Ahh, poached eggs. So delicious, yet so hard to cook – or are they? Although poached eggs have gotten a bad reputation as being “difficult” to cook, they actually don’t have to be difficult at all. With a little practice and mastering of your technique, they’re actually quite an easy way to turn your next breakfast into a memorable occasion. We’ve rounded up some expert tips on how to poach an egg like a pro, so you can get the perfect round result that you see at a restaurant, every time.
Fresh Eggs Only
By “fresh eggs only” we don’t simply mean using eggs that aren’t expired. We mean getting the absolute newest stock, that is the farthest it can get from its expiry date. Using fresh eggs can make a big difference in getting that perfect shape and making the overall poaching process easier.
Getty Stewart of GettyStewart.com explains why when it comes to poached eggs, fresher is always better:
“If you start with the freshest eggs you can get, making great poached eggs is almost foolproof. When you’re at the grocery store reach for the eggs at the back of the cooler to get the newest stock! The older the eggs, the more unruly your egg whites will be making it difficult to get a nice shape with tucked in whites. If all you have are older eggs, consider using a silicone egg poacher or an egg poaching pan to help keep the shape of your poached egg.”
Boil the Egg in its Shell
Briefly boiling the egg in its shell can help significantly in helping your egg retain its shape before removing it from its shell! This is a great tip for those who are not yet feeling confident in their poaching abilities.
Kevin Kessler of TheCookful.com tells us why you should consider boiling the egg before its even come out of its shell:
“I know what you’re thinking, why? Wouldn’t that just hard boil the thing? If you left it in for a prolonged period of time, yes. But we’re not talking about a long time. Instead, poke a small hole in the shell with a safety pin. Don’t worry, it’s small enough where nothing will escape. This releases all of the air trapped in the shell. Then, boil some water and drop your egg in for exactly ten seconds. Then remove the egg and take the water down to a simmer. This seemingly inconsequential action will allow the egg to retain its shape throughout the poaching process. Then crack it into the simmering water and off you go!”
Egg Poaching Cups
Looking for a little outside assistance? Bring in the poaching cups! It is perfectly okay to bring in gadgets to make your cooking experience easier – after all, that’s what they’re there for.
Cassie Johnston of Wholefully.com explains why bringing in this handy gadget may make all the difference:
“Now this is where we start to get into the gadgets! Egg poaching cups landed on the scene a few years ago, and they’re a really great invention for folks who maybe don’t have the space for a full egg poaching pan in their kitchen, but still want an easy and less-fussy way to poach an egg. Most egg poaching cups are silicone, and I’ve heard you can actually cook eggs in the microwave using them as well, although I’ve never done it before. You can get them at most kitchen supply stores.”
If you’re looking for more recipe inspiration or you want to see where you can get poached eggs at your favourite restaurant, check out our list of all restaurants to compare food menus.