Recipe video above. Here are the two methods I use to poach eggs:1. Easy Method - a "drop and roll" technique to make multiple eggs at the same time. Slightly less "perfect" poached egg shape, but small compromise. Can make up to 6 eggs at a time;2. Classic Whirlpool Method - requires more practice but best if striving for the "perfect" poached egg shape, or sense of accomplishment! Not recommended for eggs 2 weeks old, or older (see diagram in post to determine age of eggs). Use Easy Method instead.Do not skip straining to remove watery whites which is what causes a mess with poached eggs. (Unless you've got just-laid eggs!)Fresh eggs make the best shaped, tidy poached eggs. See diagram in post to detemine how old your eggs are. Older eggs (1 week+) - stick with the Easy Method to be safe. (Note 1)
Course: Breakfast, Eggs
Keyword: Poached eggs
Servings: 1- 6 eggs
1 - 6eggs, fridge cold (Note 1)
2tbspwhite vinegar or cider vinegar - Whirlpool method only(Note 2)
Strain Eggs (do this first for either Method)
Crack an egg into a small strainer set over a bowl or glass. Leave for 30 seconds and jiggle around a bit so watery whites strain through.
Carefully transfer to a teacup. Repeat for as many eggs as you plan to make in one batch (Whirlpool max 2, Easy Method up to 6), one in each teacup.
Boil water then reduce heat
For both methods, bring water to the boil over high heat, then turn the heat down so there are tiny bubbles from the base of the pot but big bubbles are not breaking water surface. (Note 4)
Easy Method (good to make 4 to 6 eggs):
Fill a pot with 7.5 cm / 3" water. (Note 3) Bring to boil then lower heat, per above directions.
Submerge a teacup into the water so you can gently roll the egg out onto the base of the pot - minimise the drop distance for neatest shape.
Repeat with more eggs, but don't take longer than 15 seconds to put them all in.
20 seconds after the first egg has gone in, eggs should be starting to but are not fully set. Use a slotted spoon and tablespoon/dessert spoon to gently turn the eggs upside down - start with the first egg that went in, end with the last.
Leave for 1 minute, then turn again.
Leave for another 30 seconds then using a slotted spoon, lift one out to check for doneness - whites should be soft but set, yolks should be runny.
Drain & serve: Transfer to paper towel to drain and for top to dry with residual heat - 15 seconds. (Don't leave for too long or it can get stuck to the paper towel.) Serve! See below for ideas.
Fill a large saucepan or small pot with 7.5 cm / 3" of water. Add vinegar, if using (I don't). Bring to boil then lower heat, per above directions.
Using the handle of a flat-handled wooden spoon, stir the water quickly (10cm/4" diameter circle) to create a whirlpool so the vortex ("V" shape in water) stays for 7 seconds. (Note 5)
Carefully slip the egg into the middle of the vortex, with the teacup as close to the water as possible but do NOT touch the water - it will break the water motion.
The spinning water will make the whites wrap around itself so it forms a lovely poached egg shape once it stops spinning (~ 15 seconds).
Leave for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes - after 30 seconds, you can rotate once or twice, or swirl water again if you want to do it for you.
Using a slotted spoon, lift out to check for doneness - whites should be soft but set, yolks should be runny.
Drain & serve: Transfer to paper towel to drain and for top to dry with residual heat - 15 seconds. (Don't leave for too long or it can get stuck to the paper towel.) Serve!
Multiple eggs: Use 15 cm / 6" of water. Once the first egg has set (~ 30 sec), swirl water again and drop in another. I've seen experts do 4 eggs. I prefer the Easy Method!
Large batch poached eggs
Store in cold water - Use either method above, and place cooked eggs in a large bowl of cold tap water which stops the eggs cooking further. If making a lot, use ice water to ensure water temperature stays down
To reheat: Bring a large pot of water to the boil, then turn heat down to low. Transfer eggs straight from cold water into hot water, leave 30 seconds - they will not cook in this time, but will just reheat. Drain on paper towels, then serve!
1. Fresher eggs = better poached eggs because they have better structural integrity, so they will sit up higher and rounder. Old eggs are watery so they don't hold together as well when poached. Straining out watery whites addresses this issue so you can make near-perfect poached eggs even if you don't have your own chickens!Easy Method - older eggs will end up with more of a fried egg or UFO shape.Whirlpool Method - not recommended for 1 week+ eggs, the whites of older eggs won't wrap around the yolk as well, causing untidy looking poached eggs.Fridge-cold works best because the egg whites are tighter (like freshly laid eggs).2. Vinegar - marginally helps keep egg whites together but other factors make much more of a difference (eg swirl speed, straining). So it's optional. You won't taste 2 tbsp once egg is drained.Salt - doesn't help to season or increase water density, no point adding to water. See in post for more info.3. Pot size - use a large pot so there is space for the eggs and to roll them. In the video, the small pot I used could only do 4 eggs. My large dutch oven can handle 6. Whirlpool method - large saucepan or small pot. Don't use a large pot - the vortex can be so fast, the egg will spin too quickly and the yolk might separate from the whites!4. Water temp - bring to boil first to get enough heat in it, then reduce heat. If water is bubbling/moving too much = eggs jiggle = mess. If not hot enough = eggs mix into water instead of setting.Tiny bubbles coming up from base of pot is ok, but do not have big bubbles breaking surface. Surface can be barely quivering, but not rippling. After heat is turned down, drop eggs in immediately before water temp drops.5. Vortex - if you create a very fast vortex, the egg can spin so fast that the centrifugal force makes the yolk separates from the whites!! This is especially a problem with old grocery store eggs.My test is the "7 second rule" - as long as there is even a slight vortex ("V" in the centre of the swirl) for 7 seconds after retracting the stirring tool, it is spinning fast enough. If it goes for 12 seconds or longer, it's too fast. If less than 4 seconds, too slow.6. Storage - Poached eggs can be stored submerged in water for up to 2 days in the fridge in an airtight container or covered bowl. Reheat per above. Do not store for longer - eggs are a bit porous so will start to absorb water, making yolks a bit runny.Not suitable for freezing.7. Nutrition for 1 large egg (55g/2oz each).