Your guide to making the perfect Poached Egg

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:

  1. 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.
  2. Make sure your eggs are at room temperature. The fresher the eggs the better.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. For a slightly runny yolk, I find 3 minutes is a good amount of time.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.


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