Introduction: No Fuss Perfect Poached Egg !

After wanting to learn how to poach eggs I looked it up online and found it to be a pretty involved procedure. There is boiling water and vigorous stirring, and then adding vinegar, and dropping the egg in at just the right speed, angle and time. Only then, it seems, will your egg be perfect. I'm happy to share this is not true.

I was shown this technique recently on a camping trip. Its so simple that I now enjoy perfect poached eggs, every time. This method is pretty easy and fool-proof so I hope it helps save you the hassle of doing it the "proper way'.

Step 1: Gather Your Materials and an Egg

To poach an egg you'll need:

  • an egg (or as many as you would like)
  • a small sauce pan with lid
  • water
  • a spoon (to remove the egg)
  • access to a stove top

Also, don't forget:

  • a plate and fork
  • salt

(so you can eat the egg!)

Step 2: Poach Your Egg

Steps to poaching your egg

  1. Fill your sauce pan at least half full (or more than 1.5 inches) with water, cover with lid, and put on the stove top with the highest heat setting to boil.
  2. Once boiling, turn off the stovetop completely and remove the lid. (& prepare to move swiftly for the next step)
  3. Crack open the egg as close to the water as possible and carefully drop it in the water while continuing to hold the shell (just like you would if you were cracking eggs to fry them).
  4. Cover the sauce pan with the lid and set your timer (don't forget!) depending on how you prefer your yolk:
    • Soft yolk: about 3 minutes
    • Hard yolk: about 5 minutes
  5. Once your timer beeps, remove lid, and use your spoon to lift your poached egg carefully from the water onto your plate.
  6. Serve (with salt and other delicious things!)

That's it! I hope you have success with this no fuss method!


Tips:

  • Make sure you poach your eggs once the rest of your meal is basically ready. The egg(s) will cook quickly and should be served right away.
  • If you try to lift the egg out and it seems too soft, Leave it in the water for another couple of minutes. (The residual heat from some stove tops may be different).
  • You can poach more than one egg at a time (I suggest trying 2 at once!)

Comments

author
peekabooo made it! (author)2015-08-31

If you found this helpful (or any other instructables you see on the site) feel free to vote for your favorites and help them out! See the vote button at top right. Thanks!

author
mickryobe made it! (author)2015-09-07

Another tip. I am a very bad egg cracker. The yolk usually breaks if I crack them on the side of the pan. I tried using a knife but got a handful of raw egg.

Instead I use an ordinary drinking glass which has a thinner edge. I then slide the egg into the glass. Two eggs, two glasses. Four eggs. Four glasses. Both (or all) eggs are slid into the water at the same time and are ready at the same time.

author
toolman883 made it! (author)toolman8832017-02-07

use the countertop, any flat surface no edges they cracker better.

author
kylew11 made it! (author)2015-09-16

personally i just a regular coffee mug and 2 table spoons of water in the microwave. less than 1 minute and perfect egg. Takes a little bit of practice too figure out the exact time. Somewhere between 46 and 57 seconds on high power in most microwaves. Try a few till you get the consistency you like. Alll in all not a bad able.

author
sahilch67 made it! (author)2015-09-11

This is cool.

author
myde11 made it! (author)2015-09-09

Instead, get a small plastic bag. Pour the cracked egg into it and tie it up at the top. Drop the nylon into the boiling water. You can add salt or any other spices to the egg. Very delicious

author
satoko68 made it! (author)2015-09-08

I love adding vinegar because it helps keep the eggs from spreading out. They kind of 'coagulate', for lack of a better term, in one solid piece, with no floating egg-scum. I also use a lot of water to make sure the eggs are completely covered, as well as add smashed cumin seeds/powder to the water & simmer that for a while before dropping the eggs in for extra flavor. Cumin & eggs are amazing together!

I'll second the slotted spoon idea which someone else mentioned. Soggy toast is just *bleh*

author
mickryobe made it! (author)2015-09-07

Your system will indeed make perfect poached eggs.

A minor tip. Use a slotted spoon to remove them from the water and you wont have soggy toast.

author
Narine Khodabakhshian made it! (author)2015-09-03

Thanks

author
Tardisrepairman made it! (author)2015-09-01

That's a great instructable on a process which is shrouded in mystery. :-)

I agree completely with your advice!

My tuppence worth-

Really fresh eggs hold their shape better and having plenty of water mean the temperature does not drop too much when the eggs are dropped in.(Try a bigger pan! ;-)

On my stove, I drop the power to "1" and time 3 minutes.
The additional heat drives small convection currents that keep the eggs off the bottom of the pan.

Also salt the water. You don't consume much of the salt you add and I don't think it has any effect on the poaching process but it makes them taste nice. :-)

Don't forget pepper. I have not found an upper limit on how much pepper you can add to eggs.

I sometimes wonder if I have given too much thought to poaching eggs but then I make a really nice one and I know it was all worthwhile.

author
Seeed Studio made it! (author)2015-09-01

feel hungry. :)))

author
datajunkie55 made it! (author)2015-08-31

I usually poach 4 eggs, 2 for my sweetheart and 2 for myself. By cracking 2 eggs into cups and having ready when the water boils, turning the water to LOW, not off, and then sliding the eggs from one cup in, swirling the water to get hot water on top, waiting about 30 seconds before adding in the others, setting the timer for 3 minutes, his eggs come out a bit more done and mine softer. I lift mine out first and his last. 4 eggs added to the water would cool it too much to turn off and still have cook.

author
peekabooo made it! (author)peekabooo2015-08-31

That is a good system - thank you for sharing. I like the having them cracked and ready to go! As you mentioned with 4 eggs (especially if refrigerated) you are right it might cool down way too fast, so keeping it on low makes tons of sense. I've found though that when it's still on and I cover the egg it sometimes boils over - do you cover them?

author
datajunkie55 made it! (author)datajunkie552015-08-31

I use a gas range which might make a difference as heat control is faster. I use a fairly large pot at least half fun, keeps eggs off the bottom and more hot water doesn't cool as fast. When turned to lowest setting after I add all the eggs, it's hot enough I don't need to cover it. If only doing 2 for myself, I do turn it off and cover it.

As a side note, something similar is perfect to poach fish. Found this tip on NYT. Bring whatever poaching liquid you want to a boil, enough to cover fish when placed in it, add fish, return to low boil, cover and simmer for 1 minute, turn off heat, and don't touch for another 7-9 minutes depending on thickness. Never seems to over cook and always enough to fully cook. We have access to good locally farmed tilapia, but it is still a mild flavor. Wine, lemon, soy, curry, etc. added to the poaching liquid gives it more flavor. Hmm, I never thought of trying to poach eggs in seasoned water! I might give that a go next time, any acid like lemon juice or vinegar might reduce cooking time. Will keep an eye on it if I do.

author
peekabooo made it! (author)peekabooo2015-08-31

Gas ranges are quite different but thanks for sharing how you do that - I'll one day have a lovely gas stove (i hope!).
& ohhh! poached fish, I must try that. I make veggie stock often and so I could use to try poaching an egg and see what that does. Thanks for sharing!

author
hardrock10 made it! (author)2015-08-31

that's good to know thanks

author
peekabooo made it! (author)peekabooo2015-08-31

You are very welcome !

author
chefalbert69 made it! (author)2015-08-31

asding a tsp of vinega rto your poaching liquid will help the egg stay together and not separate on you...

author
peekabooo made it! (author)peekabooo2015-08-31

I've not tried that with this technique but in the 'advanced/proper' poaching it is definitely something I use. Alas, no white vinegar on hand at the moment to test it - have you ever tried apple cider vinegar by chance?
As Lukasz pointed out though, in this technique because the water is less turbulent (not boiling or stirring), the egg white will do a better job of sticking together.

author
Łukasz made it! (author)2015-08-31

Yum, less boiling water - less separated egg white! Now I know thanks!

author
peekabooo made it! (author)peekabooo2015-08-31

Yes exactly - because the water isn't boiling like crazy and disrupting the egg as much it keeps together nicely. Enjoy!

author
Penolopy Bulnick made it! (author)2015-08-30

That certainly does look perfect! And that plating is spot on, so colorful :)

author
peekabooo made it! (author)peekabooo2015-08-31

Thanks! I enjoyed making this one (and testing it over and over!)

author
Alexander The Average made it! (author)2015-08-31

Just made a perfect poached egg with none of the usual fuss. Thanks.

author
peekabooo made it! (author)peekabooo2015-08-31

Awesome, glad it was helpful! Thanks for sharing :)

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Bio: I like to experiment in the kitchen, challenging myself to create tasty, healthy, fast, gluten/dairy and mainly sugar free concoctions.
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