The perfect poached egg may be in part, subjective, however, poaching an egg well can seem like an art form. Poached eggs tend to be something most would rather pay a chef or a cook to do at a restaurant, rather than attempting to create their own perfectly poached egg at home. Why is that?
In part, it’s because the technique of poaching a healthy egg can be intimidating. Not necessarily scary, but intimidating in cooking the poached egg perfectly intact so that it resembles a poached egg that you might find in a restaurant. Once the egg hits the boiling water, keeping the egg white together can seem like a challenge. That’s why we have a few tips to poaching the perfect egg.
Perfect Poached Egg Tip 1: Use Vinegar
The addition of a tablespoon of vinegar helps the egg whites congeal so that they do not sprawl out. As a result, the addition of vinegar makes for a much cleaner, more symmetrical, and overall, appetizing poached egg that will sit perfectly on the vessel of your choice (e.g. toast, English muffin, avocado, lettuce, etc.).
Perfect Poached Egg Tip 2: Swirl
Swirling the boiling water to create a vortex to drop the egg in can help the egg keep its shape. However, it may be more difficult if you’re poaching multiple eggs at once. This is because the eggs may run into each other which could potentially cause your egg whites to wisp out and lose their form. For poaching multiple eggs at once, it is likely better to not swirl your water in order that they keep a more symmetrical shape.
Perfect Poached Egg Tip 3: Use a Separate Bowl or Cup
Cracking your eggs into a separate bowl or cup first before dropping in the boiling water can help make for a cleaner poached egg. With cracking into a separate bowl first, you can make sure there are no eggshells in the egg whites, and easily drop the egg whole into the boiling water at once. We recommend separating the eggs and dropping them into the boiling water one at a time in order to help them keep their shape.
Perfect Poached Egg Tip 4: Consider a Fine Strainer
If you’re wanting to really make the perfect poached egg, using a fine strainer can be the tool that really sets your poached eggs apart. Poached eggs tend to lose their shape not just from technique, but if the egg whites are not entirely firm. The reality is that with Farmers Hen House eggs, because of the way the hens are treated, our egg whites are typically, almost always, firm, no matter if they’re our pasture-raised, free-range, or organic eggs. However, just to be sure that’s the case in the context of poaching the perfect egg, it can’t hurt to finely strain the egg whites to separate any looser part of the white. With only a firm egg white in the boiling water, you’re likely to create restaurant style poached eggs.
Perfect Poached Egg Tip 5: Invest in Poached Egg Holders & Pans
Honestly, the biggest and easiest hack to making the perfect poached egg restaurant style is to purchase accessories like poached egg cups (silicone cups which you can actually place in your boiling water to hold your egg in place) or a poached egg pan that has built-in compartments for each egg to be held in place. Additionally, there are egg cookers that you can purchase, which some have a poached egg setting. While using these tools might be the easiest hack to the perfect poached egg, they are obviously more costly. However, if you prefer your daily eggs poached, we would recommend the investment.
Perfect Poached Egg Tip 6: Poach for 3 – 5 Minutes
Depending upon how hard you want your yolk, we recommend poaching for 3 minutes for runnier yolks and 5 minutes for firmer yolks.
Perfect Poached Egg Tip 7: Use Farmers Hen House Eggs and/or Farm Fresh Eggs!
Using eggs like Farmers Hen House, or other farm fresh eggs is critical to not only creating a symmetrical poached egg, but also a delicious healthy poached egg. Cheaper conventional eggs tend to have very runny egg whites, which make it hard for a poached egg to keep its shape. Additionally, eggs that come from hens who have outdoor access tend to not only taste better but also be healthier in terms of added Omega 3s and vitamins.
Incorporating these tips into your poached egg making process can help you create the perfect poached eggs that resemble that of your favorite restaurant, and that’s no yolk! Also, if you’re looking for some great poached egg recipes here’s a couple of our favorites!