drain any excess water and serve with a sprinkling of salt and pepper.
2. Using the Whirlpool Method
The whirlpool method doesn’t require many tools. All you need is a large saucepan, a spoon and an egg. But it’s also the more challenging method because it takes a little bit of skill to make sure the eggs stay in shape, don’t float to the bottom, and the egg whites envelop the yolk completely. However, once you master this method, you can poach eggs anytime and anywhere, so it is worth the practice.
Tip: If the egg gets stuck to the bottom of the pan, don’t scrape it off. Instead, try stirring the pot vigorously until the egg floats back to the top.
- Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Then slowly reduce the heat so that the water comes down to a gentle simmer.
- Crack an egg into a ramekin or small bowl. This step makes it easier to lower the egg in the simmering hot water gently.
- Using a spoon, stir the water to create a whirlpool motion. This keeps the egg whites from sticking to the sides or the bottom of the pan.
- Gently transfer the egg into the water. Keep stirring the water around the egg for about three minutes for a soft and runny egg yolk. If you prefer a firmer egg yolk, then let it cook for another 2 minutes.
- Remove the egg from the pan using a spoon, drain as much water as you can, and serve it on a plate.
- Add salt and pepper according to your preference.
How Does Vinegar Help with Poached Eggs?
Adding a drop of rice vinegar or other mild-tasting vinegar to the water as it comes to a simmer helps the egg whites firm up and help it keep its shape. It shouldn’t affect the flavor of the egg.
The bottom line
Now that you’ve learned how to make poached eggs, add them on top of toast, a fresh salad, shin ramen soup, or fried rice and turn a boring meal into something delicious.
It’s a lot easier to cook them with a poacher, but if you’ve got a large saucepan and some eggs in the fridge, then there’s no reason why you shouldn’t have a crack at it.
Remember to use fresh eggs as the egg whites will stay in better form while cooking. Older eggs have more fluid egg whites that may become wispy strings in the simmering water.
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- 1 egg
- Pot of water
- Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil.
- Next, reduce the heat so that the water is simmering.
- Crack an egg into a small bowl.
- Using a heat-safe spoon stir the simmering water in the pot to create a gentle whirlpool motion.
- Gently transfer the egg into the water. Keep stirring the water around the egg.
- Cook for 3 minutes for a soft yolk or 5 minutes for a firmer yolk.
- Remove the egg from the pan using a slotted spoon and drain as much water as possible.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 72Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 186mgSodium: 71mgCarbohydrates: 0gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 6g