A perfectly soft poached egg is great in Eggs Benedict, on Avocado Toast, or simply beside some bacon or sausage. Let me share with you the terrific method I’ve discovered to poach an egg!
If you have been following me on Instagram for any length of time at all, you’ll have noticed that I’ve been experimenting with egg poaching.
I learned this amazing egg-poaching method from J. Kenji López-Alt in his book, The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science. He credits Heston Blumenthal of The Duck Fat, a restaurant in England, with introducing it to him. My daughter, a cooking enthusiast herself, recommended this book to me. It’s a huge textbook with recipes, but she got herself a hardcover copy and read it cover to cover. I downloaded the e-version and am enjoying it very much! Just as I was struggling to master poached eggs, these instructions presented themselves. It was perfect timing!
The Secret to Nicely Poached Eggs
The secret to a nice, neatly poached egg is to drop the egg into a fine-meshed strainer before tipping it into hot water. Don’t let it sit too long in the sieve. It won’t completely drain. Somehow, the step with the sieve takes away the loose, messy part of the egg white, so it cooks up neatly.
It also helps to use very fresh eggs.
Salt is added to the water for flavour. Vinegar is unnecessary. The heat is turned off once the water has come to a boil. Once the egg has been added, it can be moved around and even gently flipped over.
With practice, you’ll get better and better at poaching eggs this way! I’m sure you’ll find lots of way you like to serve them, but they’re definitely good with Everyday Seasoning sprinkled on top.
Make Ahead Poached Eggs
You can prepare your poached eggs up to three days before serving them. To do this, when you remove your cooked eggs from the hot water with a slotted spoon, transfer them to a bowl of cold water. Store them in the refrigerator. When you’re ready to reheat and serve them, transfer them to a bowl of hot water (140 degrees Fahrenheit) and allow to stand for 15 minutes.
You’ll be able to serve several beautifully poached eggs to brunch guests with minimal last-minute effort!
While these instructions are for only one egg, cook as many as will fit comfortably in the pan at the same time.
How to Poach an Egg
- 3 quarts water
- 2 tablespoons sea salt
- 1 egg
Bring water and salt to a boil in a large saucepan.
Break the egg into a small bowl.
Tip the egg into a fine strainer.
Turn off the heat as you gently lower the egg into the hot water.
Keep your egg moving around in the water to keep it round. Gently flip it over, so it will cook evenly on both sides.
When the poached egg is done to your liking, remove it with a slotted spoon.