Poaching eggs: it’s one of my favorite moves to wow guests when we’re having a special Sunday Brunch at home.
Why? Because nobody does it! (But pretty much everybody loves it.)
I approached egg poaching with my fair share of trepidation and I wasted *dozens* of eggs over the years due to water being too hot, too tepid, too much vinegar, the wrong spoon, too little water causing egg to stick to the bottom of my pan, etc.
However I’m happy to report that you can definitely poach perfect egg without gadgets, tins, fancy egg spoons, and especially without plastic wrap. (Blech.)
In fact, here’s a poached egg trick that uses nothing but a pan and a spoon.
- Heat up, but don’t bring to a boil – a few inches of water in a pan. To keep it simple, I prefer to use a sauté pan so that I am close to the edge when I lift my egg. BEWARE: if you bring the water to a boil – it breaks up your egg. The trick I use is to turn the heat off once I see the bubbles in the simmering water – just before the boiling point.
- Splash 1 tbsp vinegar in the water – which will help the egg mold together better without making your egg look like egg drop soup…
- Break your egg into a small dish. I use a small glass ramekin so that the egg doesn’t have too far to travel from my hand to the bottom of the bowl. CRITICAL: Make a whirlpool with your spoon before dropping the egg in. This will keep more of the egg together when you slide it from your bowl to the pan.
- If you need to gently nudge the egg off the bottom of the pan – wait until it’s been in the hot water for 30 seconds or so. Now the scary part…
- After 3 minutes (4 if you don’t want it too runny), use a slotted spoon to grab your egg without carrying a bunch of water with it. (I place my eggs on a towel while I cook them.)
If you are serving your perfectly poached huevos for guests later – you can always put them back in warm water before serving. If you keep them in the fridge overnight – you should keep them on the towel and drop them in the water when you’re ready to cook.