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Cooking Tips

How to Make Perfectly Poached Eggs Every time

Topping a dish with a poached egg is like putting a bright red bow on top of a package – it’s a sure sign that something special has arrived.

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Poaching seems to have garnered its scary reputation from all the do’s, don’ts and gadgets that exist to make poaching an egg seem easier – but all of those measures have really only created a cloud of eggy-water confusion. Multiple techniques exist, such as swirling the poaching liquid into a vortex or using biscuit cutters for the perfect shape, but (and this is when you can breathe a sigh of relief) we’ve given you the simplest method right here.

There are only two rules to follow: Use the freshest eggs you can find, and keep the water at a barely-there simmer.

What You’ll Need

  • Large, wide skillet
  • Slotted spoon
  • Kitchen thermometer
  • Vinegar or fresh lemon juice
  • Custard cup
  • Clean linen cloth or paper towels

1. Fill a 10 or 12 inch skillet with 1 inch of water.

Tip: You’ll need 5 1/2 cups of water for a 12 inch skillet or 3 1/2 cups of water for a 10 inch skillet.

2. To acidify the water, add 1 teaspoon of white vinegar or fresh lemon juice for every 1 cup of water; acidity helps speed up the coagulation of the egg whites.

3. Heat water to between 185˚F and 190˚F, until small bubbles begin to form at the base of the skillet but the water does not come to a simmer, maintaining the temperature throughout the cooking process. With a slotted spoon, stir up the bubbles from the bottom of the skillet.

4. Gently break 1 egg into a small dish.

5. Lower dish into the water and slide in the egg; repeat with up to 3 eggs for a 12 inch skillet.

6. Immediately use a slotted spoon to gently spoon the edges of the egg white over the eggs.

7. Cook undisturbed for 4 to 4 1/2 minutes; water should remain between 185˚F and 190˚F. With your spoon, remove the egg form the water.

Tip:If eggs stick to the bottom, gently nudge with your spoon before removing from the water.

8. Transfer egg to a clean dish towel and gently wipe or trim away any loose egg white or jagged edges and serve immediately.

MAKE AHEAD:You can chill poached eggs in a bowl of ice water for up to 8 hours. Simply reheat by placing them in barely simmering water for 1 minute.

We love to serve poached eggs over our sweet and smoky Chicken Sweet Potato Hash. So, give yourself a healthy, delicious gift by whipping this dish up for dinner tonight or breakfast tomorrow morning, and don’t forget that bow on top!

Get the full recipe here.

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