Trying to perfect poached eggs

While I rely on speedy scrambled eggs cooked softly to get breakfast on the table quickly, poached eggs on wheat toast with butter on top are my favorite. I love how my mom makes them, but I can't duplicate it. My mom was just here for the long weekend, I should have asked her for a lesson.

I tried to make poached eggs this morning and they were decent, but not like moms. When I make poached eggs, the whites are foamy or rubbery. The yolks aren't dependably soft either.

Somewhere I heard the tip of putting a bit of white vinegar in the poaching water. Though I know my mom doesn't put vinegar in the water when she poaches eggs in a small frying pan, I tried the tip this morning. The white vinegar did stop the whites from running all over the pan. Though the smell of boiling vinegar isn't appealing first thing in the morning, I was glad I couldn't taste the vinegar in the eggs.

After we ate our eggs, R* said he'd use a poaching pan. Does anyone else use a poaching pan? Any other poached eggs tips? I think I used much too big of a pan this time, right?


Anonymous Mr. S said...

I learned a couple of tricks on poaching eggs from my dad, whose eggs always come out perfect. The first is to keep the water under a full boil when poaching, so the eggs cook gently and don't get rubbery. It should be more of a simmer, and you can tell that the water is ready for the eggs when the pan is covered with tiny bubbles and they have just started to detach and float to the surface. The second is to use the freshest eggs possible (easy on the farm in NH, not as easy here in the city, but i've had excellent luck with farmer's market eggs), because the whites hold together much better with fresh eggs than with eggs that are a few days old. I tried adding some vinegar to the water once, and while the eggs came out a little prettier, the whites didn't have as nice a texture, so I didn't make a habit of using it. Spoon some of the water over the top of the eggs as they cook, to make sure you don't have any raw white over the yolk. Also, be sure to use your slotted spoon to loosen the egg from the bottom of the pan when it first starts to become opaque, to make sure it doesn't get stuck as it cooks, which results in lost yolk and disappointment. (I learned that the hard way...)

9:43 PM  
Blogger fuzzymousepie said...

Use a non-stick pan! And as Mr. S said, keep the water on simmer instead of a full boil.

7:29 PM  
Anonymous deb said...

I had tried to poach eggs in every way imaginable with at best, moderate, unreplicable success. (Even with a splash of vinegar in the water, partly because it helps and partly because I kind of like the tinge of flavor.) Someone told me a while back that in cooking school, they were taught to create a giant whirlpool in a big pot of not-yet-simmering-but-almost (ahem, I've forgotten the exact term) water and drop the egg in the middle to poach it. I thought she was insane; there's no way I could pull that off. A year and dozens of poached egg failures later, I finally tried it. Sheer brilliance. Easy as pie. (I kept swirling it after I dropped it in, um, because it was fun.)

11:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Swirling is OK for one egg, but what about the second? Two eggs swirling in one pot results in a nuclei fusion - one big poached egg with two yokes. Not always desirable.

7:59 PM  
Anonymous Musko said...

I like gas burners. My current house has gas burners & a separate electric double oven. (not that I'll ever use the 2nd oven because I'm not likely to ever cook a huge meal in the oven. Might be good for baking both a cake & cookies at the same time, maybe for parties & potlucks.

2:13 PM  

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