If you asked someone what the most difficult way to prepare an egg is, odds are good they will tell you that it’s poaching. Poached eggs are something that many people only order when they are out, and would never dream of preparing at home. It really doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, with a little know how and some very minimal hardware, poaching eggs is just as easy as frying them. Once you have learned how to poach, you can make eggs benedict like nobody’s business. Seriously, all day every day. Poached eggs aren’t just for eggs benedict though. A poached egg can elevate a salad from side to main course (it’s really good when the yolk mixes in with the vinaigrette).
How to Poach Eggs
What you will need:
You’ll need a high-sided pan, a ladle (I prefer silicone), a wooden spoon, and a slotted spoon. I bet you have all these things hanging out in your kitchen right now. So, let’s start the process.
1. Fill the high sided pan with about 1.5 inches of water. Ready for the first trick to making great poached eggs? I hope so, because I plan on telling you now. Add a few tablespoons of distilled white vinegar to the water. This isn’t for flavor. The acid in the vinegar will help the egg whites set up faster, so you will have less feathering. It really does help a ton, and it’s not like you’ll even be able to taste the vinegar.
2. Bring the water and vinegar to a simmer. At a simmer, bubbles should softly be breaking the surface fairly often. Make sure you don’t boil the water. All we want here is a simmer.
3. Crack an egg in to the ladle. I think this is where people mess up. Don’t crack the egg directly in to the water. Instead, crack the egg in to the ladle so you can gently add it to the simmering water. This makes a ton of difference in the final product.
4. Gently lower the eggs in to the simmering water one at a time. I never do more than four eggs at a time. I like to imagine the pan as a clock, and place the first egg at 12:00, the second at 3:00, third egg at 6:00, and fourth egg at 9:00. This way, I’m also sure of the order I need to remove the eggs.
5. After adding the egg, use the back of the wooden spoon and gently swirl the egg white around the egg. This will help with the setting of the whites and help keep the egg in a nice egg shaped bundle.
- 4 eggs
- 4 English Muffins
- 1/2 lb sliced ham
- 1 packet Hollandaise sauce
- Poach the eggs. See narrative instructions above.
- Fry the ham until the desired crispyness has been achieved.
- Toast the English muffins, and place on a plate, open faced.
- Add the ham to the English muffins.
- Place the poached eggs on top of the ham.
- Top with Hollandaise and serve.