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poaching an egg 1 | by not martha
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poaching an egg 1

After reading a bunch of different ways poach an egg, and failing miserably at the cling wrap method, this is what I did. Posted here so that I, or Scott, can look it up later on:


Fill the big skillet (your favorite one) 2/3rds of the way with water (appx 2"), put in a few tablespoons of white vinegar (it's under the sink) and some salt.


Set the heat on the (miserable electric) stove to 6, wait until the water is simmering just barely. Some instructions say to bring the water to a boil, plop the egg which disturbs the boil point, then lower the temperature so that it simmers. But, you know how hard it is to lower the temperature with our (miserable electric) stove right? So just wait until there are lots of little bubbles at the bottom and the water is trembling. Err on the site of hotter water.


Crack an egg into one of those thin white porceline mugs that I got in college, there are only two left since I broke most of the set. Try to use fresh eggs (ha!).


Holding the mug upright lower the base into the water, then using your wrist turn it smoothly so that the egg slides out -- you are basically twisting the mug out from underneath the egg. Don't hold the mug into the water too long or the egg will cook to the inside of the mug. (Some methods call for allowing the white to cook a little before slipping into the water, this didn't work at all for me.)


Disturb the water as little as possible, and allow things to calm down before adding the next egg.




When the white is opaque use a plastic spatula to release it from the bottom of the pan. Say after two minutes have passed?


Cook for 2 to 4 minutes total based on how runny you'd like the yolk to be. I found four minutes to be too long, and three minutes not quite long enough. If you're using the new rotary timer you might want to keep it with you if you wander away, that sucker has an annoying alarm. At four minutes the yolks were gel-like, which isn't bad if that's how you like them. However, beware of overcooking if you're going for runny yolks.


Lift out using the metal slotted spoon (don't scrape the bottom of the skillet, you'll kill both of us with the scratching of the nonstick coating like that). Poke the middle, it should be wobbly but not egg white runny. If is ok, hold under a light stream of hot water at the tap to rinse the vinegar off. Allow to drain a bit, then deposit lovingly on some toast. (I usually hold the toast ovet the egg on the spoon then flip them both over together.)


If the top is not cooked settle back into the water and then carefully flip it over. Let it cook for like 20 seconds then pull it out. The top whites not cooking happened to me once but hasn't happened since.


I read some instructions that said to lay the egg on some paper towel and blot the top with more paper towel before you plate it. Knowing how disastrous this could be I tried it anyhow. Do not try that.


Salt and pepper the top. Try not to drop and break the pepper ball the way I did that one time.


added later

Ok, I saw an Alton Brown episode on this - he boiled the water, added the eggs, covered them with a lid, took it off the heat and let it sit for seven minutes. The cover allowed the steam to cook the top of the eggs. He also mentioned you should use a nonstick skillet or the eggs run the risk of sticking to the bottom.

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Uploaded on July 26, 2005