Poached eggs are an art form. If you’ve ever tried them at home, you’ve likely experienced the disintegrating poached egg that falls apart in the pot, the water-logged poached egg that floods your toast, or the poached egg that goes in looking like a hearty meal and comes out looking like a tiny mouthful of food, barely substantial enough to feed a toddler. At the Original Pancake House in Denver, breakfast is our craft and we’ve mastered the poached egg! Here are a few tips for you home chefs.
Tools: You’ll need a shallow saucepan or deep skillet and a slotted spoon. Make sure you start with the correct tools for the job!
Directions: You don’t need a culinary degree to poach an egg, just follow these simple, but important steps!
- Make sure your eggs are really fresh. Step one, purchase your own hen (just kidding!); you don’t need your own hen for fresh eggs, but do try to search out local eggs at the grocery store. Fresh eggs have a thicker white near the yolk that will better hold a shape as it cooks. You can tell how fresh an egg is by putting it in a glass of water; if it lies horizontally at the bottom, it is very fresh; if it starts to float or stand on end it is less fresh.
- Crack your egg into a bowl or plate, this makes it easier to slide into the pan and will help you avoid the disintegrating egg white problem.
- Bring a pan of water filled at least 5 cm deep to a simmer. Don’t add any salt as this may break up the egg white. Do add a drop of vinegar as this will help the egg keep its shape.
- Stir the water to create a gentle whirlpool. Once the water is simmering, give it a stir as the circular motion will help the egg white wrap around the yolk.
- Slowly tip the egg into the center of your whirlpool. Make sure the heat is low enough so your egg doesn’t get jumbled and broken apart by aggressively bubbling water. There should only be small bubbles rising.
- Cook for 3-4 minutes or until the white is set.
- Lift the egg out with a slotted spoon and drain it on a paper towel. This step is very important so that you avoid a flood on your plate and soggy toast.
Most importantly, make sure you have a cup of coffee and a steady hand to help you with this very delicate breakfast! Once your egg is ready, season with salt and pepper, or perhaps a bit of hollandaise sauce. And of course, if all fails in your home attempts, come visit us at the Original Pancake House, we’ll have a plate of perfectly cooked eggs benedict waiting for you!