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Aug 3, 2005 06:54 PM

poached eggs

  • s

Anybody have instructions on how to make good poached eggs? I've tried a few times lately, but they never come out right. I've put the vinegar in, boiled the water, then take down to simmer, slide the eggs in on a tea saucer, but no luck.

It is basically a childhood comfort food for me. I like a runny yolk that soaks into the toast. I cut away the egg whites.

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  1. I love poached eggs and, like you, have tried many times; swirl the water just before sliding the egg in gently (the centrifugal force is supposed to keep the egg white from spreading) and of course add a bit of vinegar to your simmering water. It never seemed to really work well though; the yolk would come out nice, but the whites, well, didn't make it...

    Recently (and most successfully) I used my 6 oz. pyrex ramekins as "molds" in the simmering water, basically achieving a water bath. I found that this kept the white intact and seemed to prevent the yolk from becoming cooked too quickly.

    btw, you can buy pyrex ramekins in most major grocery stores in the baking aisle.

    Good luck.

    1 Reply
    1. re: echo eater

      Those little Corningware guys is what I use - I can get six of them on the floor of my biggest saucepan, then just put water in to about halfway up their sides. It's not really POACHED eggs that result, but they're pretty darn good, especially if you have'em swimming in a good bit of butter in each ramekin...bring on the hollandaise!

    2. I've never been able to poach eggs nicely at home without an egg poacher -- the little 3 cup insert that comes with most pot and pan sets. When using the poacher, bring water to a low boil, put a tad of butter in each cup, break in eggs and cover -- 2 to 1/2 minutes leave me with whites that are just cooked through and a runny yolk.

      It's my understanding that for "free form" poaching, you need very fresh eggs, almost an impossible requirement if you are getting your eggs anywhere but a farm. As time goes by, the white part of the egg gets "looser" and doesn't hold together well for poaching purposes.

      1. The key to getting a white that hugs the yolk and does not become "whispy" to to use only the freshest of eggs. Your technique is the same as mine but with stale eggs they're always a failure but never with very, very fresh ones.

        2 Replies
        1. re: TomSwift
          JK Grence (the Cosmic Jester)

          Quite correct. As eggs age, they do get better for use as hard-boiled eggs, so all is certainly not lost.

          What I do is bring a skillet almost full of water with 2 tablespoons of white vinegar and about a teaspoon of salt to a boil, then crack the eggs into teacups (or something else with a handle) and slide them into the water all at the same time. I then cover, take completely off the heat, and take them out of the water after 4 minutes. If you like your eggs looser, go for 3 1/2 minutes, for firmer yolks do 4 1/2 minutes.


          1. re: JK Grence (the Cosmic Jester)

            That's interesting abourt the salt. I'll try it this weekend. Also will try the taking the pan off the heat. I prefer my poached eggs VERY easy, so this might be a great way to do them. Thanks.

        2. I use the lids of canning jars (just the ring part). Works find for me.

          What we really need here is one of those great egg poaching machines they have at Caffe 817. Always perfect, never watery as they are at Bette's Diner...I mean sitting in a small pool of water. You'd think they could mop it up with paper towels before serving, but I've rarely had their Scrapple breakfast without the eggs sitting in water.

          1. Try cracking the egg in a soup ladle and put the ladle with egg in the water. after a few seconds you should be able to drop the egg out of the ladle but it should keep its shape. Then cook until it is done to your liking.