The problem we find with most poached egg recipes is that they teach you how to poach 1 egg, but as soon as you’re trying to cook breakfast for 6 friends you run into trouble trying to poach 12 perfect eggs at once. That’s because after you’ve added a few eggs to your saucepan of water the temperature drops and the eggs just fall apart.
So here’s some tips on how to become an (eggs)pert poacher:
- Start with a reasonably large saucepan with at least 3 litres of water; bring the water to the boil and add 2 tsp of white vinegar or white wine vinegar. The acidity helps to hold the egg together in the water, but too much vinegar will overpower the flavour.
- Make sure your eggs are at room temperature. The fresher the eggs the better.
- Break each egg into a small bowl before you add it to the water. Add a few drops of lemon juice to each egg and give it a little swirl, this helps to coagulate the egg, but isn’t absolutely necessary.
- Drop the temperature of the water so that it is gently simmering and not rapidly boiling. Give it a swirl with a spoon to form a little whirlpool in the centre and gently slide in the egg.
- For a slightly runny yolk, I find 3 minutes is a good amount of time.
- If you are poaching one egg, gently remove it from the water with a slotted spoon and drain it well on paper towel before serving it.
- For multiple eggs, it's best to cook each one separately for 3 minutes(get 2 saucepans going if you want to get them done quicker), and remove them with a slotted spoon to a bowl of iced water. This will stop the cooking process so you can do the rest of the eggs without the first ones overcooking.
- Once they’re all cooked and cooled, bring a fresh pot of water to the boil, remove it from the heat, gently add the cooked eggs and leave for 1 minute. This will reheat the eggs without them cooking through more. Again, remove them from the water with a slotted spoon, drain on paper towels and serve immediately.