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Aug 4, 2007 12:28 PM

Perfect Poached Eggs

Well, perfect for me, anyway.

Right out of the fridge two extra large eggs, out of the shell and into a bowl.

Start up the white toast, or an english muffin.

Get about a quart of sallted water boiling in a sauce pan.

When water comes to a full boil add a good splash of cider, or red wine vinegar.

Stir boiling water into a vortex and gently pour eggs into center of vortex, and cook for 2 minutes, 45 seconds.

Butter toast a minute before egg timer goes off.

Ding! Ding! Ding!

Remove eggs with slotted ladle and drain well.

Place eggs on buttered toast and sprinkle with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper.


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  1. That is exactly how I do it. Well, except for Sundays when I make a hollandaise sauce.

    Come to think of it, I do turn the heat all the way down before creating the vortex and pouring the eggs in, to avoid bubbling water. Then I turn it back up.

    1. I think having fresh eggs is more important than the vortex. I usually cook 4-6 eggs at a time, so the vortex is meaningless. Just have the water at a bare simmer, and BE PATIENT!

      1. Doesn't the vortex create a much unwanted whirlpool of separated egg whites? I make my poached eggs by cracking the eggs into a shallow bowl and then easing them into the water similar to the way an old man enters his bath. I prefer the whites remaining in close proximity to the yolks. Do yours stay completely intact? Sounds like a lot of the whites are lost.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Cheese Boy

          It's a technique I've seen on some cooking show. Gordon Ramsay does it and says that the swirling helps keep the egg white together. I think the vortex method works best if you're using a wide, shallow pan. In a saucepan it didn't seem to make any difference either way.

          1. re: Cheese Boy

            Depends on how fresh the eggs are. The fresher, the more the whites stay together. The vortex is just part of the ritual. For fun more than anything else. I added that step after seeing it on an old Julia Child cooking show from the '70's about ten years ago.

          2. I read somewhere recently that the depth of the pan affects how the eggs turn out. The recommendation was to use a taller saucepan with more water. I tried it and the resulting eggs were rounder and more, um. . .voluptuous! The whites didn't spread as much, either.

            1. I just made some poached eggs for the first time in years yesterday, and before going about it, I did some searching on this interwebby thing to find out what is recommended. Most recommend using only white vinegar as cider, or red wine, balsamic, etc, could effect the flavor and color of the eggs.

              I did not find the vortex thing to work, the first egg I dropped in after whirlpooling the water, lost a lot of its white, while the second egg without the whirlpool hung together. I think cracking the egg into a ramekin or small bowl before gently sliding it into the water is more effective.

              Also timing would depend on the size of the egg - wouldn't it?

              1 Reply
              1. re: LStaff

                Yes. The cider and red wine certainly do affect the flavor. And, personally, those are the flavors I prefer and I probably use a heavier dose than most would. I haven't experimented with balsamic yet as I think that would be too sweet for my buds.