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Poached Egg Question

I have no problem poaching eggs in a nonstick skillet, but I'm trying to avoid teflon...
...When I tried poaching them in my enamaled cast iron, the eggs instantly sank to the bottom of the pan and stuck. I could loosen them with a spatula, but am I missing some trick?
I do add vinegar and usually break the egg into a small bowl to slide it in to the skillet.
Any help appreciated.

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  1. Hum. I'm surprised that the material would have any effect on poaching. The only thing I can think of is that you haven't heated the pan sufficiently (cast iron takes longer to heat than aluminum or stainless steel).

    Also, why are you trying to avoid teflon. The reports of toxins in teflon are only harmful if you heat the teflon with nothing in it. Clearly, having the pan full of water would be fine.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Darren72

      Don't think it's the heating because water is simmering for poaching eggs.
      On the Teflon issue, lots of information seems to be coming down on the side of not using it anymore. See Nora Ephron's piece in the New York Times a couple of weeks ago if you disagree. Sure, the science is not yet perfect, but I'm starting to have doubts about its safety.

      1. re: JPomer

        My first rule is "if you are uncomfortable, don't use it". Having said that, I'm not about to take advice from Nora Ephron. Here is another take: http://www.stats.org/stories/Nora_Eph...

        1. re: Darren72

          You wouldn't happen to work for DuPont, Do you?

          1. re: JPomer

            Ha, ha. No, I don't work for them. But I'm just a very sceptical person when it comes to mixing the media, science, and safety. Like I said, though, anyone who feels uncomfortable using teflon (or eating butter, etc.) shouldn't do it.

          2. re: Darren72

            The proper way to cook on Teflon is to never heat it above medium.

      2. don't eat the pan and you'll be fine...

        1. I have exactly the same experience as you. I just loosen them gently with a spatula and they're fine. I think it's just the nature of eggs to bond to anything they're heated in.

          1. I guess I misread your original post. I thought the problem was that the eggs sank in the cast iron pan, but floated in the teflon. Cheryl_h intepreted the problem to be that they stuck to the cast iron, but not to the teflon. Ah! Yes, as she said, eggs stick to everything (except teflon). She is correct that if you give them a little nudge once they hit the bottom, you'll be fine.

            1. seriously-get some movement going in the water. This will also wrap the white around the yolk-make sure them eggs are fresh also. i used to poach off 6 or cases(15 dzn) of eggs at a time in whatever i could find; rondeaus to 600's.

              4 Replies
              1. re: dano

                Interesting -- so what's the best way to store a poached egg, and how long will it last? Just put it in an airtight container in the fridge, I'd guess.

                1. re: Darren72

                  in water-will hold for 3-4 days, or lay out on a side towel-a couple of days. Yes wrap em though.

                2. re: dano

                  Exactly...just give the water a swirl, then put the egg in. By the time the water stops moving, the egg will already have set enough to not stick...no problem.

                  1. re: dano

                    Swirling the (more than you think you need in quantity) water in the pan (I just stir with a spoon) with one hand as you lower the egg to be poached into the water keeps them from sticking to my crappy revere-ware stainless steel pains.

                  2. the eggs sink to the bottom of the pan? that's bizarre. i think you should be using a large, wide and heavy-bottomed sauce pan. this is how i make poached eggs and there never is a problem of sinking. check it out. my saucepan is teflon as well.

                    Fill it with one inch of water. The height is key! You need to have enough water for the egg to float and swirl around in. Cover and bring it to a boil on high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and make sure you have bubbles breaking the surface. You don't want the water too roiling boiling, but it should be strong. Add the vinegar. Break your egg into a small, heat proof teacup or ramekin. Don't put more than one egg in the cup! Do it one at a time. Partially immerse the cup in the boiling water and quickly release the egg into the boiling water. Try to do this as close to the water as possible, because if you release it from high up, the egg will lose its shape. Poach until the whites turn opaque and yolks are just barely set, about 2 to 4 minutes. I like the yolks of mine to be a little cooked on the outside, but very runny on the inside, so I cook it for about 4 minutes. The shorter, the runnier. Using a slotted spoon, scoop up the egg and rest the spoon with the egg on a kitchen towel. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and devour immediately!

                    1. I am addicted to poached eggs and the best poacher I have found is a two egg plastic microwave gadget. Spray the two impressions, break in eggs (should be two, if you put water in the other one, the egg doesn't come out well) and micro 55 seconds (don't know the wattage of my micro but having tried various times, this is the best). Excellent result and none of that watery stuff you have to deal with a la Martha Stewart who takes a slice of white bread for the egg's diaper before she plops it into its resting place.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: ZoeZ

                        I second the microwave gadget.

                        Buy any type of an egg poacher. I have a four slot stainless steel poacher that I used before the microwave poacher. I spray the poacher with pam. My stainless steel poacher looks similar to this poacher sold by Targetl.


                      2. them ain't poached eggs...shirred maybe.

                        1. Use more water. Or a deeper pan.

                          I've never had problems w/ poached eggs sinking or sticking to the bottom of my non-non-stick pans. I've also never swirled the pan or had to use a spatula to prevent sticking.

                          calypsogirl is absolutely right about one egg per cup (I use a small plate, actually. I tilt it to gently slide the egg into the water).