Monday, June 13, 2011

How to Poach Eggs - Better Late Than Whenever

I mentioned in the recent Roasted Asparagus with Fried Prosciutto and Poached Egg video post that I'd be doing a new and improved "how to poach eggs" technique demo. I said I'd be doing it "soon," which to me means sometime this year, but apparently to many viewers that meant in the next day or two.

So, it's safe to say, this video recipe was truly "by popular demand." And by "demand" I mean constant harassment, and good-natured threats, or at least I hope they were good-natured. The lesson here is to never promise anyone anything.

In related news: I'm not saying exactly when, only that it will be in the future, but the breakfast I used as a destination for my poached eggs will also be turned into its own video recipe for a sort of hollandaise-less eggs Benedict, so stay tuned for that.

Anyway, this is fairly straightforward stuff, except for the fact that the really, really fresh eggs I bought to show how amazingly well they hold together in the hot water, were anything but. As you'll see, they spread out faster that a group of food bloggers in a free grand tasting tent. Enjoy!



Ingredients:
For 2 quarts of water
1 teaspoon vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt

29 comments:

Dan said...

That yoke pop was slightly inappropriate....

Raquel.Erecipe said...

for me this is much healthier than do it fry it in oil.

Basia said...

Finally visited the lady down the road who keeps chickens & goats. The eggs are gorgeous! Gotta try this! And thanks - now I know it wasn't my technique that put me off this so long ago: it was the grocery store eggs!

w3bd3v said...

Now I want breakfast and it's almost midnight. Thanks Chef John!

milkshake said...

You just convinced me to pull eggs and salmon out of fridge and have a breakfast at 1am

Lily said...

That looks delicious. Very entertaining video - despite the old eggs! Enjoyed it.

bdwilcox said...

Basia said: "Finally visited the lady down the road who keeps chickens & goats. The eggs are gorgeous!"

-Never had a goat egg, myself...

Anonymous said...

Hi - I was recently informed by an eight year old scout that to poach an egg it should be boiled , from ROOM TEMP, for 20 secs then poached with the same method as Chef John - IT WORKS, beautiful every time, no matter the freshness of the egg so far...Try it too. jbscot99 from France

Basia said...

@bdwilcox Wow - sad. You sure are missing out!

cb said...

Hi Chef - Thanks for the instruction! Question however--why no swirly-swirl of the water when you put in the egg? Thought that water swirly was needed to help keep the egg more 'together'.

Mike said...

I cheat and use an egg poaching tray they look and taste great.

Chris K. said...

If you first crack the egg into a large perforated spoon, the loose "fly-away" white drains off. It makes poaching much less messy. Thanks, Harold McGee!

Virginia said...

I've been wanting to try several recipes that call for poached eggs from the recipe club to which I belong, but I've always been so intimidated by the whole poaching egg process, but your video has given me the courage to give it a go. Thanks!
Virginia

Anonymous said...

I love when your videos deal with a realistic kitchen... we all have days where we just ran out of the perfect ingredient but your focus on the technique really inspires confidence. Keep up the great blogging!

Emerald_Mara85 said...

Fufu, now I know... :)

Hmm but what about those who hate the white vinegar taste?

Frank Sugino said...

A simple trick: before you put the egg in the water, use a spoon to swirl the water to form a gentle whirlpool. Then pour the egg right in the center. The egg will remain together in the center and poach nicely - this will even help prevent older eggs from having their whites spread like in the video.

Chef John said...

that works for one egg....then what?

Anonymous said...

Chef, this is about a much earlier recipe. I've been staring at your pie crust in envy and despair for weeks. How do you get it so perfect?

Qn1: How long and at what temp do you bake for.

Qn2: do you use a pie shield? My crusts keep getting burned.

Qn3: Where do you place the pie plate. My bottom crust always seems uncooked.

Thanks. I'm quickly becoming addicted to your videos. Gonna try the blueberry muffins tonight.

Tamar@StarvingofftheLand said...

Really, John, where are you getting your eggs? Next time you're planning to put a basic egg technique on film for posterity, for all time, would you please come and talk to me first? My chickens are at the ready.

Chef John said...

I promise the next time I do an eggs video, your hens will be the first to know. ;-) Thanks!

Chef John said...

Anon,
Depends on the pie. All my pie videos give times, so you'll have to check there. I dont use a shield. I place in middle of oven. Enjoy!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful demo Chef, and you made me feel terrible for the times i've given up and switched to a frying pan on account of my eggs (a lesser chef indeed...). Thanks for another hugely helpful video!

p.s. a benedict without hollandaise is an affront to the culinary gods!

Nitya said...

when i see poaching egg suddenly i got ungry it seemed like that nice recipe........

Gigi said...

I tried this this morning for Father's Day. Water was barely bubbling.... but after 6 minutes eggs were hard boiled. Luckily I had more eggs and the next batch took about 3 minutes. I tried to replicate what you did by toasting an English muffin, spread some butter/dill on top, then salmon then the egg.

Look forward to the instructions to see how I SHOULD have made this! It sure was a hit "my" way!!

Ron said...

I have found that when forced to use eggs of unknown freshness, increasing the amount of vinegar in the water holds them together fine. The acidity affects the surface tension of the water.

Make sure to dip the finished egg in another container of water to rid them of any vinegar taste (I use Apple Cider vinegar).

Another way to test for doneness is the jiggle test. Lift an egg onto a slotted spoon and jiggle it. If the White jiggles around the yolk it is not done.

Morpheus said...

1:38 am and I feel like poaching eggs now! You're too good :D

JustMe said...

We only get cold storage eggs shipped (flown?) from the Mainland to us out here in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, so I'm pretty sure my egg whites will be just like the video. Thanks for showing that even old eggs can be poached!!

Nary Greer said...

Julia Childs tip. Poke a hole on the top of the egg with a small needle and let it boil for a few seconds. Than take it out and crack the egg in your poach water. Perfect every time.

Daisy said...

I've had success at making poached eggs using this recipe. However every time I make it, the egg tends to stick onto the bottom regardless of its age and method of placing the egg in.

Any ideas why or how it can be prevented?