A poached egg is an egg that has been cooked in hot liquid (water), a process known as poaching. This method of cooking creates soft and delicious eggs that any connoisseur and lover of eggs would thoroughly enjoy.
Although not as popular as other easier cooking methods such as scrambled or fried, poached eggs can be made the right way at home. The following guide details how to do so, providing the process involved as well as tips to aid the process.
The freshest eggs possible (the whites hold better), water
A non-stick pot (3" deep) with a lid, a slotted spoon, small bowls & instant read thermometer (optional)
Crack the Eggs
Based on the number of eggs you will be poaching, set aside an equal number of small bowls. Crack each egg carefully and place in an individual bowl. Be sure not to break the yolk and not have any egg fragments present.
Set your stove to high and fill your pot with water. The pot should be at least 3" deep to allow the eggs to not touch the bottom of the pot. It is also important that the pot be wide enough so that a few eggs can be inserted without touching one another.
Bring the water to a boil and then reduce the heat to bring to a light simmer. If you have a thermometer present, the ideal range is between 160 to 180ºF (71-82ºC).
Note: If the water is boiling, wait until it comes down to a simmer. It will lead to much better eggs in the long run.
Once the water is simmering or within the desired temperature range, it is time to insert the eggs for cooking. Before inserting the eggs into the water, use your slotted spoon to stir the water in the pot. This will cool the water slightly so that it poaches the eggs evenly.
Slip the eggs into the water gently and carefully by placing the lip of the bowl a 1/2 inch below the water's surface and carefully and slowly slipping the egg into the water. Let the egg flow out on its own.
Note: If the yolk breaks during this process, remove as much of the egg as possible and place back in the bowl. You should scramble these later if possible.
Set and Cook
As soon as you have the egg into the water, use your spoon to gently press the egg whites closer to the yolk.
Once you have done so, turn off the heat immediately cover with the lid and allow to sit. Do not touch the eggs again as they cook.
Time and Remove
Allow the eggs to sit and cook for 3-5 minutes based on the desired firmness of the yolk.
Remove the egg using your slotted spoon. Gently placed the spoon under each egg (remember the order you placed them in the water) and gently remove from the water. Hold the egg in the spoon above the water to allow all excess water to drain.
Plate and Eat
Place the eggs in the plate and enjoy the fruits of your hard work.